Goodbye, Good Riddance

Cambridge, MA (24 May) -- Notorious war criminal Dan Halutz [dossier] completed his course in Harvard Business School's two-month Advanced Management Program (AMP) yesterday.

Halutz, former head of the Israeli military, orchestrated the indiscriminate bombing of Lebanon last summer, killing up to 1,200 civilians. Major human rights organizations condemned his policies as amounting to war crimes. It is not clear if Halutz managed to wow faculty and students at HBS with his tips on cluster bombing and how-to pep talks on strafing ambulances.

The Harvard-based Alliance for Justice in the Middle East (AJME) launched a public safety campaign last week to alert the community to Halutz's presence. AJME circulated mock WANTED posters for Halutz on campus and printed his likeness on helium balloons to help boost awareness.

As Halutz is a "flight risk," AJME has put up WANTED notices to warn travelers at Boston's Logan international airport and notified authorities there to keep their eyes peeled for the suspect.

AJME's efforts this past week were covered by international media and its website,, received over 12,000 unique visits in the first ten days.

The Halutz campaign is part of a broader effort by AJME to end Harvard's pattern of hiring and training known war criminals and human rights abusers, regardless of nationality. AJME's research over the past 1.5 years has revealed at least six individuals who had public records of personal or command responsibility for specific war crimes and human rights abuses before coming to Harvard. AJME welcomes any information about other Harvard-affiliated abusers who meet the same criteria.

Search for Halutz reaches new "heights"

Cambridge, MA (22 May) -- The ongoing campaign to alert the Harvard community to the presence of war criminal Dan Halutz [dossier] rose to new heights today, with activists fanning out across campus and distributing mock WANTED posters to concerned citizens, including some printed on helium balloons.

The Harvard-based Alliance for Justice in the Middle East (AJME) resorted to the use of helium balloons in the hopes that the added height would boost efforts to keep an eye out for the elusive war criminal. The posters call upon anyone finding Halutz to contact the International Criminal Court.

AJME launched its Halutz campaign last week as part of a larger effort to expose known war criminals and human rights abusers hired and trained by Harvard.

Halutz, a former head of the Israeli military, has presided over large-scale and systematic violations of international law in Lebanon, the West Bank, and Gaza. He is now
rubbing elbows with top CEOs and business leaders at one of HBS’ $56,000, two-month executive training programs.

The Harvard war criminals campaign has received international attention in the first week of its public launch, appearing in, Al Jazeera (English), Guardian Online, Hurriyet (Turkey), The News International (Pakistan), among others. Ma’ariv, one of Israel’s largest daily newspapers, featured the WANTED poster of Halutz prominently on its front page.

HBS Statement on Halutz

Below is Harvard Business School's response to media inquiries about its decision to train notorious war criminal Dan Halutz.

If you think that HBS should broaden its sources when evaluating applicants who are potential war criminals beyond the abusers' own employers -- say, to include reports by major human rights organizations -- please write in. Click here for some of the many letters that have already been sent.

From: James Aisner
Date: May 18, 2007 12:15 AM
Subject: HBS Statement

Daniel Halutz - formerly chief of the general staff of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) - participated this spring in Harvard Business School's 8-week Advanced Management Program (AMP) under the sponsorship of the IDF.

The purpose of AMP is to bring diverse groups of senior executives together to achieve a broader perspective on global strategic issues. In addition to drawing leaders from global business and industry, AMP has long attracted military leaders from the U.S. and other countries around the world.

As with similar programs at other business schools, all participants are sponsored at the most senior levels of their organizations. HBS relies on the information provided by and the judgment of these sponsoring organizations in accepting participants to its executive education programs.

Jim Aisner
Director of Media Relations
Harvard Business School
Boston, MA 02163

Looking for Halutz -- First 72 hours

Within its first 72 hours, AJME's campaign to alert the Harvard community to be on the lookout for the notorious war criminal Dan Halutz [dossier here] -- studying at Harvard Business School until 23 May -- has made headlines from London to Karachi. Our efforts have been covered by al-Jazeera English,, two of the leading pan-Arab dailies, and major national newspapers in Israel, Turkey, and Pakistan [see our press page for more], and our website has received thousands of visitors.

We've also posted a few of the many letters sent to Harvard administrators sharing our concerns and supporting our call for Harvard to end its practice of hiring and training known war criminals and human rights abusers.

In the meantime, we still need your help -- not just in exposing Halutz, but in spreading the word about our campaign and sending us any information on other war crimes or human rights abusers who have studied or worked at Harvard, regardless of nationality.

Halutz at Harvard!

Activists appeal to the community as to his whereabouts

CAMBRIDGE, MA (14 May) – Activists and community members will converge today at Harvard Business School (HBS) in search of notorious war criminal Dan Halutz [dossier], last spotted there attending an executive management course.

The Alliance for Justice in the Middle East (AJME), based at Harvard University,
will launch a weeklong search for the elusive Halutz, distributing WANTED posters, making inquiries, and soliciting the help of the campus community. The manhunt will also employ MISSING PERSONS milk cartons, helium balloons, and the Internet.

The search kicks off today at the Business
School. If Halutz is still missing after two days of vigorous searching, activists will reconverge at Harvard Yard on Wednesday, May 16 to declare him a fugitive from justice.

AJME hopes that this week's actions will alert the community to the presence of
this war criminal on the loose and lead to more information on his whereabouts.

A seasoned war criminal with a long record of human rights abuses in Lebanon,
the West Bank and Gaza, Halutz is now rubbing elbows with top CEOs and business leaders at HBS in an exclusive two-month, $56,000 executive training program.

Halutz, former chief of staff of the Israeli military, is reportedly hiding out at the
Business School, holed up in its luxury dormitory, McArthur Hall.

In the meantime, please take the time to write to Harvard administrators to express YOUR concern about the university's pattern of admitting and hiring war criminals and human rights abusers. Also be sure to ask if THEY have seen the elusive Dan Halutz and could help locate him!

