Israeli zoological militancy conspiracy theories are conspiracy theories about Israel's alleged use of animals to attack civilians or to conduct espionage. Such stories have been mostly propagated by the Arab media and Arabic language websites, with locals citing these reports as evidence of a "Zionist plot". These reactions have been interpreted to reflect the reach of Israeli intelligence and the inability of intelligence organizations in the Muslim world to match it, as well as a the Arab people's tradition to blame Israel for internal problems.
Israel has been accused of sending a spy pelican and a spy vulture to Sudan. The birds, wearing a GPS device and a tag with the sign "Tel Aviv University," were captured by local officials. Sudanese authorities refused to return the GPS transmitters.
In December 2010, shark attacks in Egypt were attributed to a shark trained and released by the Mossad.
In January 2011, Saudi Arabian authorities arrested what they described as a "Zionist" vulture.
The Palestinian Authority has also repeatedly accused Israel of using wild boars to destroy Arab crops in the West Bank and drive farmers out of their lands.
This conspiracy theory started to evolve December 2010, with an interview that Captain Mustafa Ismail, introduced as "a famous diver in Sharm El Sheikh", gave on TV program Egypt Today. In the interview Ismail claimed that there are no oceanic whitetip sharks in the Red Sea off Egypt. When asked how the sharks got there, Ismail responded: "no, it's who let them in?" He went on to describe his phone conversation with an Israeli diver who told him that they captured an oceanic whitetip off Eilat, an Israeli town also on the Red Sea coast. Ismail became suspicious when the Israeli told him the shark they captured had a GPS navigation device. Although this is a common method of monitoring shark migrations, Ismail offered his own theory of using GPS device on sharks: "the sharks were monitored to attack in Egypt's waters only".
Prompted in a TV interview to comment on the theory, the governor of South Sinai, Mohammad Abdul Fadhil Shousha, was reported to have said it couldn't be ruled out: "What is being said about the Mossad throwing the deadly shark [in the sea] to hit tourism in Egypt is not out of the question. But it needs time to confirm." He later directly dismissed the theory.
Describing the theory as "sad", Professor Mahmoud Hanafy, a marine biologist at Suez Canal University, pointed out that GPS devices are used by marine biologists to track sharks, not to remote-control them. Egyptian officials suggested that the attacks were due to overfishing, illegal feeding, the dumping overboard of sheep carcasses, or unusually high water temperatures.
A griffon vulture with a wingspan of about 8 feet (2.4 m) was seen flying in Saudi Arabia, near the home of a shaikh, near the city of Hayel. When the bird was captured, a GPS device and a leg tag with the sign "Tel Aviv University" were discovered on the bird. The authorities were alerted that the vulture was a part of "Zionist plot". The story was first reported in Saudi Arabia's newspaper Al-Weeam, and was later discussed in Arabic websites and other Saudi Arabia media outlets.
According to Riyadh newspaper Harmony the bird with code number "R56" was well trained and resisted the arrest by emitting a large amount of "a foul smell waste out of his mouth".
According to Arab Nyheter news agency "Al Jazeera has reported that Saudi security authorities arrested a suspect bird, who worked for Israeli intelligence (Mossad) and was flying in Saudi airspace to gather information on the country."
Israeli officials described the accusation as "ludicrous" and said they were "stunned" and were concerned that the bird could meet a severe punishment in the Saudi justice system.
A spokesman for Israel's Park and Nature Authority told the Israeli daily Ma'ariv that Israeli scientists are using GPS devices to determine the migration routes of the birds. He explained that, "The device does nothing more than receive and store basic data about the bird's whereabouts, and about his altitude and speed".
The bird was later released from custody after Saudi wildlife authorities determined that its tracking system was used for scientific purposes.
After media reports of the allegations of animal use emerged, many commentators dismissed them as "paranoid" or claimed the evidence supporting the allegations was "scant". Other commentators used the opportunity to criticize belief in conspiracy theories in the Arab world, which they characterized as a widespread problem.
Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Secretary-General of the Saudi National Security Council, has criticized the coverage that the vulture incident received in the Saudi media, saying "Some of the Saudi journalists rushed in carrying the news of this bird for the sake of getting a scoop without checking the information...they should have asked the competent authorities about the bird before publishing such news.
More Quotes About "Palestine"
"There is no such country as Palestine. 'Palestine' is a term the Zionists invented. There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria. 'Palestine' is alien to us. It is the Zionists who introduced it".
- Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, Syrian Arab leader to British Peel Commission, 1937 -
"There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not".
- Professor Philip Hitti, Arab historian, 1946 -
"It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but Southern Syria".
- Representant of Saudi Arabia at the United Nations, 1956 -
Concerning the Holy Land, the chairman of the Syrian Delegation at the Paris Peace Conference in February 1919 stated:
"The only Arab domination since the Conquest in 635 c.e. hardly lasted, as such, 22 years".
"There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent (valley of Jezreel, Galilea); not for thirty miles in either direction... One may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten human beings. For the sort of solitude to make one dreary, come to Galilee... Nazareth is forlorn... Jericho lies a mouldering ruin... Bethlehem and Bethany, in their poverty and humiliation... untenanted by any living creature... A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds... a silent, mournful expanse... a desolation... We never saw a human being on the whole route... Hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil had almost deserted the country... Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes... desolate and unlovely...".
- Mark Twain, "The Innocents Abroad", 1867 -
"In 1590 a 'simple English visitor' to Jerusalem wrote: 'Nothing there is to bescene but a little of the old walls, which is yet remayning and all the rest is grasse, mosse and weedes much like to a piece of rank or moist grounde'.".
- Gunner Edward Webbe, Palestine Exploration Fund,
Quarterly Statement, p. 86; de Haas, History, p. 338 -
"The land in Palestine is lacking in people to till its fertile soil".
- British archaeologist Thomas Shaw, mid-1700s -
"Palestine is a ruined and desolate land".
- Count Constantine François Volney, XVIII century French author and historian -
"The Arabs themselves cannot be considered but temporary residents. They pitched their tents in its grazing fields or built their places of refuge in its ruined cities. They created nothing in it. Since they were strangers to the land, they never became its masters. The desert wind that brought them hither could one day carry them away without their leaving behind them any sign of their passage through it".
- Comments by Christians concerning the Arabs in Palestine in the 1800s -
"Then we entered the hill district, and our path lay through the clattering bed of an ancient stream, whose brawling waters have rolled away into the past, along with the fierce and turbulent race who once inhabited these savage hills. There may have been cultivation here two thousand years ago. The mountains, or huge stony mounds environing this rough path, have level ridges all the way up to their summits; on these parallel ledges there is still some verdure and soil: when water flowed here, and the country was thronged with that extraordinary population, which, according to the Sacred Histories, was crowded into the region, these mountain steps may have been gardens and vineyards, such as we see now thriving along the hills of the Rhine. Now the district is quite deserted, and you ride among what seem to be so many petrified waterfalls. We saw no animals moving among the stony brakes; scarcely even a dozen little birds in the whole course of the ride".
- William Thackeray in "From Jaffa To Jerusalem", 1844 -
"The country is in a considerable degree empty of inhabitants and therefore its greatest need is of a body of population".
- James Finn, British Consul in 1857 -
"The area was underpopulated and remained economically stagnant until the arrival of the first Zionist pioneers in the 1880's, who came to rebuild the Jewish land. The country had remained "The Holy Land" in the religious and historic consciousness of mankind, which associated it with the Bible and the history of the Jewish people. Jewish development of the country also attracted large numbers of other immigrants - both Jewish and Arab. The road leading from Gaza to the north was only a summer track suitable for transport by camels and carts... Houses were all of mud. No windows were anywhere to be seen... The plows used were of wood... The yields were very poor... The sanitary conditions in the village [Yabna] were horrible... Schools did not exist... The rate of infant mortality was very high... The western part, toward the sea, was almost a desert... The villages in this area were few and thinly populated. Many ruins of villages were scattered over the area, as owing to the prevalence of malaria, many villages were deserted by their inhabitants".
- The report of the British Royal Commission, 1913 -