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Max Blumenthal Exposes Fraudster at Bottom of Hamas Atrocity Stories

In the 72-hour runup to Israel’s ground invasion of Gaza, U.S. President Biden was stunned over bestial horror of Hamas atrocities against Jewish children. On Oct. 11, Biden ruminated publicly: “I never really thought that I would see, have confirmed, pictures of terrorists beheading children.” However, he never saw, nor had confirmed the existence of such pictures, because there were no pictures, and no terrorists had beheaded children. The story came from Yossi Landau, who heads operations for the southern region of ZAKA, Israel’s volunteer civilian emergency service organization.

On Oct. 31, Secretary of State Blinken explained to a Senate hearing that a ceasefire with Hamas was not possible, due to their savagery. He retailed a milder version of Landau’s original: “A young boy and girl, 6 and 8 years old, and their parents around the breakfast table. The father’s eye gouged out in front of his kids. The mother’s breast cut off, the girl’s foot amputated, the boy’s fingers cut off before they were executed…. That is what this [Israeli] society is dealing with.” The incident never happened. The only pair of Israeli siblings who died on Oct. 7 were caught in a crossfire between Hamas and the IDF, most likely from Israeli tanks, as their parents tragically drove the wrong way.

EIR reported on Dec. 5 on Landau’s role in providing horrifying tales for IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus and Prime Minister Netanyahu, on their way to the mouth of Biden. However, Max Blumenthal’s Dec. 6 Grayzone article, “Scandal-Stained Israeli ‘Rescue’ Group Fuels October 7 Fabrications,” locates the pathetic Landau as a serial liar, a crazed ultra-Orthodox zealot, who calmly stated last week that anyone who doubts his stories and downplays Oct. 7 “should be, together with the Hamas terrorists, that he should be killed, cause he’s a part of it.”

Blumenthal explains that Landau was on the scene as the director in southern Israel for ZAKA, whose volunteers make sure a dead body, and/or parts of the body, are gathered up for a proper Orthodox burial ritual. The founder and, until 2021, head of ZAKA—and Landau’s immediate boss—is Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, known in Israel as “the Haraedi Jeffrey Epstein” for his serial raping of both male and female youth. When exposed in 2021, he attempted suicide, went into a coma, and died a year later. Landau had worked with Meshi-Zahav since the 1995 founding of ZAKA.

A quick look at four of Landau’s atrocious fables make clear that they fool no one; rather, one must make a decision to use them, for the malicious purpose they serve. The most famous is his role in confirming Hamas’ alleged beheading of babies in the Kfar Aza kibbutz. On CBS, he reported that he saw with his own eyes children and babies who had been beheaded, and added: “I saw a lot more that cannot be described for now, because it’s very hard to describe.” The IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus thought his testimony clinched the deal, saying that, since “a senior official in the Israeli coronary service [sic] Zaka came forward on record on CBS News and said ‘yes, I saw the bodies of beheaded babies,’ I think we can now say with relative confidence that this is unfortunately what happened.” But Blumenthal reports from Israel’s records, the only infant victim was the unfortunate10-month old Mila Cohen, who was shot and died, but not decapitated.

Then on Oct. 12, Landau told Israel’s Foreign Ministry-funded i24 channel of entering a home in Kibbutz Beeri, where he saw “a pregnant lady lying on the floor, and then we turn her around and see that the stomach is cut open, wide open. The unborn baby, still connected with an umbilical cord, was stabbed with a knife. And the mother was shot in the head. And you use your imagination, trying to figure out what came first,” Landau says in English. Blumenthal finds in Israeli records no pregnant woman was found dead in Beeri.

Also in Beeri, Landau “saw 20 children shot, burned and piled together in two piles.” Their hands were tied before being burned. But Israeli records have a total of 13 children having been killed, with the most found in a single location being three. And the largest pile of any burned Israeli bodies in Kibbutz Beeri were scorched when the IDF shelled a home.

Finally, in a neighboring Beeri house, Landau states: “In the living room we see two parents, mother and father, with hands tied behind their backs. Lying by their side were two small children, with their hands also tied behind their back. They were all burned to death. The terrorists were sitting at the table and eating while they torched them to death.” (Now, Landau sees Hamas’ fighters sitting and eating!) No siblings in Beeri died this way, but this fable was recounted by Blinken, to explain to the Senate why a ceasefire was ruled out.

Israel’s major Ynet news agency reported on ZAKA’s founder and chairman Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, who won the prestigious Israel Prize “for contributions to society”—granted to him by current Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. That evidently triggered a wave of sexual abuse and rape allegations. Israeli news sites were awash with detailed allegations of sexual abuse by Meshi-Zahav. The ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea Shearim awarded him the honorific, the “Haredi Jeffrey Epstein” for his widely known sexual transgressions. Ynet reported in March 2021 that Meshi-Zahav’s record of rape was “no secret. We’re talking about loads of people. For him, everything goes—women, children, boys and girls....” In April 2022, amid investigations into his rapacious activities, he attempted suicide that left him in a coma for over a year, before he died.

Curiously, Landau’s accusations have also become a primary source for the rape allegations against Hamas. Further, ZAKA was exposed over a year ago by Haaretz for ripping off Israel’s government, increasing its share of state funding by claiming three times the number of volunteers than were active. Blumenthal writes that Landau ’”appeared to be involved in the grift.”