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Aziz & Genetic Bioweapons

| 83 Comments | 3 TrackBacks

Aziz Poonawalla has earned a certain amount of respect in these circles, and we've been glad to link his works before. Recently, however, he stepped way, way off the deep end in a manner that recalls Armed Liberal's unsettling dinner conversation.

In an April 17th post about Israel's WMDs, Aziz asserted that Israel is trying to build "a bioweapon targeted at Arabs which would leave Jews unaffected." Um, Aziz... a significant proportion of the Jews in Israel ARE ethnic Arabs. They fled there from Iraq, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, and other countries where their families had lived for many hundreds of years.

In case you hadn't noticed, Aziz, "Jew" is not an identifiable race. There are Caucasian and Negro Jews, Indian, Arab and Hispanic Jews. Some are born into the religion. Some covert. It's like any other religion, really. Including yours.

<sarcasm>In related news, Pakistan is building a bioweapon that targets people of Indian anscestry, but leaves Muslims unaffected. It's expected to be an even bigger success than their Super Boomerang Bomb.</sarcasm>
It's bad enough to post such transparently false and hateful tripe. It's worse to defend it, which is exactly what Aziz proceeds to do in his comments section. Nor has he retracted this statement when confronted with the obvious. Indeed, a week later he's still promoting that post.

E. Nough has a fine Fisking that builds on his remarks in Aziz's comments section (April 19, 2003: Blogger's archiving is broken) - but that's no longer the issue. The issue is now Aziz Poonawalla's credibility, in the face of a piece that can best be described as an updated "blood libel" for the 21st century.

Aziz? Your window to do the right thing here is closing fast....

ROUND 2: Aziz responds...

"Do I fear a Israeli WMG? no. even if they had one, I doubt it woudl be much of a threat to the world (i dont lose much sleep over the US nuclear arsenal either). But given the unique history of teh Jewish people, mere consideration of the idea is monstrous and I am disappointed that amongst all the critiques I have earned for my post, a denunciation of the concept has not been consistently put forth. "
I appreciate his response at Unmedia, which goes beyond just this quote and is quite gracious in places. The wider issues Aziz raises re: WMD in the Middle East do deserve a reply in another post.

Re: this specific charge:

Yes, Aziz, the concept of genetic bioweapons is morally monstrous in a way that goes beyond any other kind of weapon I can imagine. Regardless of one's history or lack thereof. Then again, a nova bomb powered by an overloaded warp-drive core and meant to wipe out the entire planet is also monstrous. Neither is a plausible research subject right now for the Israelis. The similar ethnicities, family intertwinings (which you'd have to have fully mapped to understand, and no one does), tendency of genes to operate as combinations as well as distinct entitites (so, what mind-boggling number are we dealing with now?) and potential side-effects in untargeted but similar genetic populations... no, I'm pretty confident this is still a complete technicolour fantasy. It certainly makes no logical sense in this case - aside from Israeli Jews being about 40% Arab, E. Nough has noted that even unimaginable success would be a suicide key of its own. Like I said, utterly illogical on any level. Part of my irritation here is that Aziz should know better.

My other problem is the logical consequences of this particular lie if believed.

Let's take the recent Iraq debate, and the argument that even the potential threat of WMD in the hands of an enemy who might be tempted to use it covertly is too much. It doesn't matter if he's threatening us directly now, we aren't safe until he's gone. Now remove all issues around the silliness of the "Jew-safe genetic bioweapons" meme, and note what this lie legitimizes: That peace with Israel is a dangerous illusion for any Arab, because as long as it exists every Arab is ly in danger from covert, deniable acts that attract no international consequences.

The only logical protection is to wipe out the imaginary program's sponsors, and in the Middle East that doesn't just mean the Israeli state - that means Israeli JEWS. Just as it did in the Middle Ages, when thousands and thousands of Jews died thanks to a similar meme that their witchcraft (update to genetic engineering) caused the Black Plague (update to disease that targets Arabs, or even starts in Arab countries). You may not like the "blood libel" charge - but the allegations you're making fit an ugly pattern.

What you published, Aziz, is not so much a cry against genocide as a legitimation of it in "self-defense." You didn't mean to do it - but that's the practical effect.

For the record, I do not believe Aziz hates Jews. Those who originated and propagated this nasty little meme do, however, and Aziz is still helping it spread. Allegations that a black man raped a white woman were possible in the pre-Civil war U.S. South - after all, they might be true. But the consequences of making and spreading such an allegation (lynchings) force good and sensible people not to make such allegations casually lest they promote something monstrous.

The same dynamic applies here.


ROUNDS 3+: See the Comments section for subsequent debates - Aziz and I have largely had it out there, rather than in duelling blogposts.

SCIENCE & ENGINEERING BREAK: The good folks at GeneXP think this might be possible someday as a matter of theoretical genetics, though the comments on our blog note that there are a host of "don't even think about it" issues before even a possible angle could be non-insane as a deployed weapon.

The folks at Trash Talk are less optimisitic; the moderator also refers to "the last time we discussed this myth".

Reader Jeff points us at an article indicating that describing both Jews and Arabs as "children of Abraham" is genetically true, even at the Y chromosone level and even for European Jews.

OTHER BLOGS: Judith Weiss' ultimate summary of this entire discussion, with link to all players.

"Conspiracy and Truth Week" pretty much sums up our bottom line response here at Winds of Change.NET. Celeste Bilby also has an interesting post about "The Difficulty In Combatting Big Lies" - this incident reminded her of a similar tinfoil-hat conspiracy theory that the CIA was responsible for the spread of crack cocaine in Watts, L.A.

3 TrackBacks

Tracked: April 24, 2003 8:42 PM
SARS & Genetic Bombs from Gene Expression
Excerpt: OK, away from the race-wars, toward some health/genetics related topics. Randall Parker has another SARS post up. I've basically started ignoring most analytical SARS stories and just bug Randall to post on it ;) Also-Aziz Poonwalla emailed about a con...
Tracked: April 24, 2003 9:27 PM
Excerpt: Got a note to check out something on Joe Katzman's site. Apparently, he thought he had found a butterly of reason out there in the Arabic Wild, but instead it's turned into a libel-repeating vermin. So he's spiked it to...
Tracked: April 25, 2003 7:01 AM
Excerpt: There is a sucker born every minute. Joe Katzman discusses the latest sucker, and his ridiculous theory....


Joe, thanks for the link. I added a few choice thoughts.

I'm going to indulge in a brief racist moment which is very unlike me, but it's late: I sometimes wonder if there is an Arab gene which predisposes one to utter credulity in the face of really dumb conspiracy theories. If so, the Jews could indeed distinguish between themselves and the arabs genetically, because we sure don't have that one.

Well, it's a fantasy. Some of us believe the Lubovitcher rebbe is the messiah, so obviously we have credulity genes too. Darn.

Okay, back to your regularly scheduled programming.

There is a pretty widespread confusion around the Arab Middle East revolving around the issue of social community and the implications of the concept of the Ummah. It's my impression that this confusion was deliberately seeded and encouraged by the Nazi refugees who settled into the region. He doesn't explain how the weapon will address the Arabs who are Druse, Bahai, Syrian Orthodox, Coptic Christian, Samaritan, etc. This stems from the Nazis designating the Jehovah Witnesses a genetic grouping with their peculiar circular argument. I start getting a headache from this.

Hey, Aziz dear, someone's been pulling your leg and filling your head with nonsense.

Rediculous beyond rediculousness. The diaspora and countless conversions make any genetic distinction between "Jews" and "non-Jews" nigh unto useless. Especially considering that the bigest enemy of the Jews (and of Israel) are arabs, and Jews are essentially genetically identical to them. It's no mere coincidence that the term "semetic" applies to many non-Jews as well as Jews.

Hi friends,

in my defense, I did not say I absolutely believed that Israel is currently manufacturing "WMG". But i do believe that it isnt entirely outside the bounds of possibility that Israel is researching them. They may well turn out to be impossible, but using mitochondrial DNA I could in theory design a genetic weapon that kills only my own imediate family. That's far more specific than the Jew-Arab genetic similarity. So such a weapon is indeed possible.

Forget if its possible. The issue I raised in my post is, why would Israel even consider it? Im not convinced 100% but I do think there is a high probabilty that it has been considered.

Do I fear a Israeli WMG? no. even if they had one, I doubt it woudl be much of a threat to teh world (i dont lose much sleep over the US nuclear arsenal either). But given the unique history of teh Jewish people, mere consideration of the idea is monstrous and I am disappointed that amongst all eth critiques I have earned for my post, a denunciation of the concept has not been consistently put forth.

I agree that WMG are very difficult. I dont agree they are impossible. DO you agree that it's monstrous? if so, then we seem to be at again a respectful detent. The implication of this WoF change post unfortunately is that I have an anti-semitic tendency which is indeed libel.

I mean no disrespect and I hold all of you in the highest regard.

The issue I raised in my post is, why would Israel even consider it?

Oh, perhaps the fact that they're surrounded by sick, delusional barbarians, all of whom happen to belong to more or less the same ethnic group.

Something like that.

I somehow doubt that the IDF is willing to invest money in researching the obviously impossible, however... not to mention the fact that Israel has no interest in genocide.

What proof is there that Israel is even considering such a weapon? Is it table talk in the government? The Israeli street? Idle speculation in Israel? What?

Second question. Has any money been invested in the project or is it just a dream?