Thank you for your support and remember to keep your eyes peeled!

Please address your correspondence to these administrators and cc messages to ajmeharvard at gmail dot com:

Ralph M. James
Executive Director, Executive Education
Harvard Business School

Phone: 1 617 495 6023

Harvard Business School
Glass Hall
660 Soldiers Field Rd
Boston MA 02163


Jay Light
Harvard Business School

Phone: 1 617 495 6550

Harvard Business School
Morgan Hall, Rm 125
15 Harvard Way
Boston MA 02163


Derek Bok
Interim President
Harvard University

Phone: 1 617 495 1502
Fax: 1 617 495 8550

Harvard University
Massachusetts Hall
Cambridge, MA 02138

Harvard: Haven for war criminals?

KSG Citizen, 8 November 2006

Harvard -- Haven for Suspected War Criminals?


A discussion with

Daniel Machover
partner, Hickman & Rose Solicitors

Thursday, October 19, 2006
06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
Wiener Auditorium, Taubman Building
Harvard Kennedy School of Government

In September 2005, a British court ordered the arrest of Doron Almog, a retired Israeli general and later a Kennedy School fellow, for war crimes in the Gaza Strip. Almog evaded capture at Heathrow airport and fled to Israel.

Under international law, suspected war criminals such as Almog should face justice, wherever the alleged offenses were committed. One of the lawyers in the case, Daniel Machover, describes the efforts to bring Almog and other suspected war criminals to justice in national courts of third party states.

Daniel Machover is a partner and head of the civil litigation department at Hickman & Rose, a leading criminal justice law firm in the UK. Machover specializes in international human rights law, civil actions against the Home Office and police and in representing bereaved families at inquests into deaths in custody. In 2001, he received the Margery Fry Award from the
Howard League for Penal Reform for 'ensuring the protection of prisoners through tenacious pursuit of legal remedies'. Machover is listed in Legal 500 as a leading individual in the field of Civil Liberties and Human Rights.

Sponsored by: Alliance for Justice in the Middle East, Palestine Awareness Committee (KSG), Justice for Palestine (HLS), Harvard Society of Arab Students.


Sabah (Turkey), 16 May 2007

The former Israeli Chief of the General Staff who resigned in January, Dan Halutz, will be attending Harvard for a two week course in business administration. But the students have covered the campus with posters stating "Wanted...War Criminal" to protest against the General.

The former Israeli Chief of the General Staff, Dan Halutz, was declared an "unwanted man" by Harvard Business School students. Last summer's Lebanon War, which caused hundreds of civilian casualties, led to the resignation of Halutz together with a large number of other generals as a result of tactical errors made during the war. Halutz, who left his position in January, will be receiving instruction in business administration at America's most prestigious university, Harvard, in a two-week management training course. The cost of his enrollment in a program that is attended by the world's leading CEO's and businessmen is known to be $56,000.


A group of students at Harvard who belong to an organization called the Association for Justice in the Middle East (AJME) have covered the walls of the university with posters that identify Dan Halutz as "Wanted." Members of AJME have indicated that they will spend one week searching for the general on campus and called on the entire university for assistance in finding him. Indicating that "Halutz is a war criminal for human rights violations committed
in Lebanon, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip," members of AJME have made public the dorm where the general will be staying and have called on others to help "Find Him." Suggesting that Halutz is in hiding, members of the organization have declared that they will organize a protest demonstration as soon as there is a sighting of the general on campus.

The Unwanted Man

Hurriyet (Turkey), 16 May 2007

Former Chief of General Staff Dan Halutz protested by Harvard Business School Students

Halutz, who was forced to resign on the grounds of tactical errors in the Lebanon War, which last summer caused hundreds of civilian deaths, will now join a program in Harvard, one of America's most prestigious universities, to receive an education in business.


An organization called the Union/Association for Justice in the Middle East (AJME) AJME, composed of a group of students enrolled in the university, prostested Halutz's arrival, hanging 'Wanted' signs for Halutz on the walls.

AJME, which cited Halutz as a war criminal due to human rights violations committed in Lebanon, the West Bank, and Gaza, provided the name of the dorm where the ex-Israeli general is staying and issued a call to "find him". Indicating that the general was in hiding, the group announced plans for future protest demonstrations.


A few of the many messages sent to protest Harvard's pattern of hiring and training known war criminals and human rights abusers.

Please cc any such correspondence to ajmeharvard at gmail dot com.

Dear President Bok,

As many scholars have demonstrated, the militarization of US universities grows more intense each year, including the vast and growing reliance on funding from the Department of Defense and the services and the support of ROTC and military industrial recruiters.

The escalation of this militarization by Harvard's choice to accept Dan Halutz into the Business school is offensive to the idea of the university. Legal scholars recognize what he did in Lebanon as deeply criminal.

I attach a copy of a photograph of Halutz' contribution to knowledge. It shows the village of Bint Jebel in southern Lebanon.

Catherine Lutz
(Harvard PhD, Social Anthropology, 1980)

Department of Anthropology and Watson Institute for International Studies
Brown University

Dear Mr. James,

I am writing to express my deep concern that the Harvard Business School would enroll Dan Halutz as a student. He is currently slated to be a student in your executive management short-course of May 2007. Mr. Halutz is a noted war criminal, responsible for the deaths of over 1000 Lebanese civilians during the Lebanon-Israel War of the Summer of 2006.

Dan Halutz was the head of the Israeli military in the Summer of 2006 in which capacity he personally orchestrated a policy of indiscriminate aerial bombardment that entailed widespread war crimes. Over 33 days, Israeli jets under his orders killed up to 1,200 Lebanese civilians and bombed houses, hospitals, ambulances, refineries, and roads. Some four thousand Lebanese were wounded and nearly a quarter of the country's four million people were driven from their homes. According to the Israeli government's own official inquiry Halutz's "personal involvement with decision making within the army and in coordination with the political echelon was dominant."

