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Myths and Facts
Mitchell G. Bard


"Israel's Mossad carried out the bombing of the World Trade Center to provoke American hatred of Arabs."


Syrian Defense Minister Mustafa Tlass told a delegation from Great Britain that Israel was responsible for the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. He claimed the Mossad had warned thousands of Jewish employees not to go to work that day at the World Trade Center. He was the highest-ranking Arab public official to publicly voice a view that was reportedly widespread in the Arab world that the attacks were part of a Jewish conspiracy to provoke U.S. retaliation against the Arab world and to turn American public opinion against Muslims. One poll published in the Lebanese newspaper An Nahar, for example, found that 31 percent of the respondents believed Israel was responsible for the hijackings while only 27 percent blamed Osama bin Laden.

No U.S. authority has suggested, nor has any evidence been produced, to suggest any Israeli or Jew had any role in the terrorist attacks. These conspiracy theories are complete nonsense and reflect the degree to which many people in the Arab world are prepared to accept anti-Semitic fabrications and the mythology of Jewish power. They may also reflect a refusal to believe that Muslims could be responsible for the atrocities and the hope that they could be blamed on the Jews.