Part of a special edition on Israel, magazine XXI [21], Paris. A commission of three linoleum cuts to illustrate a text revealing a drug trafficking case involving the Israeli government during the sixties that would have help to the success of the ” Six Days War ” [against Egypt].

‘Toto” projet three linoleum blocks

Operation “Toto”, short text excerpts [translated from the original French version by the post writer].

“…. The smugglers were the authority. They executed a secret mission approved and sanctioned by successive Israeli governments. The purpose of this drug trafficking was to make the Egyptian consumers ‘hooked’ and, through them, to weaken the Egyptian army, the most formidable enemy of Israel at the time. Operation “drug trafficking” was directed by “Unit 504”. This controversial and secret unity intelligence Israeli military is considered one of the most ruthless of all the Israeli security services.

” les trafiquants”, the smugglers , linoleum cut, 3 colors

… All officers operating in the ultra-secret unit already had “top security clearances (” Accreditation of high-level security “). However, since they were engaged in the operation, they were summoned to the office of chief of the unit where they must again take the oath, and were invited to sign a top-secret classification. Only after these procedures they were allowed to see the famous secret document, and learn about their mission …. Lots of money circulated from hand to hand. Bridery facilitated trafficking .

“en liquide”. cash money, linoleum cut, 3 colors

… the “selected” were received by the Commanders in Chief of the Unit 504 and subject to the strictest secrecy. They accepted their mission without knowing its contents. Given their agreement, they had to sign a pledge additional unusual to maintain the highest level of confidentiality. Only after this ceremony they were allowed to read the contents of the task they had to accept, and to read the current operation and its various code names, to namely “Toto”, “Lahav” and “Tidhar” … Some tried to renege on their commitment and asked their superiors to release them from the mission. They were informed that once the documents were signed and approved, no reversing was possible. They had no escape.


” le serment”, the oath, linoleum cut, 3 colors

…Ironically, fifty years after the set up of the operation  “Toto” a mirror effect appears. The Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah often recruits its agents in Israel today – including military personnel – through an agreement “drug-exchange-information »…. and Hezbollah is winning on all the fronts. While obtaining information on military installations in Israel, it weakens Israeli society by drowning it with drugs …. This is a strictly conform copy of a plan  set up against the Arabs in 1959 by General Chaim Herzog, chief military intelligence, and his colleagues from the army. “

Below, photographs showing the printing proofing process of the linoleum blocks.

‘le serment’ the oath, linoleum proofing on the printing press

‘en liquide’ cash money, linoleum bw proofing on the printing press

‘les trafiquants’ the smugglers, linoleum proofing on the printing press

In order to achieve one desire toning of colors combinations and good printing image,  6 colors proofing or more are required per image.

Texts excerpts are a copyright of  Magazine XXI, Paris, 2010.

Linoleum cuts & photographs copyright Raymond Verdaguer, 2010.

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