It is my sincere hope that such a prestigious institution as the Harvard Business School does not condone the type of atrocity that Mr. Halutz has perpetrated on the people of Lebanon. However, with your acceptance of him as a student on your management training program I fear you do just that.

The values that Mr. Halutz based his conduct of the Lebanon-Israel War of the Summer of 2006 were inhuman and immoral. They willfully disregarded international law and the rules of warfare. Under his leadership, armed force, including the use of cluster bombs which continue to maim and kill nearly one year after the end of the war, was used against unarmed civilians.

Please ensure that Mr. Halutz is not allowed to be a part of the Harvard Business School executive management course in which he is enrolled. Harvard should not be aiding the development of a known war criminal.

Paul Beran, PhD.
Research Affiliate
Middle East Center
Northeastern University
Boston, MA

Dear Harvard staff and Admistrators.

I have written to adress a serious issue with you.

My name is Rotem Dan Mor, and I am a 25 year old Jewish Israeli citizan. I am Also a longtime peace activist and conscientious objector, active in many groups and intiaives bringing together Palestinians and Israelis in a shared vision for a life of peace and Justice in this war-torn land of ours. I have recently been informed that Dan Halutz, former chief of Staff of our military is participating in a special training program at your school .

The military actions that Dan Halutz has preseided over over his many years as an army officer (such as "trageted" assasinations, house demolitions, closures, curfues, mass detention, aressts without tfair trial and many more) are no doubt war crimes of a grave nature. These violent acts against the palestinian people and young Israeli conscripts have put both Israelis and Palestinians in grave danger and have acted to greatly increase the terrible violence inflicting our country. I would suggest, then, that you make it clear to Mr. Halutz that he is not welcome in your institution until he has fully taken responsibility for his actions, apologised for the great pain they have caused many people and makes sure (to the best of his ability) that they never happen again.

Until then I suggest that you do not provide him with your facilities as I wuoldn't provide him with mine.

I hope that you will weigh my request seriously and respond to it positively. You have the chance to do a great deed to all the people of this land.

Yours Trully,

Dear Prof. James,

I am concerned to hear that the Harvard Business School is hosting Dan Halutz for its executive training program. The former Chief of Staff of the Israeli military, he was forced to resign this January because of his leading role in the war in Lebanon summer 2006. This saturation bombing resulted in the deaths of 1,400 Lebanese (the majority civilian) and 160 Israelis (the majority military). In his bombing, Halutz also targeted Lebanese civilian infrastructure, leveling major bridges and destroying civilian roads, power plants, and hospitals. On a personal level, this bombing resulted in the death of one of my friend's cousins, and destroyed a second friend's house.

Hosting a war criminal like Halutz is antithetical to the educational and moral rigor of Harvard University. He should be immediately expelled from the program and brought to trial for his violations of international law and crimes against humanity.

Best wishes,
Lora Gordon

Dear Messrs James, Bok, Light,

I am writing to express my profound opposition to Harvard's hospitality directed toward General Dan Halutz, who is now attending a two-month-long executive training seminar in the Harvard Business School. General Halutz is a seasoned war criminal, notable most recently for the 2006 Israeli assaults on Gaza and on Lebanon. He belongs in the Hague, in the dock; not in Cambridge, in the classroom. Please bring this travesty of justice and basic human decency to an end: include him out.

James Holstun
Professor of English
SUNY Buffalo

I am in receipt of the "Wanted for Crimes of War" poster, naming Dan Halutz as a war criminal. This is absolutely true. He was the architect and acted as General for Israel's brutal invasion of Lebanon in Aug. '06. More than 1,000 Lebanese were killed, and for what? It amazes me that Harvard would allow this sort of person as a "student" in your prestigious executive education program. It really devalues the program. I doubt that you would have allowed Augosto Pinochet the same "honour."-Given the Israeli Defence Force's (IDF) record in killing and maiming of thousands of Palestinians who live under illegal Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza, the comparison with Pinochet is not out of line.

I happen to be Jewish. So don't label this anti-semitism. My voice is critical of Israel's policies, pure and simple.

Dr Judith Haiven
Chair, Department of Management
Saint Mary's University
Halifax, NS

To whom it may concerns,

Harvard University built a legacy throughout its history for producing statesmen and leaders who contributed towards world peace and the advancement of our human society. General Halutz contribution to our humanity was more than 2 million cluster bombs that continue to kill
and maim thousands of innocent civilians in Lebanon as I write you this letter. The war criminal Halutz admitted last year that the use of the cluster bombs was wrong but that does not bring the dead children back and he was not held accountable for his crimes. The only thing that Halutz will contribute to Harvard is disgrace and humiliation for admitting a war criminal to its classrooms.

Harvard is home of the greats and it should remain so. Kick Halutz OUT

Riad Elsolh Hamad
Austin, Texas
Harvard parent 2003

Dear Mr. Bok, Mr. Light, and Mr. James:
Please accept this brief letter, sent with due respect for the complexity of your positions and anticipation of your understanding. I am sure you are aware of the current international campaign to publicize the presence of Dan Halutz and other proven human rights violators and war criminals at Harvard University, enjoying its esteem, resources, and facilities. As a former teacher at Harvard [Social Studies 1997-2002] and current scholar at Amherst College, I feel compelled in the name of our shared calling as educators concerned to protect the just conditions of human flourishing to urge you to reconsider the university policy that would permit such people to benefit from your reputation and hard work. Naturally, I would write with equal animation against any person from any country with such a record endangering the reputation of Harvard.

For more information about Halutz as well as other human rights abusers who have padded their resumes at Harvard, visit

Thank you,
Sayres Rudy

Visiting Professor
Amherst College

Dear Mr. James,

I recently returned from a visit to Lebanon where I saw first hand the tremendous damage inflicted by the Israeli air force last summer. Having seen the demolished villages, the bombed bridges and roads, and the fields full of cluster bombs, I was appalled to learn that the man responsible for the destruction of a country is now enrolled in your executive training program. When did the university become a haven for war criminals?

