Former Mossad chief Shabtai Shavit, interviewed on Israeli TV, said that Israel’s assassination of senior Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Mabouh, was “a failure.” Of course, he made this statement in the context of trying to justify Meir Dagan‘s overall record, saying the aftermath of the killing was a “lone failure” and something unusual in the long line of “successes” Dagan achieved. According to Shavit, the failure came in the context of a sterling record of operations. The former director noted that an intelligence agency “isn’t an insurance company” and that you have to take risks and that there will be some failures when you do so.
Despite his after the fact justification of the operation and Dagan’s failure, not only is this statement a bombshell, the fact that he spoke about the event in this fashion as much as concedes Israel was author of the crime. Since I presume ex-Mossad directors don’t speak out of school and are loyal to the organization and its interests, one can only presume that such a statement was orchestrated by the incoming Mossad director, Tamir Pardo. When Pardo was first named to his new position, there were reports that Pardo had opposed the assassination when it was first proposed. So this may be of a piece with that news. In effect, Pardo may be trying to make a clean breast of things.
One of the more chutzpahdik terms of appreciation given to Dagan by Bibi Netanayhu at the cabinet meeting that marked the conclusion of his service, was Bibi’s offer of thanks with an upraised finger, as if to emphasize the drama of it all, on behalf of “the entire Jewish people.” I don’t know about you (if you’re Jewish), but I don’t need any Mossad directors acting on my behalf as a member of the Jewish people. I’d far prefer that he stuck to serving his own nation and not all the rest of us in the world. The very fact that Bibi would make such a sweeping statement is noxious. Not only that, but when the Mossad acts as it did in the al-Mabouh killing, the rest of the world will then find it totally justified in blaming the entire Jewish people for the acts of this sort by Mossad killers.
The Mossad neither acts nor speaks in my name as a member of the Jewish people. It acts, and should only act, in the name of Israel. It must be this way. The way of Bibi leads to disaster for the Jewish people. It leads to disaster for the Israeli nation as well. But that’s a different story.
H/t to reader Shmuel.