They may well turn out to be impossible, but using mitochondrial DNA I could in theory design a genetic weapon that kills only my own imediate family. That's far more specific than the Jew-Arab genetic similarity. So such a weapon is indeed possible.

This is a non-sequitir, Aziz. There's no way to go from that extremely specific difference to a more general one that picks out "Arab" vs "Jew" -- especially given the numbers of Arab Jews. There is no genetic change whatsoever when one converts to Judaism.

Imagine a pair of identical twins, born to an Arab mother. One grows up and becomes a Jew; the other grows up to be a Muslim. There is no genetic difference between the two (identical twins are generated from the same egg and the same sperm, and thus are identical genetically), and thus no way for a biological weapon to target one and miss the other.

While there will be some slight differences between two unrelated Arabs, none of those differences will allow you to determine the person's religion. There is simply no way to use genetics to determine that -- and Judaism is not a racial makeup or a genetic grouping, it's a religion (and culture).

This particular attempt to envision a Passover for the 21st century doesn't do much except display a sad lack of understanding of genetics, I'm afraid.

What proof is there that Israel is even considering such a weapon? Is it table talk in the government?

None whatsoever. That's why Aziz's position is so shameful.

Aziz -

What would be a productive addition to the discussion would be some direct research on the issue of "Are the Israelis trying to do ______" beyond recycling a 1998 article that was never picked up, expanded, or verified in any way. That one article has served at the root 'fact' to support a hundred thousand or so citations, and the fact that we're even discussing it would be somewhat amusing to me were the subject not so serious.

Rumors aren't facts; they may lead you to them, but it's damn dangerous to act like they were.


AL< youre right, the issue isnt enough to base an entire topic of disucssion on. In fact, I didnt - if you look at my original post, youll see that it was in the context of broader questions about WMD in the Middle east. I've replied to this oF post on my blog and there I have re-raised the actual points i was trying to to make. I regret bringing up WMG at all.

Given that you are interested in a debate on issues of real substance rather than (what I agree with you as) the fallacious issue of WMG, would you address those questions?

and perhaps even more alarmingly, Israel has been developing what can only be called a Weapon of Mass Genocide (WMG) - a bioweapon targeted at Arabs which would leave Jews unaffected:

Aziz, the above is a direct quote from the referenced post, currently in contention. You now say that the issue of Weapons of Mass Genocide is "fallacious."


How can you call "fallacious" what you flat out stated in your post that Israel IS developing these weapons?

First I want an answer on that, then I will get to other issues about Joe's post, and some of the comments here, that bother me.

But first I want Aziz to respond to me.


Here's a proposal (I'm out the door to my friend's funeral, so it will have to wait until the weekend): If, as you say, you agree that the WMG issue is fallacious, I think a lot of the pressure would come off of you if you'd take that position publicly on your site. I'm interested in exploring the issue of Israel's WMD and WMD in the Middle East in general, and would be happy to have a dialog site-to-site with you on that. My own thoughts and feelings are somewhat clouded on the issue, and so it's probably a good thing to have to write about.


That seems fair, Diana/AL. I wasnt careful enough. Ive uopdated the original post and documented the change.

clarification - I meant that the assertion that Israel HAS a WMG is fallacious. I agree that WMG are very difficult. I dont agree they are impossible. Therefore I do take teh Wired story seriously.

Ive updated the original WMG/WMD in teh ME post and also the response post to this WoF post.

one more coment:

"Imagine a pair of identical twins, born to an Arab mother. One grows up and becomes a Jew; the other grows up to be a Muslim. There is no genetic difference between the two (identical twins are generated from the same egg and the same sperm, and thus are identical genetically), and thus no way for a biological weapon to target one and miss the other."

true. Whats th erelevance? a WMG woudl target ethnicity but be deployed regionally. If the Jewsish Arab lives next door to his Muslim Arab brother in Damascus, he's dead.

If he lives in Tel Aviv, he's fine. Your argument applies equally well to nukes.

When I first read this I thought it might be a lampoon. I love the html tags . Then I wondered if someone dreamed this up over passover, blood of the lamb on the door post, etc. The idea that it might be achievable is mind numbing. Look at what happens in an enviornment where one variable is removed, like you wipe out all the grass hoppers, bam, the whole food chain gets skewed. Imagine if you wipe out an entire gene pool. If you take it far enough the humans that were left could become a master race of raving inbred lunatics.

No, this won't do at all, Aziz.

Your clarification:

UPDATE: I did not intend to assert unequivocally that Israel IS developing WMG. As such I changed the text above to "Israel may be developing" instead of what ot previously read, "Israel has been developing". Despite arguments by Joe and others, such a weapon is scientifically possible, by exploiting mitochondrial DNA.

First of all Aziz did say that Israel IS developing WMG, and then only after being sharply outed, he smoothly segued into saying that it's "fallacious." But that's history.

Now Aziz says that it isn't "fallacious," it's "may be," in other words, it is a possibility.

I'll repeat for those hard of hearing, if something is fallacious, it can't be possible.

If Israel "may be" developing WMG, then it's not fallacious.

Which is it, Aziz?

I'll get to whether developing WMG is scientifically possible later. But first I want Aziz to tell us whether Israel

1. May be developing WMG = possible
2. Is not = fallacious
3. Is

Take it away Aziz.

I've read Aziz's changes on his blog. It's a distinction without a difference. It boils down to: "I can't prove Israel is developing these weapons, but such weapons are possible and they may be."

To which my response is: Saying "Israel MAY BE..." instead of "Israel is..." constitutes the exact same kind of incitement, with the exact same practical and moral consequences. And no, it's not possible. The "mitochondrial DNA" argument does not make the weapon Aziz describes any more achievable.

Family/descent intertwinings (sometimes over improbable distances and apparently dissimlar peoples), the complexity of genes that work via multiple-set interactions, the stage we're at in our understanding of genetics, all say this is lunacy even if someone is immoral enough to want it. Then consider the testing problems to ensure that such a weapon doesn't end up being equally effective as an agent or catalyst against, say, the Chinese for unforseen reasons. Or that it won't mutate into a closely related strain whose "targeting" then widens.

Consider what you're describing, Aziz. Now consider the tests that have to be done to declare something as straightforward as Prozac "safe." Genetic bombs (if they were possible at all) are not something one can afford to make mistakes with.

Just one more nail in the coffin that says "this is complete bull - it doesn't make any sense, on any level. Not scientific sense, not engineering sense, not strategic sense." We already know it doesn't make moral sense... the problem, Aziz, is that you continue to treat it as TRUE.

What I want from Aziz is simple: acknowledgement that an "anti-Arab genetic bomb that somehow spares Jews" is a lie with real and serious consequences.

Without that, I don't see much more debate about this or other issues in future.


I agree with the vast majority of the posters here who believe this is nonsense, but I like underdogs, and I'm an engineer.

How could a WMG be made to work? You genetics folks help me out here...

Let's say the Isrealis use recombinant DNA to modify THEIR DNA (pick a 'nonsense' section of a gene and use it as a flag), and implement this change via a national program of innoculation (Jews only, please!).

THEN they target the weapon to a specific cluster of genes present only in a particular population group (e.g. mostly Arabic populations). This sort of concept was explored in Herbert's "The White Plague". Not sure how possible it might be, even in the future. For our little tin-foil-hat exploration here, we'll say it is.

THEN they can safely release the weapon - regionally - confidant that it will only kill those who are Arabic and who HAVEN'T had the little 'flag' set via innoculation. Would they care if it hit Arabs in other nations? No. They're inhuman monsters, after all. (Which explains why they keep winning all those wars. They're fiends.)

Boy, that'd be an insane amount of work and research. And, of course, completely against everything basic to Judaism, but what the heck!

It seems POSSIBLE to me. Complex as hell, completely 'round the bend, and contrary to everything they believe in, but POSSIBLE. So, Aziz's statement would be correct, no?


DAVE: "If you take it far enough the humans that were left could become a master race of raving inbred lunatics."

Dave, some people would say your description applies to the human race right now. After participating in this debate, it's hard for me to argue.

"an anti-Arab genetic bomb that somehow spares Jews"

is impossible. Obviously!

A weapon that targets genetic characteristics of specific Arab tribes (excluding those tribes that form the bulk of the Jewish people through lineage, not conversion) is possible. Mitochondria.

Diana, I cant satisfy you as long as you feel that any suggestion of Israeli coimplicity in development of WMG is itself a smear. Thats too close to "dare to criticize Israel, you're an anti-Semite" for my taste. Respectfully, I choose to interpret your position as implying teh moral outrage I was calling for - clearly you wouldnt be so upset at the suggestion if you didnt also agree with me that the concept is monstrous.

I've done my best to respond, and I'm getting pulled in deeper. If you want to claim I havent addressed your issue, and on that basis ignore the broader questions about WMD in the middle east (and Israeli weapon sales to China) then thats fine, you can address or ignore topics as you choose. I claim teh same right and am withdrawing from further commentary on this topic. I'l be glad to discuss it further on UNMEDIA's comments boards but this is turning into a lynch atmosphere.

Orion - Sorry, we will not so assume. If you're going to make an argument that legitimizes genocide - and Aziz has - you'd better be prepared to prove at least its plausibility at every single step. Including the required non-engineering levels. See my post above, and note that your response assumes the most crucial item in contention:

"This sort of concept was explored in Herbert's "The White Plague". Not sure how possible it might be, even in the future. For our little tin-foil-hat exploration here, we'll say it is."