I urge you to take immediate steps to salvage Harvard's reputation and close your doors to such notorious human rights abusers.

Dr. Nancy Uhlar Murray
Harvard University '67

I have learnt that Harvard University has lent its vast prestige to Dan Halutz, who was responsible for the deaths of approximately 1400 Lebanese civilians and for the deliberate destruction of swathes of Lebanon's infrastructure, as well as the deliberate pollution of the Lebanese coastline by the bombing of an oil refinery, by accepting him on a prestigious course.

I am surprised that Harvard should be so careless of its reputation and would ask you to read the dossier on Halutz's activities at which gives full details of what he is responsible for. Perhaps you might then reconsider your misguided hospitality towards him.

Yours sincerely,
Sophie Richmond

"General Admission"

From The Economist (subscription required), 23 February 2007

Controversy is brewing at Harvard Business School over one of its alumni.Gabriel Ashkenazi graduated from HBS's eight-week-long Advanced Management Programme in 2004. Recently appointed head of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), General Ashkenazi has been accused by some on campus of overseeing human rights abuses during Israel's occupation of southern Lebanon. The general, who is portrayed as a moderate in Israel's press, has not been charged with wrongdoing in Israel or abroad. But that hasn't stopped activists from questioning HBR's admissions standards (the alleged abuses ccurred before Mr Ashkenazi came to Harvard).

The disagreement raises interesting questions over how schools make their admissions decisions. Sandy Kreisberg, an admissions consultant who follows HBS closely, thinks schools should avoid giving politically-motivated groups any sway over their decisions. "It would mean second-guessing military admits from scores of countries, including America," said Mr Reisberg.

Harvard's Ivy League rival, Yale University, provides a cautionary tale. The school faced an uproar last year when it was revealed that a former Taliban spokesman, Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, had been admitted to a non-degree programme. Conservatives in the Wall Street Journal and on cable news shows hauled Yale over the coals, and one alumnus launched a campaign to cut off donations to the school. In July 2006 Mr Rahmatullah's application to one of Yale's degree-granting programmes was ejected.

Noam Tibon

Master's in Public Administration (Wexner Fellowship), Kennedy School of Government, 2002

Colonization and its Discontents

Col. Noam Tibon was commander of Israeli forces in the West Bank city of Hebron from 1999 until June 2001. Tibon served as the chief local enforcer of a discriminatory regime that favored Israelis, and especially Jewish colonists, over Palestinian civilians. His forces fatally shot stone-throwing protesters, carried out punitive house demolitions, and imposed prolonged mass house arrests, while allowing Jewish colonists to rampage through the city, attacking Palestinians and internationals with impunity.

Separate and Unequal

For decades, Israel has colonized the territories occupied in 1967 with settlements reserved for Jews, a practice that is perennially condemned worldwide as a violation of international law. Israel's colonies underpin a separate-but-unequal system of laws and living conditions: 400,000 Jewish colonists enjoy the full rights and protections of Israeli law (half of them in east Jerusalem, whose annexation by Israel has not been recognized by any other country), while over 3 million Palestinians live under military rule.

Most West Bank colonies are built in open areas outside Palestinian cities. Hebron is an exception, and one which vividly illustrates the problems of Israel's colonization policy. The heart of the city, called "H2," is a 4.3 square-kilometer area home to 35,000 Palestinians who endure extraordinarily repressive conditions for the benefit of some 500 Jewish colonists. Colonists are sometimes armed and organized as de facto paramilitaries.

Hebron schoolchildren encounter checkpoints en route to school

Residents of H2 are confined to their homes by the army for much of the year (sometimes for days or weeks on end), destroying the local economy and making ordinary life impossible (curfews do not apply to colonists). Even when Palestinians can move about, they are left defenseless against violent colonists who are rarely, if ever, punished by Israeli authorities. Even international observers in Hebron are regularly stoned and harassed by colonists. These conditions have caused the flight of hundreds of Palestinians from the area in recent years.

Shuttered Palestinian shops in Hebron; a chainlink fence suspended between shop awnings catches garbage thrown down onto the street from Jewish colonists living above.

Colonist harassing a Palestinian family whose house is now encaged to "protect" it from attacks; note soldier stand idly by at left

Graffitti by Hebron colonists

More video of Hebron colonists available here. The conditions in Hebron were so oppressive that a number of soldiers who served there later published their testimonies of abuses they had witnessed or participated in.

Hebron under Tibon

Soon after the Palestinian uprising began in September 2000, protests erupted in Hebron that were met with deadly force by the Israeli army, and unrestrained mob violence by Jewish colonists. Human Rights Watch, which conducted field investigations in the city in November 2000 and February 2001 -- during Tibon's command -- issued a detailed report on the human rights situation in the city:

Our research found serious and extensive human rights abuses in Hebron district, including excessive use of force by IDF soldiers against unarmed Palestinian demonstrators; unlawful killings by IDF soldiers; unacknowledged assassinations of suspected Palestinian militants; attacks by Palestinian gunmen directed against Israeli civilians living in settlements and in circumstances that have placed Palestinian civilians at grave risk from Israeli response fire; disproportionate IDF gunfire in response to Palestinian attacks; extensive abuses by Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians and the lack of an IDF response to such abuses; and "closure" measures imposed by the IDF on the Palestinian community that amount to collective punishment. Both Israeli and Palestinian authorities have failed to take the necessary steps to stop the security forces under their control from committing abuses, and have also failed to adequately investigate and punish abuses committed by security forces and civilians in areas under their control.
A Palestinian youth in Hebron feeding birds on his rooftop, as seen through the scope of an Israeli sniper

The HRW report was published in April 2001 -- months before Tibon attended Harvard's Kennedy School of Government -- and was covered by the Washington Post (16 April) and the Independent (11 April), among other major media outlets.

