Myth-Debunking Snopes Obscures Israel’s Role in 9/11, officially known as the Urban Legends Reference Pages, has since its humble inception in 1995 come to be regarded as one of the most trusted debunkers of conspiracy theories on the internet. Described by one of its many fans – it apparently has over 6 million visitors per month – as “the grand-daddy of all fact-checking sites,” Snopes is downright cavalier, however, in its attitude to facts surrounding Israel’s role in the 9/11 attacks.

In its large section on urban legends relating to 9/11, Snopes purports to debunk a claim that “four thousand Israelis employed by companies housed in the World Trade Center stayed home from work on September 11, warned in advance of the impending attack on the World Trade Center.” A click on the link under “Israelis” brings the curious reader to an entry titled “Absent without Leave,” in which the “four thousand Israelis” have suddenly and inexplicably been replaced by “four thousand Jews.”

In “Absent without Leave,” Snopes reproduces a September 17, 2001 report by Lebanon’s al-Manar satellite television station, which claimed that the Israelis (not “Jews”) “remained absent that day based on hints from the Israeli General Security apparatus, the Shabak.” The Al-Manar piece cited also refers to the five Israelis arrested hours after the attacks, after having been witnessed filming and celebrating as the Twin Towers collapsed.

Below the al-Manar article, Snopes has appended a shoddily written, anonymous, unsourced internet piece, in which the 4,000 Israelis have again been mysteriously transformed into 4,000 Jews. In contrast to the al-Manar report, this diatribe includes such absurd and provocative anti-Semitic statements as “the Jews knew and were prewarned” about 9/11.

Snopes makes no distinction between the two pieces, however, lumping them together as examples of what it calls the “plenty of anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist, and anti-Israeli groups eager to use the horrors of September 11 as fodder for propaganda to serve their own political ends.” Considering its tendentious conflation of legitimate criticism of Israel – and the exclusivist ideology on which it is based – with an irrational hatred of Jews, one doubts whether Snopes would level the same accusation against Benjamin Netanyahu and Ariel Sharon.

Asked on the night of September 11 what the attack meant for relations between the United States and Israel, Netanyahu replied, “It’s very good.” Then he quickly edited himself: “Well, not very good, but it will generate immediate sympathy.” Later that night in an appearance on Israeli TV, the then Israeli prime minister Sharon indicated how Tel Aviv intended to exploit that “sympathy,” when he “repeatedly placed Israel on the same ground as the United States, calling the assault an attack on ‘our common values’ and declaring, ‘I believe together we can defeat these forces of evil.’”

Instead of attempting to debunk the well-documented claims that at least some Israelis were forewarned about the 9/11 attacks, Snopes peremptorily dismisses them, claiming they “scarcely merit the dignity of a rebuttal.” Yet, Haaretz reported that two employees of Odigo, the Israeli-owned instant messaging service, “received messages two hours before the Twin Towers attack on September 11 predicting the attack would happen.” Asked whether Israeli agents had advanced knowledge of the 9/11 attacks, Fox News reporter Carl Cameron quoted U.S. investigators who concluded, “How could they not have known?” And then there were those “dancing Israelis” who later claimed on an Israeli talk show that their “purpose was to document the event.”

Disregarding evidence of Israeli foreknowledge, Snopes asserts that “no miracles, human intervention, foreknowledge, coincidence, or vagaries of fate saved more than a few World Trade Center workers from meeting their deaths that day.”

One of the lucky few (not mentioned by Snopes) was Larry Silverstein, who signed a 99-year lease on the World Trade Center six weeks before 9/11, insuring it for $3.5 billion. Silverstein’s wife’s insistence that he couldn’t cancel an appointment with his dermatologist that morning ensured that he missed his daily breakfast meeting with tenants at the Windows on the World restaurant on the top floors of the North Tower of the World Trade Center. His son and daughter, who worked with him in the Twin Towers, were also fortunate to be “running late” on September 11. Silverstein’s good fortune no doubt delighted his close friends in Israel. Soon after the attacks, the property developer received phone calls from no less than three Israeli prime ministers – Ehud Barak, Benjamin Netanyahu and Ariel Sharon – inquiring how he was.

Seemingly puzzled by suspicions that Israelis had advance warning of the World Trade Center attack, Snopes asks rhetorically: “Why would Israel follow such a course of action, betray its staunchest ally, and doom thousands of innocent Americans to death?”

One could also ask why Israeli agents planted firebombs in American installations in Egypt in 1954? Or why Israel murdered 34 U.S. servicemen in a deliberate attack on the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967? Or why Mossad decided not to warn the United States about the October 23, 1983 attack on its Marine barracks in Beirut which killed 241 troops? Or why Mossad’s Operation Trojan led Washington to believe that Libya was responsible for the April 5, 1986 Berlin disco bombing which killed two American soldiers?

To date, Snopes has yet to investigate any of these acts of betrayal by Israel of “its staunchest ally.”



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3 responses to “Myth-Debunking Snopes Obscures Israel’s Role in 9/11

  1. Pingback: Snopes démystifie le rôle obscur d’Israël dans les événements du 11 septembre 2001

  2. Mawwk

    The Zionists target fear and ignorance. For the Israeli movement, the end justifies the means. Lying is part of the game and as Kenneth o’Keefe mentioned, Israel and it’s supporters lie incessantly and then point the finger at others. They commit the crime, then portray themselves as the victims.

    Portraying all debate about their actions or participation in certain events as A_S is a favourite tactic. I’m sure most of them believe it but the movement is lead by people who understand the the true nature of this defence.

    Snopes is quite likely a site which was set up with honest intentions but as with so many of these organisations, they are infiltrated and teams of dupes are built to run them with certain agendas, one of those being to conflate all debate about Israel or it’s role in 9/11 with A_S.

    Just found your site after a link was posted at I’ll be checking out your other articles when I get a bit of time.


  3. Justine Davenport

    At September 11 I was watching the aircraft struck the first WTC tower, we ( my gf and I saw the high building go down in smoke and fire, then came the second hit and all the hell broke lose.

    At the right side of us stood a man with middle eastern Moroccan Israeli look, he nervously
    puffed on a cigg, turning to us while making this strange remark; “The Palestinians made this”, The second tower just fell down, it just had happen and nobody around us made any such comments, everyone was just shocked up. No news reports or speculations on TV yet, just everyone was confused, thought the plane hit the tower by accident. But here was this Israeli,blaming the Palestinians less than 30 minutes after the first aircraft hit the first tower. He received phone calls talking low in Hebrew and moved away from us.

    The next day we find out about what happen on West street,that men with middle eastern look,were filming the Twin Towers before the attack then after the aircraft’s hit they congratulated each other, dancing on the roof of a white van parked, not far away from the disaster.

    We, my gf and I, were standing exactly opposite lower east side Manhattan, near the Staten Island ferry terminal, with Jersey City on our left side.That is were the Israeli “art” students come from, through the tunnel into the West side and the area of the disaster.

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