No, we won't. Nor will we assume that a nation-wide vaccination program could be conducted without tipping off the entire world, thereby bringing potential destruction on the state more surely. Or that your marker will copy faithfully. Or that it won't spread across international borders, as SARS and so many other diseases have. Or that mutations or unexpected side effects wouldn't give it traction in other regions (doesn't Europe have a large Arab population, some of whom have married Caucasians?) and so constitute a mass-destruction biowar attack on powers that have or could quickly make nuclear weapons.

THIS WHOLE IDEA IS INSANE ON EVERY LEVEL. I think the case for that is strong, even in the absence of moral restraints. Promoting this idea and legitimizing it, legitimaizes mass violence and genocide. To do so without strong backup, both factual and scientific, is more than just irresponsible.

i take that back, it was a dumb thing to write. this isnt a lynch atmosphere, its sincere. But it still is proceeding on assumptions I dont share, and I am being vilified for not sharing those assumptions. Ive explained myself sufficiently.

Aziz has started a pretty good series on Israel's weapons of mass destruction. A topic that deserves greater attention in the Unites States, for a variety of reasons.

His Genetic bomb suggestion is a misstep. He's fixed it by admitting he has no proof to back it up. He declines to say it is impossible.

(Over at GNXP, one of Diane's blogs, they may agree that a genetic bomb that spares Jews is --in large part -- possible. Genetic differences between Jews and non-Jews are often discussed on GNXP, and if Diane is really interested in the facts of this issue, she can raise the subject on that blog, where it can be discussed considerably more knowledgeably than on If she's not interested, she can drop the topic.)

Meanwhile, Joe Katzman accuses Aziz of "blood libel", and pretty much drops the rhetorical weapon of mass destruction, an accusation of anti-Semitism (Jew hatred).

Total overreaction? -- yep. Joe hs been reading Aziz for ages. He knows Aziz, and what Aziz beleives in.

Beyond that, more offensive things are peddled daily in the blogosphere. It is a little bizarre that Joe, a blogger who links to LGF (the home of the pur et dur hatelovers) is upset about a possible incitement! If Joe really cared about incitement to hate, would he link to LGF?

So why not get those chips off you freakin shoulders (more than chips, they are giant logs), and kiss and make up. Discuss what Aziz is talking about. Israeli WMDs.

Or else go ahead and repeatedly pummel Aziz for a few lines in his blog, while ignoring the larger he raises because they don't fit the usual warblog hobbyhorses. Showing that, despite the power of blogs to illuminate and discuss real ideas, they are more often used to berate other bloggers for imagined slights. Brilliant.

No, you haven't.

And even if this insane charge had any kind of substance whatsoever, you're forgetting something extremely important: The use of such a weapon goes against all the tenets of Judaism.

If the Israelis were the barbarians that so many accuse them of being, they would have thrown out their Arab population in 1948, and then again in 1967, and Israel would now be the Greater Palestine everyone accuses her of wanting to be.

You aren't being "vilified," Aziz. You are making some pretty serious charges, and being called on them. That's known as calling your bluff in poker terms.

And you have been shown to have nothing in your hand.

Instead of making WMG, Israeli scientists are finding cures for Parkinson's. Oh, how horrible, set up a war crimes tribunal right now!

There will be more on my website about this. Except I think my temper won't be holding back so much.

Diana, I cant satisfy you as long as you feel that any suggestion of Israeli coimplicity in development of WMG is itself a smear.

That's not my question. First answer my question: is the Israeli WMG program "fallacious" or not?

Thats too close to "dare to criticize Israel, you're an anti-Semite" for my taste.

Here, Aziz gets the opportunity to insert his favorite bogus meme. Which has nothing to do with the issue at hand. I won't be distracted.

First answer my question: is the Israeli WMG program "fallacious" or not?

Respectfully, I choose to interpret your position as implying teh moral outrage I was calling for - clearly you wouldnt be so upset at the suggestion if you didnt also agree with me that the concept is monstrous.

Respectfully, I choose to interpret this verbiage as an evasion.

First answer my question: is the Israeli WMG program "fallacious" or not?

I defy anyone to read my comments here and say that I am out to lynch anyone.

I simply want Aziz to tell us whether he thinks that an Israeli program of WMG is "fallacious", or "possible." That's a pretty simple thing to do, I should think.

His response to this has been obfuscation, defensiveness, and hysteria.

Now, Ikram Saeed. What gives you the right to say to us that we have chips on our shoulders for merely questioning what is at this point a baseless and scurrilous lie?

This is not my blog, but as long as I refrain from obscenity or personal attacks, I have the right to ask that and I will ask it: What gives you the freakin' right to question anyone's right to ask Aziz Poonawalla questions about these baseless and scurrilous charges??

Everybody, take a look at the trajectory of this discussion, and see if it doesn't follow a well-worth path between Jews and Jew-haters. (I don't even use the word anti-Semites anymore, it's lost its sting.)

First the anti-Semites make wild, vicious and violent charges. The Jews respond. The anti-Semites follow up by pretending to be the soul of sweet reason and accusing the Jews of hyperemotionalism and defensiveness.

Then the Jew-haters follow the upper cut with the left hook: more vilification in the form of high-dudgeon "how dare you accuse me of....chip on your shoulder....I am only exercising free speech..."

Yadda, yadda. Meanwhile, the lie runs around the world on its little legs, and no one can trace the source.

We responded to something that Aziz Poonawalla said here with reason, logic and evidence. He couldn't stand up to it. You accuse us of having chips on our shoulders because we dare to fight back.

Well, too bad. Deal with it.

For the first time in 2,000 years, Jews are fighting back. With words, mostly. But if necessary, with weapons. If you can't take it, that's your problem.

Meanwhile, I do so wish we'd go back to the main issue here.

Is the Israeli WMG program "fallacious" or not?

Ikram, I am no longer posting on GNXP, or anywhere else for that matter.

If you are so interested in the issue of whether genetic bombs are possible, ask 'em yourself. That's not the issue that I'm trying to nail down.

The issue is whether Israel is actively engaged in a gene bomb program. Is there any credible evidence for it, other than a couple of poorly-sourced 1998 articles? Further, the issue is whether Aziz believes this program is a reality, or whether he believes it is fallacious. It can't be both, and he refuses to say which he believes in.

As for chips on shoulders, let's make a deal. You get rid of yours, and I'll get rid of mine.

is the Israeli WMG program "fallacious" or not?

Ironically, the question (as asked) implies the WMG program exists :) This might be analogous to what Joe was getting at with the "have you stopped beating your wofe?" analogy.

IF Israel has a WMG program, then i dont know about it, and so I cant call it fallacious. If Israel doesn't have a WMG program, then it clearly is fallacious.

MY post was about - could Israel have a WMG program? MY feeling is, its not impossible.

DOES Israel have a WMG program? My opinion is that no, it doesnt. Thats why I consider anyone who asserts categorically that Israel HAs a WMG program to be "fallacious".

"is the Israeli WMG program "fallacious" or not? "

if you mean, "Is the suggestion that Israel HAS a WMG program, fallacious?" then Yes.

if you mean, "Is the suggestion that Israel has researched a WMG program, fallacious?" then No.

AP: "if you mean, "Is the suggestion that Israel HAS a WMG program, fallacious?" then Yes."

That may be what you mean to say, but it's abolutely not what comes through on your site, Aziz.

Diane -- You say "[aziz] response to this has been obfuscation, defensiveness, and hysteria"

Then you (effectively) call me and Aziz Jew haters! And say "You accuse us of having chips on our shoulders because we dare to fight back." There's plenty of hysteria to go around here Diane.

(And what's with the 'Dare to fight back'? What are you talking about? Nuclear weapons or a silly tiff on a blog? Israeli WMDs or yourself as avatar of world Jewry!? Read your 6:57 post again, Diane. It's totally over the top.)

(Let's cool down. Like Leon Weiselter said in TNR -- Hitler is Dead. And if he were alive -- he wouldn't be a med student in Chicago (Aziz)! )

I accuse you (and Joe Katzman) of having chips on your shoulders because you are raising small matters into big ones, and seem to be driving yourself into a frenzy because of it. What ought to have been a small correction of Aziz' post has turned into an accusation of blood libel and anti-semitism. Come on.

Aziz, I object to the use of "Israel." It seemed clear to me that this was all started by a specific and palpable "Joe Shmo."

And this is all pure feenjahn. That's all it is. Some Joe Shmo was spinning this feenjahn for his own reasons-- usually feenjahn is just for entertainment around the campfire in the remote outback. Maybe Joe Shmo is mischievous. Or maybe he thought this would be a cute 'psych-ops' to worry superstitious people. Anyway, Joe Shmo is just blowing smoke through his hookah. It's all just pure feenjahn.

You want me to say that genocide is monstrous? O.k. Genocide is monstrous. But this is all just pure feenjahn, so, to begin with, I couldn't take it seriously.

By the way, what would you propose should be done with the Arabs who are not Moslems? Oh, them. Yes, how inconvenient that there are some Arabs who are nonconformists. Actually, I would be more worried about their fate. And it seems to me that they are in more danger from other Arabs than from Jews. Granted, I could be wrong about this.

So, you agree with the Nazis that the Jehovah Witnesses are some kind of genetic group. And if they all sign up for special vacinations, they could eliminate all the other religions and rule the world. But how much do you worry about this? I hope you don't waste too much of your precious time on this scenario either.