One of the illegal practices documented by HRW was the indiscriminate use of heavy machine guns against Palestinian neighborhoods as retaliation for Palestinian attacks:

"IDF gunfire has caused extensive structural damage to hundreds of Palestinian homes in Hebron, and has resulted in civilian casualties. On many occasions, it appears that IDF soldiers responded with widespread gunfire into civilian neighborhoods, hitting dozens of homes at a time. The apparently untargeted nature of IDF gunfire and its civilian toll raises serious concerns that the IDF is firing indiscriminately, in violation of international humanitarian law standards." [emphasis added]
Several years later, while commanding Israeli forces in Nablus, Tibon demonstrated the same tactic of indiscriminate area fire to Time magazine:

"Tibon strides to an observation point and trains his binoculars on the ambush site. He's ordered retaliation on the area from which the Palestinian shots originated. The thumping reports of a tank machine gun crash around the valley. 'It's a punishment,' he says. 'Nobody's going to shoot at my soldiers and get away with it.' If the surrounding houses are damaged, Tibon believes that Palestinian residents will press the gunmen not to attack from there again." [emphasis added]
Such collective punishment of civilians by an occupying power is flatly prohibited by international law.

Tibon also failed in his duty to protect Palestinian civilians from Jewish colonists. He made his bias clear in an interview with Israeli media quoted by HRW:

"Let there be no mistake about it. I am not from the U.N. I am from the Israeli Defense Force. I did not come here to seek people to drink tea with, but first of all to ensure the security of the Jewish settlers."
Tibon's lax attitude towards colonists was apparent in hits description to parliamentarians of a riot as having been incited by colonists from outside the city:
"There are some forty people here. … We identified them and warned the heads of the Jewish community in Hebron not to be tolerant of them… We had information that something was about to occur. Unfortunately, they did not heed my advice and related to them compassionately, and what happened here this past week is extremely bad. They break into shops, plunder them, burn them. Things that are hard to believe."
The Israeli human rights group B'tselem slammed Tibon for acting as if he had no power over the matter:

"The brigade commander [Tibon] is sovereign in the area and therefore has the duty to protect the lives and property of the Palestinians there. By placing blame for the riots on the settler leadership in Hebron, who showed 'compassion' toward the rioters, he seeks to evade his responsibility for the acts of the settlers and to justify the army’s failure to protect the Palestinians."

After finishing at Harvard, Tibon has held a number of positions in the Israeli military, including head of the Nahal infantry brigade, head of personnel for the land forces command, and since 2006, commander of the West Bank division.

Yitzhak Eitan

Advanced Management Program, Harvard Business School, 2002

[under construction]

Doron Almog

[UPDATE: According to a recently released military police report, Almog attempted to block an Israeli military investigation into the killing of American Rachel Corrie by an Israeli military bulldozer in Gaza as it attempted to raze a Palestinian home]

Senior Fellow
, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Kennedy School of Government, 2004

Warrant issued for his arrest on suspicion of war crimes by the Chief London Magistrate, September 2005 (evaded arrest)

Mass House Demolitions

Maj. Gen. (res.) Doron Almog was head of the Israeli military's Southern Command from late 2000 to mid-2003, with overall responsibility for Israeli operations in the Gaza Strip.

Almog's forces committed widespread and systematic violations of international humanitarian law, including war crimes. Most notable was the systematic demolition of over 1,100 Palestinian homes in the Gaza Strip and the widespread razing of agricultural land, turning neighborhoods and fields into desolate moonscapes. Over ten thousand people lost their homes, many of them refugees displaced for a second or third time in their lives.

Half of the destroyed homes were in Rafah (above and below), a town and refugee camp on the Egyptian border home to 140,000 people.

In the interests of creating a depopulated "buffer zone" on the border to tighten Israel's control over the Gaza Strip, Almog's forces incrementally bulldozed swathes of Palestinian homes and shot at anyone seeking to return. Demolitions took place at night without any significant possibility for appeal or compensation. Homes were demolished in the dozens, destroyed first and foremost because of where they were, and not for who owned them or what they were actually used for.

Gaza's Bloody Frontiers

During the Oslo process (1993-2000), Israel reconfigured its occupation of the Gaza Strip from direct military rule and porous borders to facilitate exploitation of cheap Palestinian labor to instead emphasize hermetic sealing of the territory's land and sea borders (including with Egypt) indirect governance through the Palestinian National Authority, and gradual elimination of the use of Palestinian workers.

After the Palestinian uprising (Intifada) in late 2000, Almog decided to turn the borders of the Gaza Strip -- as well as any areas near Israeli settlements, military bases, and access roads -- into "buffer zones" cleansed of Palestinians and their homes and crops. According to The Forward, Almog described his actions to an audience at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (for which he later wrote a paper summarizing the same ideas), a Zionist think tank:
"Almog, who is regarded as a leading candidate for the army’s deputy chief of staff post, emphasized the importance of creating a buffer zone on the Palestinian side of the fence. On the Palestinian side of the Gaza fence, Israel created a strip three-fifths of a mile wide, which was bulldozed and declared a no-go area for Palestinians. Those who enter have been arrested or shot, often fatally." [emphasis added]
The majority of the demolitions took place on Gaza's border with Egypt, in Rafah. Almog insisted on the need to retain longterm Israeli control over the Gaza/Egypt border: "there is no alternative to a border regime that rests on forceful deterrence, active interdiction, and swift reprisal. And that means that there is no alternative to Israel's continuing presence at this crucial point on the regional map."

