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Let the Assassinations Begin

The death knell of the old narrative.

He was, by some accounts, paralyzed with a muscle relaxant, shocked in the head and suffocated. The killing of Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a posh Dubai hotel room was riveting news, further intrigue from a mysterious region. But who would have thought that one more Palestinian death could make such a difference?

The Mossad’s assassination of the senior Hamas figure and the revelation that many of the 26 agents involved were traveling on the forged passports of friendly countries has sparked an international furor at the worst possible time for Israel.

With Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu locked in a dangerous dispute with his country’s most vital ally and Israel’s reputation yet to recover from the devastation of Gaza, we may well be witnessing the death knell of the old narrative, that of Israel as the righteous bulwark of civilization against the Middle East’s barbarian hordes.

The long-standing narrative that has endeared them towards the West is shifting as the moral double standards become clearer and more people begin to see Israeli intransigence and aggression as the main obstacle to peace. Zvi Bar’el wrote recently in Haaretz that to the world, “Israel is no longer an exotic citron, but has been exposed as just another lemon.”

It is no coincidence that Netanyahu is presiding over this transition period. After all, the public relations disaster echoes another stemming from a 1997 assassination attempt that Netanyahu is said to have personally ordered during his first term as Prime Minister. Like the Dubai operation, Mossad agents traveled to an Arab country using the forged passports of a friendly nation to kill a senior Hamas leader.

Two Mossad operatives who had arrived in Amman on false Canadian passports approached then Hamas Jordanian branch chief, Khaled Mishal, as he entered his office building. They succeeded in spraying him in the ear with a lethal nerve toxin but were pursued and arrested soon thereafter.

Jordan, one of the few Arab countries to sign a peace treaty with Israel, threatened to close the Israeli embassy in Amman and an enraged King Hussein called the attempt a “reckless betrayal.” Canada recalled its ambassador from Israel in protest at the use of Canadian passports and President Clinton was quoted as saying of Netanyahu, “I cannot deal with this man. He is impossible.”

As bad as that experience was for Israel’s image abroad it does not compare to the perfect storm brewing today. The UK, a key strategic ally, recently expelled an Israeli diplomat thought to be Mossad’s London station chief and Australia has voiced uncharacteristic anger over the use of their country’s passports in the operation.

“Michael Ross” is a Canadian citizen who spent 13 years in the Mossad as a deep-cover officer. He defends the Dubai operation. “Spies are law-breakers and broachers of sovereignty no matter how you dress them up,” he says.

Perhaps the assassination itself should not be especially surprising, after all extrajudicial killings in foreign countries have always been one of the Mossad’s specialties. But what followed next demonstrates a newfound level of arrogance and recklessness.

The Israeli UK embassy joked openly about the killing on its Twitter page writing, “@israeluk You heard it here first: Israeli tennis player carries out hit on #Dubai target.” Though it linked to a story about an Israeli tennis player’s victory in a Dubai tournament, the tweet was a thinly veiled reference to the fact that several of the Mossad agents who stalked Mabhouh were dressed as tennis players. Soon after that an Israeli supermarket parodied the killing with an ad mimicking the CCTV footage of the Mossad hit team. The commercial ended with the line, “we offer killer prices.”

While Ross described the UK embassy tweet and spoof ad as “crass,” he believes “Israel could cure cancer, malaria, and solve the world's energy needs and still fail miserably PR-wise.”

Recent actions are not helping their cause in the battle of the narrative. As the double standards grow more blatant Israel risks becoming just another Middle Eastern aggressor in the eyes of the West. If Israel loses the moral superiority it has enjoyed for decades, one has to wonder how the world would react if Hamas started coming for Israeli officials in foreign hotel rooms.


-Blake Sifton

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20 comments on the article “Let the Assassinations Begin”

Displaying 11 - 20 of 20

Page 2 of 2

History Punk

"Imad Mugniyah, a leading Hizbullah commander, was assassinated in Damascus. "

Killing senior military figures in a war is not a crime but the reason for war itself. As for Mr. Mugniyah, he could have avoid his fate by simply abstaining from terrorist activities or by any point surrendering himself to American or Israeli authorities for trial.