Sending good vibrations to you :-)


Yes, I did call you and Aziz Jew haters. And here's why.

First, Aziz. He has charged Israel with surreptitiously engaging in a monstrous program of potential genocide, with no evidence. Gallingly, he has combined this with an unctuous lecture to Jews not to do this given the circumstances of Jewish history.

Witnesseth: he throws our history in our face, and accuses us of potentially doing what has been done to us, when there is no evidence that we are doing this.

If that's not Jew-hatred, what is?

I consider Aziz's explanation of what is fallacious and what is possible to be the final nail in the coffin of his reputation as a reasonable person. He's just drowning in his own evasions. I'm not going to respond to it.

I don't consider the essence of racism or Jew-hatred to be actual physical violence against the hated group, although both hatreds virtually always end up in a violent spasm.

Racism and Jew-hatred are taking control of the other's history and using it against him. Racism and anti-Semitism are controlling the terms of the debate.

That's what the Jew-haters can't stand. That Jews are no longer cooperating with that ugly business. We are speaking back to our oppressors. They don't control the debate anymore and that's what drives them so nuts.

Also, engaging in a little Poonawallaesque pirouetting here, I never actually said that Aziz or Ikram are Jew-haters, I only said that the trajectory of the comments follows a well-worn path, trailblazed by anti-Semites.

As far as Jews daring to fight back, I was referring to any instance where a Jew fights back. It always enrages the Jew-haters to see the victim defend himself, doesn't it?

uh, i don't really care about these political issues, but aziz asked about the feasability of these sort of bioweapons....

i posted a bit on it and there will probably be more from my co-bloggers on the issue (in sum, i think it is theoretically possible but the implementation issues will probably get in the way).

More debate at 2 unmedia comment threads:

Thread #1

Thread #2

where Aziz continues to twist and turn.

I don't think the accusation ought to be dignified by anyone taking it seriously enough to figure out if it is theoretically possible. There are far more useful genetic problems to expend brain-matter on.

This accusation was mud thrown in the hope that it would stick, leaving us on the receiving end having to either ignore it or try to wash it off, while the mud-thrower unctuously informs us that if we don't scrub ourselves to his satisfaction, he will consider us dirty.

I would like to point out that this is exactly how the "Jenin massacre" libel was attempted.

That's exactly how anti-semitism works, folks, in the beginning stages. That's exactly how the groundwork is laid. And that's what the Muslim/Arab world has been doing since WWII when they picked up where the Nazis left off. Now you know what it looks like.

Mr. Katzman,

We agree on all the philosophical levels - my intent was merely to try to explore whether or not such a weapon was technically possible. I agree completely that such an undertaking would be completely insane and foolish to boot.

I also agree that making such a statement (as you said, akin to asking someone 'So, have you made it through the day without beating your wife?') is pretty much just to incite rumor. Not too different than if I were to claim it was possible that the Arab governments had gotten together and started a program to insert Arab Ob-Gyn nurses in every Israeli hospital, and at the appropriate moment, they were going to devour every Jewish baby to put an end to the Jews.

As an engineer, I'm a firm believer that nothing (that doesn't violate basic natural laws - and we're working on that) is impossible. Just challenging. I have not yet seen anything that would imply that such a weapon is impossible - just difficult, insanely dangerous to the user, and foolish to even contemplate making. I certainly do NOT believe that the Israelis have such a program any more than I believe the Arabs are preparing BBQ sauce for Jewish babies.


Whether an accusation claiming it to be fact or an accusation suggesting it to be intent, it's libel.

Fits right in with the Islamic Looking Glass Principle: "To keep the infidels ever on the defensive, accuse the enemy of the crimes you are most guilty of." I would not be surprised if the ever-recurring libel of WMG is just cover for Islamic/Arabic programs in such fields.

Time will tell.

If only those totalitarian libel factories had those smart-as-a-whip Jews as researchers, they might actually succeed in such difficult genetic work and research. Too bad Muhammed never talked about genetics in any suras... ;)


I didn't call Aziz a Jew hater. Indeed, was quite specific that he was not; and I don't believe I've addressed you directly at all. I also disagree with Diane's definition of anti-Semitism... no culture "owns" its history as an exclusive possession, and anyone else is free to use it in argument.

Where Diana and I DO see eye to eye is the fact that Aziz used a classic and dishonest approach that IS used, frequently, by people who do have hatred in their hearts. Was, in fact, invented by them.

I won't tolerate a debating style where any accusation can be made, however outrageous, with no serious evidence but with the expectation that it will be taken seriously and treated as a topic for moral debate (even condemnation, whic Aziz did ask for) as if it were true. Then the next invented charge is brought out, of course, and the pattern continues in this vein. That's the game. By accepting those terms, one makes the charges themselves seem respectable and true... and they're neither.

I won't play that game. And I don't respect or trust people who invite me to do so. Trust in the good intentions and intellectual honesty of your counterpart is not a minor matter. If it doesn't exist, why discuss anything else?

Which is why I've taken the time, because that's very much at risk here.

If I thought Aziz really hated Jews I wouldn't bother pointing this pattern out to him, or the similarity of the charge he levels to medieval blood libels of the type I described more specifically in "Round 2" above. Having had it pointed out to him, however, he can't evade it as he's done and remain a serious discussion partner. That requires either [1] serious, credible evidence; [2] a promise to research the issue seriously and report back, at which point discussions will resume; or [3] an admission that in fact this makes little sense and there is no real evidence for it - "the suggestion that Israel HAS a WMG program [is] fallacious", as he admitted here. But getting there was a major undertaking, and his blog still doesn't say anything like that.

The conduct of the debate itself has not helped matters. Quoting someone's words in a misleading fashion and not providing a link doesn't win one points. Refusal to answer Diana's simple question, and then answering in a way that still isn't reflected on his blog, doesn't win points.

The charge is still out there on his blog, without even the beginnings of credible evidence. Aziz had the choice of challenging it head-on, or handling it responsibly via serious research and even-handed analysis, or passing it on uncritically, or making it his own and defending it.

He has chosen... poorly, in my view. In his position, and in how it has been addressed. I don't think he's a Jew-hater. But based on this discussion, he may not be an honest opponent.

Hitler may be dead, but his book is still a best-seller in several places (including the Palestinian Authority), and I do not forget or ignore that. In addition, his disciples' debating technique of "the big lie" is most assuredly alive and well worldwide. Including here, it seems. I've gone from disappointment in Aziz for picking this up uncritically to real, serious annoyance and distrust. There comes a point where one goes beyond the minor error of passing on an argument or charge uncritically, and we reached it long ago.

Outrageous charges without evidence and shifting answers in response to serious questions are funny when they come from the Iraqi Information Minister while U.S. forces are rolling through Baghdad. They're not so funny here.

I followed the link to where Aziz asks at several science blogs about the technical feasibility of a "genetic bomb":
Summary: not feasible any time soon, also flushed out a similar myth about the S. African apartheid govt. secretly trying to make a genetic bomb to kill blacks.

Speaking of which, did anyone hear about the canard spread in the African-American community that Jewish doctors invented AIDS and injected it into the black population? (I think this one was originally from whoever used to be Stokely Carmichael.)

There was also one floating around the Arab world where Israelis had developed and sold to Arabs a chewing gum which would turn Arab women into sex-crazed harlots.

Aziz, this is why we go ballistic when you wave this stuff around. It's all part of a pattern that we know very well: evil Jewish/Israeli scientists/doctors doing secret health-related things to unsuspecting "oppressed peoples." We see you buying into this mythic pattern with no awareness that's what you are doing. Then we see you get indignant and defensive and try to make our reaction the problem, instead of your spreading this crap in the first place. We get pissed because it's the same damn crap.

We are very tired of this crap. It may be new and fresh and exciting to you but it is the same old smear attempts to us. We have had it! and we have no obligation to keep being nice about it every time it comes around again. So cut it out.

PS And don't ask me for the links to those stories. I already gave you links on Rafsanjani, so you know I know what I am talking about. The burden of proof is on you, not me. Do your own research.


The only sources I've found for a bioweapon is that old Sunday Times article.

(Sunday Times, November 15, 1998 "Israel Planning 'Ethnic' Bomb as Saddam Caves In," by Uzi Mahnaimi and Marie Colvin.)

Not much to go on. And as the American experience in Iraq has shown, most reports of so-called WMDs turn out to be nothing at all. So I don't think Israel has bioweapons targetting a particular ethnicity.

More info can be found here

Are targeted bioweapans possible? -- I'm not sure. Diane's old blog, GNXP, has led me to reconsider some of my views on genes in the population. The more I read, the more I realize I know very little about genentics, and the influence of genes on people. Razib has put up a post on this topic in response to a query by Aziz (Razib disagrees with Joe Katzman on one issue). His views are better informed than mine.

Really, I don't think Chemical weapons or biological weapons pose a really threat anywhere like nuclear weapons. I prefer if people dropped this WMD crap and went back to worrying about Nukes.

And Chuckle, let me ease your worries. I have no plans to kill or 'kill' you or Diane.

Diane, yehudit -- "Where the Nazi's left off"?? Look, there are no monsters here under your bed. No Hitlers in the closet. Aziz is not a Nazi (this really is getting ridiculous).