The early days of the Rafah buffer zone; note edge of border zone at top (2002)
Rafah two years later: Satellite map of destruction (light gray) and proposed additional demolition (dark gray)

The "buffer zone" concept, however, had one major problem: hundreds of thousands of Palestinians lived in the border areas of the Gaza Strip, simply because there was nowhere else to put them. The
Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated places on earth, crammed with over 1.4 million people, most of them refugees whose families were expelled from what is now Israel during the 1948 war. As the Israeli human rights group B'tselem pointed out in a February 2002 report on the impact of the demolitions:
"Israel calls this policy 'clearing,' a name that conceals the destructive and long-term consequences for the Palestinian residents in the Gaza Strip. Thousands of people have been made homeless and thousands have lost their sole source of income for many years to come. Israel caused this damage to people although it did not contend that they themselves were involved in attacks, or attempted attacks, against Israeli civilians or security forces."
Hasty implementation of the buffer zone policy would result in massive displacements, provoking international outrage; thus, it was necessary to carry out demolitions incrementally and to justify them as specific security- or combat-related measures rather than as parts of a larger policy.

The Test Case: Rafah, January 2002

The first major demolition operation in Rafah took place on the night of 10-11 January 2002, when armored Israeli bulldozers swept into the "Block O" neighborhood of the refugee camp, giving residents mere minutes to flee before destroying their homes. Amnesty International condemned the action as a war crime ("grave breach of international humanitarian law").

After an international and domestic outcry,
Almog held a press conference to defend the demolitions, claiming that "only" 21 houses were destroyed and that the area had been empty of people for months. According to field reports from the UN, the Israeli human rights group B'tselem, and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, the number of demolished homes was closer to 60 and were inhabited at the time. This was also apparent to journalists who witnessed civilians returning the next day to salvage their belongings, despite being in range of Israeli snipers patrolling the Gaza/Egypt border:

Block O, before and after the January 2002 demolitions [the yellow and red parallel lines indicate the Israeli patrol corridor on the border; below is Rafah, above is Egypt]

In addition to minimizing the impact of the demolitions, Almog
offered two justifications: the search for alleged smuggling tunnels that ran from Egypt to Rafah underneath the border, and the desire to give Israeli forces patrolling the border wider berth:
"The direct intentions of this operation were to weaken the fear of the existence of tunnels underneath the Termit [out]post [on the border], to create better observation territories for the forces and to limit the mobility of the terrorists who are trying to approach the road and injure IDF soldiers. The need to expose and to enlarge the IDF's area of activity of operations on the [border] became gr[e]ater since the beginning of the current events, there is no doubt about that, the question is concerning the timing. On the same Saturday [two days after the demolitions] a tunnel was found which proves operational necessity that exists there all the time...The main conclusion: operationally, the activity was carried out well" [emphasis added].
The real strategic logic at work, however, was better expressed by Almog's direct predecessor as head of Southern Command, recently retired Maj. Gen. Yom-Tov Samiya, who after the operation called for hundreds of additional demolitions:
The IDF has to pull down all the houses along a 300-400 meter strip. No matter what the final settlement will be in the future, that will be the border with Egypt. … Arafat should be punished and after every attack, two to three rows of houses should be demolished [emphasis added].
Samiya's statement aptly summarizes the 2002-2004 pattern of Rafah demolitions: a master vision, implemented incrementally so as to appear as a set of reactions to disparate events.

Collapsing the "Tunnel" Myth

For the next three years, Israeli forces would routinely raze blocks of houses ever deeper in Rafah and claim that these were the result of search-and-destroy missions aimed at tunnel exits. These claims were widely circulated in the international media with little question.

Interestingly, Almog's forces rarely if ever collapsed the tunnels themselves, instead simply demolishing the homes that allegedly covered tunnel entrances; this meant that anyone in a house nearby could connect to and reopen the tunnels with little difficulty, thus providing a justification for the next incursion. Block O was especially hard hit, with a new row of homes being demolished almost every month:
An Israeli outpost on the Gaza/Egypt border at Rafah; in the foreground is the rubble of demolished Block O homes. This picture was taken in 2002 from a home that was later destroyed in the expansion of the buffer zone.

In 2004, Human Rights Watch published an extensive study on the pattern and practice of mass home demolitions in Rafah and effectively discredited the tunnel excuse.

HRW demonstrated the implausibility of the tunnel excuse: The alleged smuggling tunnels had to run under the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, which remained under direct and exclusive Israeli military control (see graphic below for the Israeli government's depiction of the situation).

Yet according to leading U.S. military tunnel detection experts interviewed by HRW, given the soil conditions in Rafah, Israeli forces could use a variety of existing sensor technologies to detect and neutralize tunnels at the point where they cross the border, without the need to invade the camp and demolish homes, which would at most simply increase the length of the tunnels:
"There are no simple and comprehensively effective methods for detecting tunnels, but experts stressed that a combination of different techniques, many of which can compensate for each other’s shortcomings, should be effective, especially in a relatively small area where forces control and are familiar with the terrain. … Use of these geophysical techniques on the border could obviate the perceived need for incursions and the systematic destruction of civilian homes. …

Techniques have also been developed to neutralize tunnels once detected. Special mixes of cement injected at high pressure and controlled use of explosives can be used to neutralize tunnels while minimizing harm to structures on the surface. Generally speaking, smaller tunnels can be closed with less difficulty. No demolitions of structures were employed to close tunnels on the U.S.-Mexico border, even though some of the houses used were also densely clustered within meters of the border."
[emphasis added]
The Israeli military did not substantively comment on HRW's claims. Its refusal to use existing technology to detect tunnels underneath the border was later corroborated by a report in Ha'aretz:
"Six and a half years ago, three outstanding scientists from Ben-Gurion University, headed by Dr. Vladimir Fried, developed a system ("V-3") for detection of underground spaces - in other words, tunnels. In November 1998, an outside expert, a Technion scholar, carried out a test of the system on behalf of [Weapons Systems and Infrastructure Development Authority, WSIDA]. Despite the success of the test, the contacts with the authority broke off. A year later, the scientists reapproached, but the authority still wasn't answering the phone. ...