History Punk

"Imad Mugniyah, a leading Hizbullah commander, was assassinated in Damascus. "

Killing senior military figures in a war is not a crime but the reason for war itself. As for Mr. Mugniyah, he could have avoid his fate by simply abstaining from terrorist activities or by any point surrendering himself to American or Israeli authorities for trial.

sowens

I think i got goosebumps hearing this. I don't feel like its anyway better to do. Im really scared when it comes to assassination.

http://www.sugarcitymarine.com.au

sowens

I think i got goosebumps hearing this. I don't feel like its anyway better to do. Im really scared when it comes to assassination.

http://www.sugarcitymarine.com.au

Anonymous

Well to be honest, I dont like assassinations too. I am scared, that in our country, there might be some attempts and I might be witness or something similar. I am just scared and i cant imagine what will I do in such situation....

Best regards, Mike
Losebellyfat101.org

Anonymous

Well to be honest, I dont like assassinations too. I am scared, that in our country, there might be some attempts and I might be witness or something similar. I am just scared and i cant imagine what will I do in such situation....

Best regards, Mike
Losebellyfat101.org

Anonymous

so what exactly was al-mabhouh doing in dubai? i've heard rumours of meeting with chinese or iranian state representatives to buy arms. strangely enough, this is never mentioned in any press evaluation as to the event which justs ends up with the conclusion 'it must've been those naughty mossad guys and girls' (which in itself leads to a prejudicial reading of events).

also, if it was mossad (and again, only circumstantial evidence has suggested it was mossad), then why is it not mentioned that they would not have been able to enter into dubai had they been carrying israeli passports? is this not in itself a reprehensible position for the dubai government to take?

as for the faux-outrage, please tell me what country's security services have not tracked and killed an opponent abroad. if it wasn't for people prepared to do dirty shit like this, there would be no free speech for adbusters or anyone else.

and for fuck's sake, how can you take the post seriously which suggests that there are 'Zionist-owned newspapers' (March 30, 2010 08:19 am)?

'zionists' owning the media? next you'll be saying that they use the blood of christian children or that they own the banking system. criticism of zionism is one thing and politically accpetable, but it's fucking sad when it's used as a cloak for something more malign, as in the cited example.

Anonymous

so what exactly was al-mabhouh doing in dubai? i've heard rumours of meeting with chinese or iranian state representatives to buy arms. strangely enough, this is never mentioned in any press evaluation as to the event which justs ends up with the conclusion 'it must've been those naughty mossad guys and girls' (which in itself leads to a prejudicial reading of events).

also, if it was mossad (and again, only circumstantial evidence has suggested it was mossad), then why is it not mentioned that they would not have been able to enter into dubai had they been carrying israeli passports? is this not in itself a reprehensible position for the dubai government to take?

as for the faux-outrage, please tell me what country's security services have not tracked and killed an opponent abroad. if it wasn't for people prepared to do dirty shit like this, there would be no free speech for adbusters or anyone else.

and for fuck's sake, how can you take the post seriously which suggests that there are 'Zionist-owned newspapers' (March 30, 2010 08:19 am)?

'zionists' owning the media? next you'll be saying that they use the blood of christian children or that they own the banking system. criticism of zionism is one thing and politically accpetable, but it's fucking sad when it's used as a cloak for something more malign, as in the cited example.

Anonymous

Replying to your comments:

U:"so what exactly was al-mabhouh doing in dubai? i've heard rumours of meeting with chinese or iranian state representatives to buy arms. strangely enough, this is never mentioned in any press evaluation as to the event which justs ends up with the conclusion 'it must've been those naughty mossad guys and girls' (which in itself leads to a prejudicial reading of events)."

M:Whatever Mabhouh was doing it was something that should be taken care of by the Dubai authorities (if illegal). However, this still does not excuse the fact that foreign agents came to a country and performed an assassination. Something that all countries in this world can not condone.

U:"then why is it not mentioned that they would not have been able to enter into dubai had they been carrying israeli passports? is this not in itself a reprehensible position for the dubai government to take?"

M:There are lots of countries with unfair policies when it comes to letting in foreigners. It's a normal policy in Israel as well, where people from several countries can not come in with their countries passports. If they did come in with another countries passport (fake) would anyone be against Israel taking action because of it? Would it be viewed as reprehensible in the first place that these people could not go in with their own passports? Methinks not, that is the right of said country and it's citizens to decide. Oh, and another thing, when you commit an assassination on another countries territory, whatever passport you use, it is still not okay.