(I do agree with yehudit on how hatemongering begins. You could see it live and in colour in mainstream magazines like NRO or TNR post Sept11, which called on muslims to prove their loyalty of be suspected as traitors. Although Glenn Reynolds, Rod Dreher and a few bloggers took up the theme, it didn't gain much traction.)

Aziz says : 1) it is possible to develop WMG; 2)Israel could be researching those weapons, altough he has no evidence of that.

If these weapons are possible, then any nation ( not just Israel) could possibly be developing them, although we don't know.

Else, the mithocondrial argument makes Jews a much easier target for such genetic weapons than Arabs, since the genetic pool is smaller and they have a more specific dna.

"Diane, yehudit -- "Where the Nazi's left off"?? Look, there are no monsters here under your bed. No Hitlers in the closet. Aziz is not a Nazi (this really is getting ridiculous)."

I am referring to the fact that the Arabs took the side of the Nazis in WWII, appropriated much of their anti-semitic imagery and myths, and have propagated said myths in Arab culture ever since. Previously Arabs, as Muslims, treated Jewish subjects with disdain and restrictive laws, with the occasional blood libel thrown in (such as the Damascus libel, which they borrowed wholesale from the Christian blood libels of the Middle Ages). The Nazi influence took the Arab world to another level of hatred, conspiracy-mongering, scapegoating of Jews. To the extent that Arab Islam is the center of worldwide Islam, this has propagated out to the entire Muslim world.

All this is amply documented, so your patronizing tone just shows you are as ignorant as Aziz.

Chuckle, read the whole damn post

"So I don't think Israel has bioweapons targetting a particular ethnicity. "

(No, I won't use the word fallacious, or fellatio. Nonexistant makes much more sense)

Chuckle, I don't think my integrity is at risk here. What is at risk (and being lost) is civility, good natured discussion, and the usefullness of blogging as a hobby.

Indeed, "proof" is silly. You know my blog, you've seen my comments. Draw your own conclusion and make your own choices. I don't owe you "proof of my integrity", or really anthing else. Neither, for that matter, does Aziz, Diane, or Joe katzman.

YEHUDIT: "There was also one floating around the Arab world where Israelis had developed and sold to Arabs a chewing gum which would turn Arab women into sex-crazed harlots."

Whoa! Dr. Freud, call your office!

Of course, the simplest refutation for that one is that the Arabs have not yet handed over all their money, signed over all their oil, and made the Jews rulers of the entire Middle East. If we had THAT gum, it sure wouldn't be selling for 99 cents. We do have the ad slogan ready, though:

"Democracy! Wrigley's! Sexy!"

minor point ikram-diana had guest blogger status and only posted once or twice. GNXP really wasn't 'her old blog' and she wasn't responsible for 99% of the content. and she is no longer affiliated with us.

as for the issues you guyz are getting into-way over my head. but i do see wacked out stuff coming out from the muslim/arab quarters about jews. mostly i laugh because it is so unbelievable, but sometimes i do reflect that some of these people have their fingers on buttons. so we non-jews should be sensitive about that. but how would non-jews go about addressing sensitive topics without being lumped with the anti-semites?

what i mean is this, you could have two individuals say the following:

"jews control a disproportionate amount of capital in the United States"

(i notice anti-semites often use "the jews" instead of "jews"-has anyone else noticed this?)

one individual might be an anti-semite, and the tone of the words verbally can communicate what he/she really means, while another might simply be stating a fact in the midst of an unrelated topic (differential distributions of capital between various ethnic groups for instance). but on a blog/written format you can't communicate tone and tenor.

trust me, i've been in enough mosques listening to wacked out palestinean refugees say weirded out stuff in style rather than substance. you can state a mundane statement (this is the 1980s) like "the jews occupy the west bank" as if you are making a blood libel accusation. on the other hand, you can say the aforementioned phrase factually without any hatred whatsoever.

anyway, i'll let you continue....

btw, the local rabbi has a really hot daughter. too bad i have a g/f....


Forgive the nit-picking, but not all Arabs sided with the Nazis during WWII. As an example, the story of "Popski's Private Army" (British Lt. Col. Vladimir Peniakoff and his private LRDG patrols - the basis for the old 'Rat Patrol' series) is replete with many stories of friendly Arabs helping them against the Nazis.

True, there were plenty on the other side, but to make such a blanket statment is false and smears those Arabs who risked their lives helping the British and Americans.


Great question, Razib...

"but how would non-jews go about addressing sensitive topics without being lumped with the anti-semites?"

Good question in ways that go way beyond this debate.

[1] Come in with real research, and present it as something one has seen. Invite others to test it for truth.

[2] If the foundation of the case seems to be shaky, change one's conclusions; if they still seem robust or the participants are willing, open the debate about implications.

[3] It's OK to say "I need to look into that some more - what other issues are seriously in question here?"

[4] Answer questions honestly and directly, defend your own limits and the propriety of debate without playing a victim card, and do not demand that people apologize unless you have the goods.

[5] Make your public position and your private position congruent, quickly.

Every argument can't work like this. But the more serious and sensitive the topic, the more important this approach becomes.

Other thoughts/suggestions?

Here is how you make WMG work.

Identify the target population.

Collect them.

Dispose of them.

The Germans did it. The Arabs are bent on a similar project if you believe their rhetoric. And the collection is already 1/2 done for them by the target population.

I believe this is all Arab projection based on their own morbid fantasys. The demons they have summoned are now haunting them.

A classic case of projection.

How typical.

Aziz, Ikram -

Well, a couple of things:

1) There's a legitimate discussion to have about Israel's very real WMD's. My knee-jerk reaction is "it's essentially a doomsday weapon of theirs" which makes it MOL OK, but on articulating it, that's an opinion worth examining.

2) The argument here is circling the drain pretty rapidly. We're close to a couple of nerves, which suggests that we have two alternative paths to follow: a) amp it up and start slinging a century's worth of mud; or b) step back and try and figure out what issues we're really talking about. I'll suggest the latter.

3) Aziz, I think you're making some seriously weak-ass arguments when you say the Israelis "might be" developing WMG's, and therefore it's an issue. I "might be" a space alien, and Elvis "might be" alive...does that make either assertion worth even discussing? Unless you want to start blogging for the Weekly World News, I'd suggest ignoring the "might be's" absent some kind of meaningful information.

Aziz, my offer stands. I'm happy to have a cross-blog dialog with you concerning WMD's in the Middle East, and the issues they represent regionally (as opposed to globally). My only advance condition is that you go back to your latest statements - "Forget if its possible. The issue I raised in my post is, why would Israel even consider it? Im not convinced 100% but I do think there is a high probabilty that it has been considered." and "MY post was about - could Israel have a WMG program? MY feeling is, its not impossible." - and say what you really think.

Do I think the concept of a WMG is monstrous?

Of course I do.

Is someone somewhere in the world thinking about one?

Of course they are.

Does that raise it to a geopolitical issue? If someone can show me that any country - the U.S., Israel, Iraq, or whoever - is seriously researching or planning for development or deployment of a WMG, then we have something to talk about.

Otherwise it is a racist fantasy - both from the POV of those who would consider it and deliver their fantasy of a racially-pure world, and from the point of view of those who use the possibility of it as a rhetorical weapon to smear a race.

It's damn hard to respond to that. And my interest in particpating in a racist discussion - on either side - is pretty low.



Wandering through this thread I was wondering when I'd first see a reference to "The White Plague".

Tin-Foil Hat well describes any possibilty of WMG production in our lifetimes. No serious military scientist would waste resources on the notion, even if they were developing bioweapons.

There are few communicable diseases that are even species specific. The best candidates for bioweapons focus on environmental stability and infectiousness. Why would I waste effectiveness of my weapon making it target only certain groups (Arabs and Blacks in the preceding comments)? A lot more effective to mutate up a super-killer smallpox strain and then immunize my population against it.

And this would still be a militarily ineffective weapon. We knocked off research into actually fielding bioweapons in the 60's because the generals found that even the very best ones were useless. The rate of incapacitation just isn't high enough to be worthwhile.

Let's do the math, take "Israel MAY be working on genocidal bioweapons" plus "development of genocidal bioweapons deserves condemenation" and you get a kinda sorta condemnation of Israel in general, whether they're working on genocidal bioweapons or not. It's condemnation by "may be". It works about the same as allegations of child molestation, or rape, or abusive satanic rituals. The crime is so serious and shocking that the accused are assumed guilty by default and condemned regardless of evidence for good measure. Who would want to defend an accused child molestor? Who would want to defend a nation accused of contemplating genocide? It's a good game, it usually works, but when you've got no evidence it can be risky.

Let me try my hand. I think Aziz may be actively involved in child pornography. Take it from here Aziz.

I'm still reeling from this whole discussion.

I'll digest it later, this weekend, and possibly to a guest blog about it, if I have the energy.

One point. This is not an idle discussion of an academic topic. Anti-Semitic ideation has powerful consequences. I often dislike the comments on Little Green Footballs, but I am indebted to Charles Johnson for introducing to a larger public the anti-Jewish propaganda of the Arab/Islamic world than would normally be exposed to it.

I've been reading this stuff (in translation) for many years. I became a bit dulled to it. But I understand what it's like for a person who is introduced to it for the first time to encounter it. The shock is great.

Armed Liberal: You are getting a great education in what it's like to be Jewish. It means you have to listen to the most outrageous lies, and then be lectured by the people who tell the lies about you to your face in manners.