Fried and his colleagues, backed by geology professor Dov Bahat, did not give up. In late 2004, their proposal was submitted to WSIDA via [former general] Amiram Levin, who also happens to represent commercial interests. He spoke to Keren, who sent it to the limited conflict and war on terror branch. Nothing happened."
[emphasis added]
In light of these three elements -- 1. the non-relation between dealing with tunnels below the border and destroying houses across from it; 2. Israel's apparent refusal to use readily available tunnel detection technology; and 3. the expressed desire of numerous Israeli commanders working in Gaza (Almog, Ariel Sharon, Yom Tov Samiya, and Pinky Zuaretz) for an expanded buffer zone along the border -- the Israeli justifications for the Rafah demolitions crumble.

"There is no dispute that Palestinian armed groups use tunnels to smuggle arms for use in attacks against the Israeli military and civilians," HRW concluded. "But evidence strongly suggests the IDF is using their existence as a pretext to justify home demolitions and illegally expand the 'buffer zone.'"

From Fellow to Fugitive

Almog retired from the Israeli military in the summer of 2003, hoping to eventually seek promotion to become deputy chief of staff. Almog held visiting fellowships at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy while his successor as head of the Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Dan Harel, accelerated buffer zone demolitions. By the time the policy was suspended in late 2004, Israeli forces had destroyed 2,500 homes in the Gaza Strip since 2000. Nearly two-thirds of these homes were in Rafah, which lost fifteen percent of its built-up area; sixteen thousand of its residents were displaced.

On 11 September 2005, Almog landed at Heathrow airport and learned from Israeli diplomats that the Chief London Magistrate had on the previous day issued a warrant for his arrest on suspicion of war crimes in relation to the January 2002 demolitions in Rafah (see interview with Almog and the lawyer who filed the case). The Anti-Terrorist and War Crimes Unit of the Metropolian Police was waiting at the airport to execute the warrant, but did not enter Almog's airplane. On the advice of the diplomats, Almog remained on board as the jet refueled and returned to Israel.

Two members of Parliament condemned Almog's escape. Amnesty International also deplored the incident and echoed calls for an investigation:
"It is difficult to believe that the police would have refused to arrest a person who had arrived in the UK on board an airliner if that person was wanted for drug-trafficking or security offences, simply because they had not passed through UK border controls, if that meant they would otherwise evade arrest."
Although Almog escaped justice, his near-arrest raised fears amongst Israeli officers of similar prosecutions. On the advice of Israeli military lawyers, Gaza Division commander Brig. Gen. Aviv Kochavi (also a Harvard alumnus -- Kennedy School, MPA 1997), canceled his summer plans to study at the Royal College of Defence Studies in the UK. Until Israeli officers change their policies rather than their travel plans, however, they will continue to face efforts to bring them to account for their crimes.

Hector Gramajo

Master's in Public Administration (Mason Fellowship), Kennedy School of Government, 1991

Massacres, Torture, and Command Responsibility

Hector Gramajo Morales held a number of senior positions in the Guatemalan military and was Minister of Defense from 1987 to 1990. From 1982 to 1983 -- while Gramajo was ‎Army Vice Chief of Staff and director of the Army General Staff -- the Guatemalan military killed 75,000 people and destroyed some 440 villages in a massive counterinsurgency campaign directed primarily against the country's Mayan inhabitants.

Gramajo studied at the infamous "School of the Americas" (renamed the
Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation) at Fort Benning, Georgia in 1967, where the US government trained generations of Latin American military officers later associated with human rights abuses and dictatorships.

Apologists for the U.S.-backed genocidal dictatorship in Guatemala considered Gramajo a "moderating force" who scaled back the level of atrocities and supported a transition to civilian rule. As Gramajo infamously remarked in an interview while at Harvard:
"We have created a more humanitarian, less costly strategy, to be more compatible with the democratic system ... which provides development for 70 percent of the population while we kill 30 percent. Before, the strategy was to kill 100 percent." [1]
Or, as one U.S. government official put it: "Gramajo understands how we function. He's testified in front of Congress. He speaks good English." [2]

After stepping down as defense minister, Gramajo went to study at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government on a yearlong Mason fellowship while preparing to return home and launch a presidential campaign. He also gave a public address at the Kennedy School's Institute of Politics.

In June 1991, while heading to his commencement ceremony in academic robes, Gramajo was handed court papers informing him that he was being sued by eight Guatemalans for abuses perpetrated against them or their family members by forces under his command. Soon thereafter, the suit was combined with one brought by Sister Dianna Ortiz, an American nun who had been raped and tortured by Gramajo's forces filed a similar lawsuit. Both cases were filed under the Alien Tort Statute, which allows lawsuits in U.S. courts for some human rights violations committed abroad.

Gramajo did not contest the lawsuit and eventually left the United States. In April 1995, a federal judge in Boston ruled against him and awarded $47.5 million in damages to the plaintiffs.
Gramajo's bid for the presidency later that year failed. Gramajo never paid the award, nor did he ever return to the US, which revoked his entry visa.

On 12 March, 2004, Hector Gramajo died after being attacked on his farm by a swarm of "Africanized" bees.

[1] Jennifer Schirmer, "The Guatemalan military project: an interview with Gen. Hector Gramajo," Harvard International Review, Vol. 13, Issue 3 (Spring 1991).

[2] Michael Massing, "
A Harvard Man's Crimson Record: Why Is a Ruthless Guatemalan General Getting a JFK School Degree?" Washington Post, 2 June 1991.

Moshe Kaplinsky

Harvard Business School, expected in fall 2007

Cluster Bombs -- An Indiscriminate Weapon

On 8 August 2006, in a desperate last-minute move to avert defeat, Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, the head of the Israeli military, appointed his deputy, Maj. Gen. Moshe Kaplinsky as his "personal representative" on the northern front, "to coordinate land, sea, and air operations in Lebanon." The move effectively put Kaplinsky in charge of the war effort, sidelining Northern Command head Maj. Gen. Udi Adam (Adam resigned in disgrace after the war).

