9-11/Israel did it/Dancing Israelis

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Group.png 9-11/Israel did it/Dancing IsraelisRdf-icon.png
3 of the 5 "Dancing Israelis" on Israeli TV
Membership • Sivan Kurzberg
• Paul Kurzberg
• Yaron Schmuel
• Oded Ellner
• Omer Marmari
A group of 5 Israelis, including Mossad agents, spotted behaving suspiciously on 9/11.

The 'Dancing Israelis' (referred to after their arrest by the FBI as the 'High Fivers') were a group of 5 Israelis spotted in Manhattan behaving suspiciously on 9/11, who were arrested the same day in a white van. Two of them were Mossad agents. They were detained for 70 days and then deported. Three of them later appeared on Israeli TV and claimed that they were in New York City that morning "to document the event".

A video by James Corbett


The white 2000 Chevrolet on which the 'Dancing Israelis' were spotted and in which they were arrested.

A New York resident referred to by ABC only as "Maria" reports that on the morning of 9/11, a neighbor called her shortly after the first plane hit the World Trade Center. She watched the destruction unfolding in lower Manhattan through binoculars and three young men kneeling on the roof of a white 2000 Chevrolet van[1] in the parking lot of her apartment building caught her attention since "they seemed to be taking a movie". Particularly suspicious she found the expressions on the men's faces. "They were like happy, you know... They didn't look shocked to me. I thought it was very strange" and so she noted down the license number of their white van [later revealed by FBI documents to be JRJ-13Y][2] before passing it on to the FBI by phone.[3]

James Perloff speculated that the group may have used a VHF transmitter to notify other operatives of the strikes on the towers.[4]


The five men were detained by Sergeant Scott DeCarlo of the New Jersey Police Department around 4pm on September 11th.[5]. The police and FBI field agents became suspicious when they found maps of the city with certain places highlighted, box cutters (the same items that the 19 hijackers supposedly used), $4,700 cash stuffed in a sock, and foreign passports. Police also told a New Jersey local paper, The Bergen Record, that bomb sniffing dogs were brought to the van and that they reacted as if they had smelled explosives. According to the Jewish Weekly Forward the FBI later determined that at least two of the Israelis (Sivan Kurzberg and Paul Kurzberg) were agents of the Mossad.[6][7]

FOIA released redacted document about their arrest

ABC News 20/20 reported after these five Israelis were detained, that the driver of the van, Sivan Kurzberg told the officers: "We are Israeli. We are not your problem. Your problems are our problems. The Palestinians are the problem." They were held and interrogated, then released without charge. The FBI seized and developed their photos, one of which shows Sivan Kurzberg flicking a cigarette lighter in front of the smoldering ruins in an apparently celebratory gesture.[3][8][9]

One of the five Israelis had a ticket for Bangkok and was due to fly out on September 13.[10]

FOIA'ed documents

Some redacted copies of relevant FBI documents were released in 2005. They reveal that the group were referred to internally by the FBI as the 'High Fivers'. A very detailed analysis was carried out by Take Our World Back. They conclude that the documents reveal an FBI 'investigation' that was "very similar to the NIST 'investigations' into the World Trade Center (WTC) buildings' collapses, in that the conclusion is politically motivated rather than evidence-based."[11]


The New York Times described the group as "five young Israeli moving men", and reported that Oded Ellner and Omer Gavriel Marmari were deported to Israel on November 20th, and that the others were expected to be deported on 21st. It also recorded that Mr. Kurzberg's lawyer said he believed that US Attorney General John Ashcroft had to sign off on the release.[8]

Later activities

Three of the group later appeared on an Israeli talk show (with the other two in the audience)[citation needed]. They denied being happy about the events of 9-11, and did not accept responsibility for the event, but made the enigmatic claim that they were in New York that morning "to document the event".[12]

Failed lawsuit

The group brought a lawsuit against the US government, which was thrown out.[9]

  • Video - Five Dancing Israelis Arrested On 9/11
  • Video - Cheering Israelis 1
  • Video - Cheering Israelis 2


Event Participated in

9-11/WTC7/Destruction11 September 2001 17:20:52 - 11 September 2001 17:20:589-11/WTC7

Related Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:The Five Dancing Israelis Arrested On 9-11webpage6 August 2011The editor


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