U:"as for the faux-outrage, please tell me what country's security services have not tracked and killed an opponent abroad. if it wasn't for people prepared to do dirty shit like this, there would be no free speech for adbusters or anyone else."

M: In the past yes, but in this modern era the only ones known to do such blatantly uncivilized actions are the US, UK, and Israel. And no, no one thinks their practice of killing, torturing, renditioning, etc. people abroad is ok or in anyway legal under International Law (It also goes againt their own countries laws--UK and US in particular). And thanks to their actions free speech has taken a nose dive because people that have the 'audacity' to think for themselves and state an opinion that contradicts and is against these actions are gagged (sibel edmonds), stripped of their jobs (in many cases this has happened to professors without secure tenures), or even denied entry into countries just because they are speaking in forums that are against said governments policies (Chomsky to the West Bank by Israel--latest, George Galloway to Canada---last year, Anna Baltzer to West Bank---almost always, etc.). So freedom of speech is another thing that goes down the drain because of illegal actions like this.

I don't know what post you are referring to though, the one that you say claims there are 'Zionist-owned newspapers', which I don't agree with. But I will say this, Zionist lobbies do exact an unfair amount of power when it comes to silencing media and events, and in the US they get an unfair amount of Senate and Congress hearings and Bills that go their way. You can read about this in many books by Chomsky (Failed States, Hegemony or Survival, etc.), Naomi Klein (Disaster Capitalism), and of course Walt and Mersheimers 'Israel Lobby'.

BR

M.

Anonymous

Replying to your comments:

U:"so what exactly was al-mabhouh doing in dubai? i've heard rumours of meeting with chinese or iranian state representatives to buy arms. strangely enough, this is never mentioned in any press evaluation as to the event which justs ends up with the conclusion 'it must've been those naughty mossad guys and girls' (which in itself leads to a prejudicial reading of events)."

M:Whatever Mabhouh was doing it was something that should be taken care of by the Dubai authorities (if illegal). However, this still does not excuse the fact that foreign agents came to a country and performed an assassination. Something that all countries in this world can not condone.

U:"then why is it not mentioned that they would not have been able to enter into dubai had they been carrying israeli passports? is this not in itself a reprehensible position for the dubai government to take?"

M:There are lots of countries with unfair policies when it comes to letting in foreigners. It's a normal policy in Israel as well, where people from several countries can not come in with their countries passports. If they did come in with another countries passport (fake) would anyone be against Israel taking action because of it? Would it be viewed as reprehensible in the first place that these people could not go in with their own passports? Methinks not, that is the right of said country and it's citizens to decide. Oh, and another thing, when you commit an assassination on another countries territory, whatever passport you use, it is still not okay.

U:"as for the faux-outrage, please tell me what country's security services have not tracked and killed an opponent abroad. if it wasn't for people prepared to do dirty shit like this, there would be no free speech for adbusters or anyone else."

M: In the past yes, but in this modern era the only ones known to do such blatantly uncivilized actions are the US, UK, and Israel. And no, no one thinks their practice of killing, torturing, renditioning, etc. people abroad is ok or in anyway legal under International Law (It also goes againt their own countries laws--UK and US in particular). And thanks to their actions free speech has taken a nose dive because people that have the 'audacity' to think for themselves and state an opinion that contradicts and is against these actions are gagged (sibel edmonds), stripped of their jobs (in many cases this has happened to professors without secure tenures), or even denied entry into countries just because they are speaking in forums that are against said governments policies (Chomsky to the West Bank by Israel--latest, George Galloway to Canada---last year, Anna Baltzer to West Bank---almost always, etc.). So freedom of speech is another thing that goes down the drain because of illegal actions like this.

I don't know what post you are referring to though, the one that you say claims there are 'Zionist-owned newspapers', which I don't agree with. But I will say this, Zionist lobbies do exact an unfair amount of power when it comes to silencing media and events, and in the US they get an unfair amount of Senate and Congress hearings and Bills that go their way. You can read about this in many books by Chomsky (Failed States, Hegemony or Survival, etc.), Naomi Klein (Disaster Capitalism), and of course Walt and Mersheimers 'Israel Lobby'.

BR

M.

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