Under Kaplinsky's command, the Israeli military fired more than 3.5 million cluster bombs in the last three days of the war (90% of all the clusters used by Israel during the conflict). The clusters indiscriminately blanketed whole swathes of southern Lebanon even after Israel had agreed to withdraw from Lebanon under a UN cease-fire resolution. Up to one million bomblets did not explode but rather remain scattered in homes, fields, trees, and schools, waiting to be set off by anyone passing by.

The density of cluster bomb use in Lebanon in 2006 was unprecedented, rendering a quarter of the cultivatable land in southern Lebanon too dangerous to farm. As of 22 April 2007, 30 people were killed and 203 injured by cluster bombs left over from the war.

The Gift that Keeps on Killing

A worldwide movement has sprung up to restrict and eradicate the use of clusters as an inherently inhuman and gratuitously cruel weapon that causes superfluous harm and unnecessary suffering. A cluster bomb is essentially a bomb that, when detonated, scatters many tiny explosives ("bomblets" or "submunitions") over a large area that then explode in turn.

Unexploded cluster "submunition" in southern Lebanon

Cluster bombs are considered indiscriminate for two reasons: One, as dispersion weapons, they are inherently difficult to aim at specific targets and therefore more likely to hit civilians or civilian targets. When used in built-up or urban areas, they are almost inevitably indiscriminate. Two, many of the tiny bombs do not explode on impact (10-40%), but instead lurk unnoticed in homes, fields, streets, and schools until set off by someone who unknowingly comes by, even years later. The UN war crimes tribunal in the Hague has convicted defendants for the use of cluster bombs against civilian areas [full text].

In February, the Christian Science Monitor documented the case of a Lebanese farmer and his family afflicted by leftover clusters after the war:
"... Mohammed blames himself for picking up the small metal cylinder and putting it in his bag while cutting thyme in a field that had been marked with red and white warning tape.

Just after nightfall, with the house lit only by a few candles, his 4-year-old daughter Aya Zayoun found the cluster bomb in her father's bag outside. She took it inside to the living room and handed it to her older sister, Rasha, who thought it was a toy bell.

Then it exploded.

'[Mohammed] was ready to kill himself with the guilt,' says mother Alia Salman, who was struck with small pieces of shrapnel during the Jan. 5 incident. Son Qassem was hit, too, and 16-year-old Rasha lost her lower leg.

'It's a big shock for [Mohammed] to see his daughter without her leg. Every time he looks at her, his heart is bleeding,' says Mrs. Salman.

She says Rasha was 'like a genie, jumping around, strong and tough.' But now the mother's tears well when Rasha shows the bandaged stump; and Aya clings to her mother shyly, still smarting from being pointed out as 'the little girl who carried [the cluster bomb] inside.'"

Victim of a cluster bomb attack in Lebanon

Until an area is cleared of cluster bombs, it is unsafe for people to live, work, or farm. Yet cleaning up cluster bombs is expensive, difficult, and extremely time-consuming. In short, cluster bombs are inaccurate and unreliable weapons whose harm to civilians generally outweighs any potential military advantage -- especially in the case of Lebanon, where Israel knew that the war was over and had already agreed to withdraw its troops.

Kaplinsky in Command

Throughout most of the war, Israeli use of cluster bombs was fairly limited. Things radically towards the end of the war. Kaplinsky assumed command of the war effort on 8 August; two days later, the New York Times reported an urgent Israeli request to the U.S. for expedited delivery of M-26 artillery rockets armed with cluster bombs.

On 12 August, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert agreed that the ceasefire would begin on 14 August and that Israel would withdraw in accordance with a UN Security Council resolution. Yet Israel accelerated its military campaign, with largely disastrous results.

In the last 72 hours of the conflict -- until minutes before the ceasefire took effect on the morning of 14 August -- Israeli forces scattered up to 4 million cluster submunitions across at least 873 strike locations in southern Lebanon. Some 60% of the attacks were aimed at built-up areas, hitting 90 towns and villages. The number of clusters was more than that dropped by the US in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq (2003) combined -- in a far smaller geographical area.

The suddenness, scale, and intensity of cluster bomb usage greatly disturbed Israeli officers as well. One artillery commander, whose unit fired 1.2 million cluster submunitions, told a reporter, "What we did was insane and monstrous, we covered entire towns in cluster bombs." The same journalist interviewed a reservist identified as "S.":
"'Tell me, how do the villages there look? Are they all destroyed?' S. asked me after I told him that I was in contact with UN personnel who were patrolling the villages. What really made something inside S. snap was when his battalion was given an entire village as a target one night. He thinks it was Taibeh, a village in what is called the eastern sector, but he's not sure. The battalion commander assembled the men and told them that the whole village had been divided into parts and that each team was supposed to 'flood' its alloted space - without specific targets, simply to bombard the village." [emphasis added]
Senior UN humanitarian official David Shearer called Israel's cluster use "Outrageous because by that stage the conflict had been largely resolved in the form of Resolution 1701." "If cluster bombs were used in populated areas, this constitutes an indescribable crime," said Ran Cohen, a left-Zionist parliamentarian and reserve artillery officer. "The massive use by the IDF of cluster bombs during the war suggests an absolute loss of control and hysteria."

The Israeli military admitted to firing cluster bombs in civilian areas, claiming that some attacks had been against the orders of the general staff. An internal investigation into the matter was reportedly opened in November 2006. No findings have been announced.

It also appears that the Israeli military, for budgetary reasons, used older U.S.-made cluster bombs with higher "dud" rates than newer Israeli versions, and thus more dangerous to civilians. A secret U.S. State Department inquiry reportedly found that Israel's use of cluster bombs may have violated bilateral U.S.-Israel agreements.