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AlJazeera: Mossad, an Israeli chutzpah

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Submitted by Amir “MR”

By Marwan Bishara

As the storm over the assassination of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh picks up momentum, I am not buying into the whole business of lack of competence and ambiguity.

I don’t think the Israeli spy/killing agency – the Mossad is that sloppy, or Israel that lax.

True, Israel’s mounting arrogance did lead to a number of security screw-ups over the years, and this could be such a repeat. But this operation looks more like a deliberate act of arrogance than not.

If it was merely a question of mistakes or failures, the Mossad would have had to go out of its way to behave so unprofessionally or so incautiously.

Nor do I buy the theory that a less competent foreign agency or group has carried out the operation in a way that implicates Israel. That’s just adding insult to insolence.

Generally, assassinations carry double meanings. The first is answered by ‘why’ and the second ‘how’.

The “why” is rather obvious: killing a Hamas leader, regardless of whether he’s trying to buy arms from Iran or not, is a continuation of Israel’s 60 year war on the Palestinian resistance and its leaders.

The more complicated question is “how” he was assassinated. The choice of the method, the timing, the place could be coincidental or it is meant to send a more important signal than the killing itself.

Questionable questions

So why did they carry it as unmistaken murder, instead of say, causing heart failure; or suspected suicide; or leave him in a scandalous situation that make it hard to publicise?

Why would they send 11 or perhaps 17 different individuals carrying forged passports when in past assassination attempts they used far fewer?

Why did they have to look so amateurish with their faces on camera, and their moves so suspect?

Why utilise stolen identities instead of manufactured identities, with real foreign Israeli nationals, instead of fake IDs and fake passport numbers?

Why insist on repeating the conspicuous ‘politics of ambiguity’ when silence or no comment would have done the job better?

The murdered Hamas leader will be replaced in no time, and whatever he was doing in Dubai will be executed by another. But what is the message being sent by this flagrant assassination in Dubai of a Hamas leader against the backdrop of so many other killings over the last several months and years?

Claim to fame

Israel’s military and intelligence establishment is not the reactive type. It wouldn’t use British passports or Emirati territory to carry its assassinations worrying that they will get all cheeky about Israel’s ‘war on terror’.

It has long demonstrated that its political system is mostly proactive in the domain of ‘security’, and the latter trumps all other considerations, be it domestic politics or foreign policy.

In fact, its security takes on an inflated interpretation that justifies the most expansive, even flagrant definitions of deterrence, prevention, and pre-emption.

And it never made any apologies for it. It has always put its security priorities above all others, friends and foes alike.

For Israeli leaders, Israel will do what Israel must, and the world can talk as much as it wants. Its motto: if you can’t be conveniently famous, then be abrasively infamous.

The security establishment, especially the Mossad and the internal security intelligence, the Shabak would rather be feared than respected or admired.

Israel doesn’t think linearly in terms of actions and reactions, but rather strategically and systematically. Its objectives and actions, means and missions, work within a certain broad strategy.

Mission possible

Judging from the way Israel seems to implicate into this affair the Palestinian security, Britain, the United Arab Emirates and possibly others, it’s clear that its operation theatre against Hamas is once again not constrained solely to Gaza or the West Bank.

If these countries are true partners in the ‘war against the terrorists’, then Israel expects them to cooperate not conspire. You’re either with Israel or with the ‘terrorist’!

This operation is a continuation of the same logic behind other recent assassinations, including killing Hezbollah leader Imad Moghaniyyeh, which aims at all the links between Hamas, Hezbollah and their regional allies.

Obviously, Israel’s War on Terror is not constrained to the occupied territories. Rather, Israel will continue to make similar claims to those of the US war on violent extremists or terrorists to use the less recent American lingo.

Why, the Israelis argue, is it permissible for the US to carry extra-judicial killings of its enemies’ leaders in Pakistan, Iraq, or Yemen using drones and other means, but not for Israel?

Why has the so-called international community been conspicuously silent about American renditions and torture, but not with regards to Israel’s similar ways and means?

While some of this might explain Washington’s silence, it doesn’t answer the more provocative Israeli question: Why is it ok for the United States to turn the world into its theatre of operation, and not for Israel?

Until it’s answered, Israel will continue to act dangerously and with impunity.

Source: AlJazeera English

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Muslim American born in Brooklyn, NY with Guyanese parents currently living in Virginia working full-time as a web developer.

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