The British government decreed the Mossad’s station chief in London persona non grata in retaliation for the spy agency’s forging 12 British passports used in the Dubai assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabouh (if anyone can uncover the name of this person I’d be grateful). For those Israelis who seek to portray this act as “more of the same” and Britain “going through the paces” consider that it is almost unheard of for allies to expel intelligence agents of friendly powers. The last time I can think of this happening was…what a surprise, when Naor Gilon high-tailed it out of Washington a few years ago after serving as the Israeli conduit for Steve Rosen and Keith Franklin. Yes, somehow Israel does get itself into more than its share of hot water with allegedly friendly governments.
This too somehow doesn’t sound like business as usual in Westminster:
…A host of lawmakers used harsh language to excoriate Israel on the floor of Parliament, calling for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador, urging criminal prosecution of those involved in the Dubai operation and going so far as to say that Israel was becoming a “rogue state.”
The Telegraph’s foreign editor issued a call for the sacking of Mossad chief Meir Dagan and warned that future intelligence cooperation between Britain and Israel on major issues like Iran’s nuclear program would be imperiled until things were set aright.
Using Goebbels tactic of turning a lie you utter into truth and a truth your enemy utters into a lie, some of Israel’s most far-right Knesset members engaged in some looniness of their own, of course abusing the anti-Semitism trope in the process:
Members of the Israeli parliament likened the British government to “anti-Semitic dogs” and demanded the expulsion of Britain’s military attaché in Tel Aviv after erupting in fury over the expulsion of an Israeli diplomat in London.
“I think the British are being hypocritical, and I do not wish to insult dogs here, since some dogs show true loyalty, [but] who gave the British the right to judge us on the war on terror?” said Arieh Eldad, a right-wing member of the Knesset.
The canine theme was taken up by a second MP, Michael Ben-Ari, who said: “Dogs are usually loyal, the British may be dogs, but they are not loyal to us. They seem to be loyal to the anti-Semitic establishment.
“We have learned that a dog must be called by its name. This is anti-Semitism disguised as anti-Zionism.”
It makes you wonder how these thugs in the guise of politicians would react if MI5 stole Israeli passports and used them to assassinate an enemy of the state. Would Israel sit back and enjoy it? Somehow I doubt it. These birds would be the first to decry this usurpation of Israeli sovereignty, etc.
Bibi Netanyahu got his sought after presidential meeting with Barack Obama today as the crowning glory of the Aipac conference. But all was not well. First, after swearing for days that Israel would never embarrass another American official with an announcement of building of new East Jerusalem settlements at delicate junctures in diplomatic activity, Haaretz reported that the Israeli government once again proudly announced the construction of new housing in that contested area. And this only hours before Bibi graced the Oval Office.
The blame for this black eye goes not to the government this time, but to Jerusalem’s bellicose nationalist mayor, who approved of turning the Shepherd Hotel into housing for extremist settlers. The Hotel was stolen through the manipulations of the Israeli government, which declared the Palestinian property unclaimed after 1967, eventually turning it over to pro-settler bingo magnate Irving Moskowitz for a cool $1-million. Moskowitz funds a settler equivalent of the Nobel Prize for most vitriolic, hate-filled settler leader, the Moskowitz Prize for Zionism. He throws a big party to celebrate and advertises in all the best Jewish periodicals. Somehow, it’s a strange irony that the millions in bingo betting proffered by the hard-working people of southern California are funding some of the seediest, most hate-filled Jewish extremists in the Middle East.
In the meantime, Obama met Bibi today with no essential meeting of the minds on how to pursue peace negotiations despite the fact that the Israelis made much over the past week since the Ramat Shlomo fiasco, which ruined Joe Biden’s trip, that they were turning over a new leaf and would behave themselves in future. We can see how long such assurances last.
The question is what will Obama do about it. Given the history of the past year, it is hard to imagine Obama having the gumption necessary to take on Bibi. George Bush and Jim Baker managed it in 1992, but sad to say, Barack Obama apparently is no George Bush.
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- Binyamin Netanyahu defiant ahead of meeting with Barack Obama (guardian.co.uk)
- Britain kicks out Mossad chief (warincontext.org)