Israeli army deploys newest
antiterror weapon: bank robbery
credit: European Pressphoto Agency
The Israeli Army possesses some of the most sophisticated weaponry known in the world today. It’s counterterrorism capability is the envy of many military forces including the U.S. Its very presence has been known to throw the fear of God into Israel’s enemies (though not lately). And now, the Israeli Army has added a new weapon to its arsenal: the common bank heist.
Israel has utilized many morally depraved weapons in its war against Palestinian terror (to be fair, the Palestinians seem to have a more reduced, but no less lethal arsenal of morally depraved tactics): extrajudicial killing, targeted assassination (which somehow always cause “collateral damage” to innocent civilians), demolition of the family homes of suicide bombers, expropriation of land, uprooting of Paletinian olive groves, etc. But this new one, if it wasn’t equally heinous would actually be comic–a dark comedy mind you, but comic nevertheless.
The story is chronicled in the New York Times by James Bennett in Israelis, in Raid on Arab Banks, Seize Reputed Terrorist Funds. The Israelis apparently barged their way into Cairo Amman and Arab Bank branches and, using Palestinian bank personnel kidnapped (or to be more technical “arrested”) the night before, stole (or should we say “appropriated”?) between $6.7-9 million from “hundreds” of personal and institutional Palestinian bank accounts. I wonder why the Israelis themselves don’t know how much they’ve stolen?
According to Bennett, Israeli officials claimed this expedition to enrich the Israeli treasury “was aimed carefully at terrorist financing and in line with President Bush’s call for action against such funds.” I’d say it was aimed about as “carefully” as those missles aimed at terrorists which kill innocent civilians. How are we to know how they determined the funds were tainted? What was their proof? They certainly didn’t go before a judge to get permission (I’m certain no judge would give it to them). In the Israeli system, the military doesn’t have to give much in the way of explanation of its actions and this is yet another example of the deficiencies of such a system of governance (or misgovernance).
And let’s not forget the laughable justification that the bank robbery was “in line with President Bush’s call for action against such funds.” Oh really??? I wasn’t aware that Bush sanctioned bank robbery as a tool in the war against terrorism. From the State Department’s hostile response, I’d say they “misinterpreted” Pres. Bush’s “call for action.”