Israel cruises into a diplomatic storm

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, speaking on Saturday, suggested that Israel will not face a diplomatic crisis with Europe over the killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai “because there is nothing linking Israel to the assassination.”

“Britain, France and Germany are countries with shared interests with Israel in countering terrorism,” Ayalon said.

Not so fast. The latest information indicates that a diplomatic crisis is near unavoidable.

Israel is now directly implicated in the killing as British diplomatic sources have been told that Israeli immigration officials at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, secretly copied the British passports which were then used by the Mossad assassins.

But if stealing the identities was not enough, Dubai police now say that some of the killers were carrying diplomatic passports.

Israel has questions to answer and the dismissive responses it has given so far will not satisfy European governments that are fast running out of patience.

Meanwhile, Victor Ostrovsky, a former colonel in Mossad, advised the Israeli residents whose identities were stolen that their lives are at risk.

“They’re safe so to speak, until somebody kills them. I would tell them: do not travel outside the country for at least two years, under any circumstances,” he said.

In the Daily Telegraph, Alasdair Palmer notes that judging by the international reaction to the killing of al-Mabhouh, forging passports is much worse than murder. He, like most humane observers, begs to differ:

This apparent international consensus that assassination is a legitimate tool of foreign policy is a very sinister development. State-sponsored murder is still murder. And murder is still a worse offence than using forged passports.

As for President Obama, he is presumably monitoring the situation. Having determined that Hellfire missiles circumvent a host of intractable legal issues, the world’s only other enthusiastic proponent of so-called targeted killing is unlikely to condemn the latest episode in Mossad’s ongoing killing spree.

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3 thoughts on “Israel cruises into a diplomatic storm

  1. AbeBird

    There is no any clear cut evidence that the Israeli Mossad did it but some rumors and insinuations. The fact that the assassinators used European Israeli’s names passports may show that some other intelligence institutions had interest to deliberately inflict the blame over the Israelis. It is very amazing that you fail to mention that two high Fatah Palestinian officers were caught by Dubai police and third is held by the Syrians.

  2. Adam_Smith

    The state will always take threats, even murderous threats, to individual ordinary citizens much less seriously than any challenge, however minor, to its own authority. Why would anyone be surprised by this?

  3. DE Teodoru

    It’s Mossad’s dream that the US finally obeyed its admonitions to do semi-targetted assassinations (“semi” in the sense that everything in a wide circle suffers the fate of the target, which itself is only partially identified so is very error prone). While Israel’s Holocaust Psychosis is expressed in a desire to copy the Nazis in how they deal with weaker peoples, Obama can make no similar criminal insanity plea for he knows full well that he is setting an example that removes any legitimacy which StateDept sought with its terrorist list, given that the US is the most frequent terrorist of these times using its drones.

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