Just listen to Aziz and his supporter Ikram. "I understand you Jews may be killing children and draining their blood into matza/developing weapons of mass biological genocide. Maybe it's true. Maybe not. I have no real evidence but since it's technically feasible, it's possible. It would be a terrible thing if it were true, given Jewish history. You really shouldn't behave this way."

"Can I have some evidence for your assertion?" I ask.

"That's rude. This is a lynch mob atmosphere."

"I need some evidence."

"You are overreacting."

"But you have no evidence."

"Are you accusing me of lying?"

"Yours is a black-and-white world."

And so on. There's no reasoning with people like this. There is no good faith communication.

Returning to the issue of ideas (and words) having consequences, anti-Semitic ideation was most powerfully acted out among Ikram and Aziz's co-religionists with the murder of Daniel Pearl. The people who committed this atrocity were British citizens of Pakistani origin. One can only guess the steady diet of nutball anti-Semitism that they were fed from an early age. Easy for us to dismiss this paranoid ideation as so much nonsense. No--it has consequences. Danny Pearl's murder was taped, reproduced and is now circulating among the cesspools of the Islamic world as a recruitment video.

There is NOTHING comparable among fundamentalist Christians or extremist Jews.

This is absolute BS and an outstanding example of why Arab Culture is locked into the Ninth Century, and is an absolute flipping failure!

Arabs are failures because of those _______(fill in the blank); it's all their fault!
But it's no better than I expect from a culture with half a brain. If the day ever comes when Arabs can admit that women are for something other than beating and breeding, perhaps they can begin to accomplish something. Perhaps.

Why spend time in a debate with half-wits?

>Why spend time in a debate with half-wits?

Because if we can't figure out how to trigger a debate with them, we may well have to kill them.

And, if at all possible, I'd rather avoid that.


[Update: I've made this point more extensively back at Armed Liberal]

Good one, Robin. ROTFLOL

and Diane, Joe, and Armed Liberal are astute as always.

At this point I think Aziz and Ikram do get it. I mean, they're not braindead. But they can't afford to back down. I would say it's the honor/shame culture, but I've seen too many Westerners act the same way.

How tiresome. How ridiculous. How disgusting..... How stupid!

Amazingly, the Jewish people have apparently resisted genetic dilution despite the diaspora and ensuing history.

The truth is that "Jews" and "Arabs" are but one people, the Semitic people. Genetically and linguistically, identical. We ("Jews" and "Arabs")
"all really the children of Abraham"

Seriously -- why would Israel need to bother with such perfidy when they've kicked the arabs' ass so many times the old-fashioned way?

It's far less expensive to just shower them with a marijuana-laced brownies or something.

1) Some form of selectively targeted virus might have some effect along these lines. However, IMHO Jews would not develop a system which would kill people of mixed Jewish and non-Jewish, or Arab, heritage. This degree of specificity would be impossible to achieve. Certainly it is unlikely "the Jews" (ugh) would develop a plague to kill all non-Jews.

However, if Islam is as I understand it predicated on eventually conquering the whole world, it would make sense, and be easier, for them to deploy a plague that would kill all non-Arabs. Since Islam is assimilationist, children with any Arab blood would be acceptable to survive, so it could just be a supervirus with a self-destruct in Arabs. This of course is predicated on Pan-Arabic Islamofascism's history, it's just they never had such a tool before. I agree projection is a typical Middle Eastern tactic.

2) If Israel has this, good, let the Arabs be afraid. Let the world be afraid. If it exists, it could never be eradicated. Unlike most of the Arab world, Israel has real industries whose consumption of raw materials (including in its prominent biomedical industry) would make tracking a WMG (ugh) program impossible.

Israel deploys first world technology. Therefore, Israel has not only the virus, but a vaccine, one or more tested effective modes of deployment, and political/war plans to take maximum advantage. Israel has ready supplies of these materials prepared for long storage and ready use; little kilo bags and cans of air in little duffel bags stored in a hundred airport lockers, buried in ten thousand backyards. The Worldwide Jewish Conspiracy, which I think is heartily implied by the mindset that places credulity in such stories, certainly has spread the word and any Muslim who steps on a Jew's foot is in deep Shiite.

Am I alone in thinking such paranoia has a deterrent value? i mean if nukes were not enough, would this be enough to really ensure the safety of Israel? couldn't hurt. Let's pretend we all believe it, then. Aziz, what are you going to do about it? Kill every Jew on earth and dig up his rose bushes?

Well, gee, that is kinda where your concept ends up, even though you probably didn't realize it.

3) If Israel ahs this technology, the US in all likelihood has this technology. How do you feel about that? or the UK, or the USSR? Who would be more likely to use such a plague, Israelis on Arabs, the US on Arabs or blacks or whomever--or, what? Brits on Northern Irish Catholics but not Unionists? Russians on Chechens? Chinese on Uighurs?

4) Easier said than done. Cloning is "possible" but it would be appropriate for Aziz to find at least one peer reviewed Western medical/science journal (Muslim periodicals would be fine but they might have pictures of living things or something and thus be haram) speaking of a practical application or even recent advances in research. One would see traces in the news.

Any bastard can fling wild accusations which the accused must for some reason rebut at great effort. It is better to do some homework and be prepared to defend conclusions materially rather than to insist that one's first impulse was right. In the Western mode, this process is known as dialogue, where each party's information influences the other and allows them to reach mutual conclusions.

While some of the criticism of Aziz is at an energy level I know all too well, it has somehow not made an impression upon him that these charges dishonor both accused and accuser. Since the West is always being told to have hypersensitivity to the concerns of non-Westerners (many of whom have wide anecdotal reputation of being hypersensitive to criticism as well as being able to really dish it out in an exaggerated fashion), it is interesting to see the comparative insensitivity on the other side to the insulting effect which such a line of unfounded, more or less gratuitous bile has on one who has been assailed.

It certainly reinforces the notions of wogs who must be made to learn who is master, and makes a moderately 'enlightenment liberal' less rueful for thinking that way. If the West is forced again to such a role, its hand will not falter. Who wants to bet those citÚs in France aren't designed to be deathtraps for the beurs they ghettoize in them? Who wants to bet Jacques Chirac wouldn't drop the hammer if Muslims really rioted like some suggest he fears?

That's all for tonight.

Oh, yes, next) These memes are quite old, I remember this stuff well back in the 90s or earlier, before apartheid ended. Various dumbass comspiracy theories. Phalcon is old news too. Israel, unlike Arab countries, has a first world defense industry and actually makes things that other people want to buy. China is one. Israel generally vets arms sales like this with the US and has got the OK to sell to China before.

The US had made no objection for a while to this sale, which was not an overnight affair, but later when tensions with China flared up Clinton demanded Israel stop (and I don't blame him; one of few correct decisions).

There is far more to this affair than Aziz lets on. Israel ultimately withdrew the sale, at considerable cost, without being bribed or threatened (except by some offhand Clinton-era-thug-style remarks by one apparatchik or another) to do so. Now, in fact, Israel is selling weapons to India as part of their improving relationship, and the US is I believe questioning the sale of something to them--ABMs, radar, something.

Too much time has been wasted on this already. Aziz, is there anything else you don't understand about why it is not reasonable for you to make such a case at your current level of effort? Perhaps it is the conditioning of your environment. Are you a native born American citizen, Aziz? I never saw it on your blog, but perhaps you were raised in an atmosphere of common remarks and thinking of this type, and such a remark would pass unquestioned in such company. Hopefully such an atmosphere was not obtaining in the US, but I fear it may be.

Oh yes and last) If Israel can do this, what the hell are they waiting for? For Arafat to grow wings or become sincere? Why haven't they done it already? G'night.

This story reminded me of something, so I started digging in my mail archives. Lo and behold:

Friday, November 20, 1998

Was Times bombed by sci-fi story?

By Ronen Bergman and Sharon Gal,
A short story described by its Israeli author as "completely imaginary and lacking any foundation in reality" bears a striking resemblance to the substance of a report in this week's London Sunday Times about Israel's development of an "ethno-bomb" that would only target Arabs.

The Sunday Times' story, written by its Middle East orrespondents Uzi Machanaimi and by Marie Colvin, claimed that Israeli scientists at the Biological Institute in Nes Tziona were trying to exploit medical advances by identifying distinctive genes carried by some Arabs and then create a genetically modified bacterium or virus.

But Doron Stanitsky, a lecturer at Tel Aviv University and the owner of an economic consultancy firm, says he may be the source of the story.

Two years ago, Stanitsky, who says he has nothing to do with security matters, wrote a fictional story that sounds very much like the one published by the Sunday Times. Stanitsky printed 80 copies of his work and sent it to Israeli newspapers, emphasizing that it was pure fantasy.

Stanitsky's [fictional] story is about Prof. Arnaki (a play on har naki, the Hebrew for the surname of Marcus Klingberg, a former top official at the Nes Tziona facility, who was sentenced to a lengthy prison term for spying for the Soviet Union). [...Y]ears before, David Ben-Gurion [in the story] had ordered the Nes Tziona institute to develop vicious bacteria in "Operation Seed of Amalek." Arnaki developed a virus capable of attacking only Arabs. The only problem was that the virus might also target Jews of "Oriental" origin.
Making the parallels even more striking is that a planned second part of the Sunday Times article, they claimed Klingberg's release [like the fictional Arnaki in the story] was blocked for years by the security establishment because he had been involved in developing an "ethnic virus" and that his release could cause damage to state security.


Having some first-hand experience in the matter, I have no trouble believing your average science reporter would be willing to mistake sci-fi for fact if it was sensational enough and fitted his/her biases.

PS: the article is available from Haaretz's for-pay archive. No permalink, but go to

and enter "Klingberg Arnaki" in the "Simple Search" field.

I tired of the debate somewhere halfway down.
If no-one else has said it yet, allow me:
Yes, Aziz has unmasked himself as a Jew-Hater.
It appears that he is, I am sad to say,
just another running dog of the Islamofascists,
however subtle he may think himself.

American scientists just developed a virus that kills West Nile Virus mosquitoes.

I wonder if Aziz will shriek that "West Nile Virus" is just an Israeli code word for "Resident of Cairo."

"Because if we can't figure out how to trigger a debate with them, we may well have to kill them."

AL -- this is getting really silly. You want to kill me? How can you engage in a debate, and at the same time hand out death threats?

And Diane -- I wrote none of the things you put in quotation marks. I agree there is no good faith communication here. But making up fake quotes doesn't normally help in the task of establishing good faith communications.

Jumping back -- let's look at why this happened. (It may be the only possible item to glean out of this stupidity).

WoC is fairly right wing, but not nutso. Diane is not a lunatic. Yehudit is a reasonable person. How did we get to this absurd situation?

I think Diane's right when she says

"I've been reading this stuff (in translation) for many years. I became a bit dulled to it. But I understand what it's like for a person who is introduced to it for the first time to encounter it. The shock is great. "

She's been reading hate material for years. She's angry about it (though perhaps not so much any more -- its old news). She's ready to combat any percieved slights with great vigor.

Aziz, writing an entry on Israeli WMDs, googles, finds an old British newspaper article (though not the Haaretz debunking) and prints it along with about half a dozen other articles, with no realization that this one is special because some Jews associate it with Jew-hatred.

So when Diane, and maybe Joe Katzman, sees it their vision turns red. Rather than just another cut-n-clip blog linkage, they see it as part of an age old struggle between the group they identify with and its enemies.

At this point, the situation is almost irrecoverable. A few people refute Aziz. He seeing this as just another debating point, and debates back. Joe and Diane see it as the equivalent of holocaust denial. Kaboom.

I don't think anyone is at fault yet in the story. Reasonable reactions by reasonable people. But then Joe, rather than explaining to Aziz why this is a sensitive issue, decides that he will undertake a public denunciation (in a fairly patronizing tone). This gives me, Diane, and others the opportunity to jump in. The discussion rapidly deteriorates to name calling. Which brings us here.

Have I been unfair to anyone here?

Lastly AL, you said
"At this point I think Aziz and Ikram do get it. I mean, they're not braindead. But they can't afford to back down. I would say it's the honor/shame culture, but I've seen too many Westerners act the same way."

AL, I'm as western as you are. This is a fairly ordinary usenet style flamewar (though no-one yet has said that the lurkers support me in e-mail). Utterly unproductive. Filled with personal attacks, ridiculous epithets, high dudgeon, moral outrage, appeals to an audience, falsified quotes, evasions, and ultimately, wasted time.

Enough wasted time for me. I'll see you all next time. It's been -- well, quite something

"Lastly AL, you said
"At this point I think Aziz and Ikram do get it."

Actually I said that. It kind of undermines your credibility when you don't read carefully.


As noted, the last comment wasn't mine.

But the other one was, and I've been kind of surprised at the lack of reaction to it.

"AL -- this is getting really silly. You want to kill me? How can you engage in a debate, and at the same time hand out death threats?"

Actually, the exact phrase I used was:

"Because if we can't figure out how to trigger a debate with them, we may well have to kill them."

I don't want to kill you. That's why I'm trying to see a path that leads to a debate between the West and the Islamist/Muslim world (I know they aren't the same...but so far I haven't seen the Muslim world do as much triangulation as they could be doing to try and isolate the Islamists); I think there are real conflicts...over Israel, over resources, over the kinds of physical things nations have had conflicts over for as long as there have been nations. I also think there are cultural we export Sketchers and McDonalds, and some seek to export sh'aria.

Both sides have used force. The Islamist faction within the Muslim world has now used force in some particularly intimate and painful ways against the U.S., and seems intent on doing it again.

Either we find a way to debate and ultimately negotiate, the Muslim world finds a way to control the Islamists, or the West will control the Islamists, and in so doing risk a confrontation in force with the Muslim world...a conflict which the Muslim world will lose.

Personally, I choose option #1.

Sadly, I don't get to choose for the other side.

I'm encouraged that you & Aziz are standing up and debating; I'd love to see far more of that, because (I hope) it attracts others, who attract others, and soon we have a debate which offers the possibility of a negotiation. Please note that when I say 'negotiation' I'm not talking about empty acts of state, but meaningful negotiations at which serious issues are raised and resolved and the resolutions acted upon by both sides.


I think that this claim from Aziz can be easily refuted on a couple of grounds: economic, technical, and historical.

1) Economic: Israel has already built nukes, has already spent a lot on its military machine, and has a fair amount of napalm/bombs/planes. Even assuming they don't use nukes, they could comfortably kill every Arab from Iraq to Egypt using the IDF at a fraction of the cost it would to research this, since most of the costs of the IDF doing this have already been paid for. The additional costs of deploying the IDF to the various Arab countries would be more then offset by having a complete monopoly over almost all OPEC oil. And there would be no danger of cross-contamination into the Israeli Jewish population from Arab countries, which would mean all Israelis could easily take part in this IDF assault (and also means lower costs for controlling the territories).

2) Technical. I'm a former biochemistry major. A couple of issues with the "theory" of contaminating mitochondria.
* Mitochondrial DNA is even more similar across organisms then is normal DNA; for reference, consider that ordinary DNA is 99.5% the same across humans.
* While inactivated viruses are being experimented with as delivery vehicles for vaccines, there are no experiments (that I know of) to use viruses to deliver genetic material to mitochondria. I'm not sure that ordinary viruses in the wild can contiminate mitchondria; de novo generation of such a thing is, at best, generations away from happening.
* Mitochondrial DNA mutates much more rapidly then ordinary DNA, so even if there was a unique Arab mitochondrial sequence, there's a fair chance of overlap into Jews; conversely, a DNA vaccine into mitochondria (supposing that it could exist - which is extremely unlikely) would be subject to mutations.

A couple of issues with the idea on other technical bases, assuming it's not contaminating mitochondria:
* People have been working on DNA vaccines for AIDS for the better part of a decade and are nowhere near solving it. The odds of Israel being able to create an Arab-killing DNA "vaccine" (given that Israel's biotech resources are much less than the world community has spent on an AIDS vaccine) in the near or mid-term are approximately zero.
* Human beings are over 99.5% genetically similar; part of the reason for this is that most genetic mutations lead directly to death or sterility. Even the idea of administering a DNA vaccine to protect against this weapon would have meant a great deal of testing. For comparison purposes, DNA vaccines, for all of the talk about them, have yet to be tested on human subjects, IIRC (though it's been a few years since I worked in the field).
* In order to find an Arab-specific sequence you'd have to have a database of millions of Arabs DNA, at a minimum. You'd also have to have one for Jews. Genetic variation across Arabs would probably be high enough that many of them would survive and would actually be more resistant to such attacks in the future, probably because of similarity to Jews. This would mean that each successive generation of such a weapon would have to get closer and closer to contaminating Jews as well; a slip would mean instant death for all of the Jews in Israel.

3) Historical. Israel has had nukes for years and they haven't nuked Damascus yet.

So what are we left with? Aziz and Ikram believe we should have an honest discussion about something which there's no honest danger of happening, even if it is possible. Israel may have WMG's, they state. Or they may be working on them. Or maybe they're baking little children's blood into matzahs and they're really blood-sucking vampires. Who knows? That's why it sounds like the blood libel guys - you have no proof, it's contra-factual as far as any reasonable person can tell, and your only response is that you now qualified it with the word "may".

Well, let me tell you something: Even if Israel has WMG's, Arab countries are in more danger of imploding due to their internal tension, piss-poor administration, belief in fantasy ideology's, and tyrannous rulers then they are of dying from WMG's. Proof: Israel hasn't nuked 'em yet.

What some seem to miss here about Aziz's behavior is that when confronted on his use of this silly article about an alleged Israeli targeted bioweapon program, how does Aziz purport to establish its validity? By finding any other evidence that Israel is researching such a thing? No.

Aziz's only attempt to establish the validity of the story is to research its technical feasibility. Why? What is implied is that if its feasible, Aziz is going to automatically believe that Israel is working on it.

And that is the best evidence for Aziz's pull toward anti-semitism in my opinion.

I can't believe I bothered to read as much of this mess as I have. You people attacked Aziz without so much as bothering to look into the facts of the issue, didn't you? A moments hunt through will show you that the British Medical Association (you know, those crazy anti-semetic science fiction doctors) made a formal announcement of the possibility of, and their desire to curtail the development of, genetic weapons of mass destruction (including, 'ethnic bullets') in 1999. Serious discussion of the realities of this particular brand of WMD has since been linked (in the medical literature) to discussions centered on the problems of modern biological warfare.

The 1998 article from the UK stated Israel may be developing such a weapon. Oddly enough, this idea may have been reinforced by the fact that, around this time, South Africa revealed that they had been working on genetically targeted weapons and had working relationships with Israeli scientists.

I'm not leaving my email address, I certainly don't need to be attacked by this army of blood thirsty morons (nor have I the time to field such attacks). But hopefully this seed of knowledge will be read by one of you dolts so that you can look back and see how hysterically funny it is when you violently REACT without out of pure IGNORANCE.

I hope at least one of you (maybe the host of this blog?)is big enough to apologize to Aziz, who was pretty nice about the whole thing! I'm sure the rest of you will attack me without even looking into the issue at all. How very ... liberal?


Voice of Reason: I just looked up the URL you provided. I entered various search strings and I couldn't find it. I found nothing. But no matter, I googled it and got a few hits. Most of them were the usual nutcase sites, but one pointed me to this:

an article by the selfsame Marie Colvin who co-wrote the original Times article. The article breathlessly states that the Times revealed that Israel "was" working on such a weapon. Not maybe, was. But I did get this useful info: the BMA commissioned a report by one Malcolm Dando, "professor of international security" at Bradford University about genetic bioweapons.

A further search shows that Malcolm Dando is Professor of International Security in the "Department of Peace Studies" at Bradford University, UK. He trained originally as a biologist.

There is no mention on the website of the report he authored. I wonder why. Perhaps it wasn't one of his finest efforts.

Here's another link:

The article describes the possibility that such weapons might be available in "5 to 10 years."

It's 2003, and no such weaponry is in sight.

The BMA probably comes out with a lot of stuff, as does the AMA. Being humanistically inclined, they'd rather err on the side of caution. A doctor's organization would be concerned of the possibility, however remote, of such a weapon being created. The gap between the remote theoretical possibility of genetic bioweapons being created and actually producing them is pretty large. The gap between the remote possibility that such weapons would be created and an ongoing program in Israel is larger.

And your point is?

Aziz is now trolling around various sites, looking for evidence that such weapons are possible. Once he finds what he is looking for, presto! Israel is sure to be lurking somewhere around the corner.

In 1998, South Africa announced whatever. At the time, some South African scientists were working with some Israeli scientists on various projects. And your point is? South Africa always had a first-world medical system, is that some kind of crime? No. Connecting dots between the South African medical/scientific community and Israel's is a very flimsy basis upon to base this charge.

Voice of Reason--not.

Voice of Reason: why can't Israel simply immunize its own population and then pass the infected smallpox blankets to the Palestinians? Wouldn't that be much cheaper and easier than working on a bioweapon that would be so targeted it could tell the difference between an Iraqi Jew and Palestinian Arab?

[[ Deleted at the request of the poster. ]]

Yes, I'll do that, part of the "you own your own words" bit I described in my post on Winds of Change.NET's Comments Policy.

Ikram wrote: "this [accusation] is special because some Jews associate it with Jew-hatred". It's not just "some Jews". I'm not Jewish, have never set foot in a synagogue or been to a seder, never even really knew any practicing Jews until I got to college (a side-effect of twelve years of Catholic school). Nevertheless, I don't just "associate" the accusation that Israel is working on a genetic bomb with Jew-hatred, I find it a very strong indication of same, especially when the person passing on the accusation can't find it in his heart to withdraw it when challenged. In other words, this isn't just a case of over-sensitive Jews finding offense where none is intended. Anyone with any decency and common sense should be offended by the accusation.

Whether a genetic bomb is technically feasible isn't really the point. It's not scientifically impossible that a UFO crashed in Iraq, and that the U.S. invaded to get its hands on advanced anti-gravity technology: it's just absurd, and only a fool believes it.

O.K., so here's the deal, Aziz and Ikram:

We can develop a genetic bomb that singles out Presbyterians. That would be a lot easier that a g.b. that differentiates between Semites who subscribe to various and diverse religions and/or ideologies or creeds.

Here's how to do it: we can just put the material into watercress and cucumber sandwiches, since Presbyterians are the only religionists who eat them.

Simple solution to the problem, isn't it?! And what I really like about this targeting approach is the elegant economy of it.

"Voiceofreason" posts identical claims ( and identical misrepresentations of actual events ) as a poster on LGF calling himself "USSR". Both have been Fisk'd.

For the record, Joe's comment disagreeing with me was highlighted on Tacitus' blog.

I also disagree with [Diane Moon's] definition of anti-Semitism... no culture "owns" its history as an exclusive possession, and anyone else is free to use it in argument.

I let it pass when it was simply a part of this comment line, but since Tacitus singled it out, here's my response.

That's a mischaracterization of what I said, which was:

I don't consider the essence of racism or Jew-hatred to be actual physical violence against the hated group, although both hatreds virtually always end up in a violent spasm. Racism and Jew-hatred are taking control of the other's history and using it against him. Racism and anti-Semitism are controlling the terms of the debate.

I never said that a culture "owns" its' history as an exclusive possession.

And by the way, Jose, I think we can both agree that he didn't "use" Jewish history--he misused it.

Just as an FYI, I have a cousin who is a geneticist. I was waiting for her email, but I think I'm done with posting about it on my blog. But here's her direct quote:

We are not capable of making a weapon that will just target "Arabs". It would be like trying to target "rapists". What does a rapist look like, are they all the same? It's ridiculous to even suggest Israel or anyone else is doing that!

I rest my case.

That O.K., Chuck. I believe that Aziz will realize that this is bunk after a while.

And amen to Meryl's cousin!

Oh, and by the way, nuclear fission does NOT follow the Fuerer Principle! :-)

Perhaps Israel wouldn't be vulnerable to such charges if they signed up for inspections of their WMD production facilities at Dimona and Nes Ziona

As it stands, Israel has taken the posture of a rogue state and refuses to comply with UN resolutions calling them to place their WMD stocks under international observation

Calling this theory that Israel might be researching bioweapons that are gene specific "anti-semitic" or "blood libel" is just total trash talk -

The majority of Jews don't live in Israel for a reason. They could get free money from the state of Israel if they did have any desire to emigrate. But they don't want to.

The right wing militaristic Israelis are thugs, IMO and wondering about how nuts they are doesn't reflect on the majority of Jews in any way shape or form.
American Jews as a whole don't agree with and can't control Sharon or Ze'evi or Kahane followers, or any of those other right wing "settler" lunatics


There are published reports (in the Washington Post for instance) that Israel collaborated with the Apartheid regime in South Africa on bio weapons, and that South Africa had both interest in and performed research into genetically targetted bio weapons.

Clearly this isn't concrete proof that Israel is doing so. But it adds to the evidence that they very well might be. Until Israel allows inspections of its bio and chem weapons facilities there won't be any concrete proof of what they really have or haven't done, and as this article makes clear, it's hard to figure things out even when there are inspections.

"PRETORIA, South Africa -- In three days of secret meetings last July, the man known throughout South Africa as "Doctor Death" astounded U.S. law enforcement officials with tales of how the former white-minority government carried out unique experiments with chemical and biological weapons.

Wouter Basson, the bearded ex-commander of South Africa's notorious 7th Medical Battalion, spoke candidly of global shopping sprees for pathogens and equipment, of plans for epidemics to be sown in black communities and of cigarettes and letters that were laced with anthrax."


" More sinister were the attempts -- ordered by Basson -- to use science against the country's black majority population. Daan Goosen, former director of Project Coast's biological research division, said he was ordered by Basson to develop ways to suppress population growth among blacks, perhaps by secretly applying contraceptives to drinking water. Basson also urged scientists to search for a "black bomb," a biological weapon that would select targets based on skin color, he said."


[article continues, talks about a modified version of anthrax South Africa's bio weapons program had developed which would be undecetable by current methods]

"Basson acknowledged to U.S. officials that the modifications stripped the microbe of some of its virulence, but said Project Coast scientists remained interested because of the strain's ability to sicken and debilitate targets without leaving a trace.

Basson also told U.S. officials he had learned the technique from Israeli government scientists, a claim that could not be independently verified. Israel has persistently denied having biological or chemical weapons programs, although many U.S. weapons experts believe such programs exist. Israel also is widely believed to have assisted South Africa with the development of its former nuclear weapons program, a claim Israeli officials also deny. Basson and at least one other member of South Africa's biological and chemical weapons team made extended trips to Israel in the 1980s, according to testimony and documents cited by authors Gould and Folb."

from the article "Biotoxins Fall Into Private Hands"
by Joby Warrick, Washington Post [US]
April 21, 2003; Page A01

There is a genetic bomb threat in centuries ( Nostradamus ), several bible books and from ancient Sumeria. The bomb is predicted to attack the heart and the kidney.
the bomb has a time delay of " just under several mars circles"
the bomb was dropped from space via "a fire in the sky dragging a tail of sparks"
the bomb was made "100 leagues above the hemisphere"
I expect the poison to last 9 months
It should hit 2008 (dropped feb 1,2003 /dallas texas
George Bush is suppose to be poisoned ( mabus dies before the destruction )
1/3 will die from the genetic time bomb
1/3 will die from nuclear war
the rest will wish they were dead
The cure for the holy shit is the holy grail
the bomb is in the holy cow/salmonella

the time is the " Tower of Babal "
wormwood is the bomb

This is interpretation only ; I drink from the holy grail just in case.
The nuclear war is worse than the genetic bomb .

I drink from the holy grail just in case.

Lucky you. I don't even have a Grail-shaped beacon.

In 1949 Robert Heinlein published a science fiction novel called The Sixth Column. In this story the bad guys are the Pan-Asians who are ultimately defeated by a weapon that kills only Asians.

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