Ronen Bergman’s account of the Ben Zygier tragedy notes that Israel lured two high-level Lebanese to spy on its behalf. One, Ziyad al-Homsi, mayor of a Bekaa Valley village, was brought to Beijing for what he thought was a trade mission. There he was wined and dined by Israeli agents (he didn’t know this at the time). On his second foreign trip, this time to Bangkok, he was brought face to face with Israeli agents who offered him $100,000 to betray his country. He accepted.
What’s news in tonight’s post is that a well-connected Israeli source tells me that both Chinese and Thai intelligence services were aware of this operation. In fact, I’d guess that they may’ve cooperated in the scheme in some way, perhaps even by “loaning” the Mossad native personnel to play roles in it (though I can’t confirm that definitively). For example, al-Homsi told his interrogators that a “Chinese named David” visited him in the Bekaa and invited him on behalf of the Beijing municipal government to visit. Presumably, he met with genuine Chinese while he was there. I strongly doubt the Mossad has many Chinese agents.
All of this means that these countries willingly allowed themselves to become intertwined with Israel’s war against Hezbollah by permitting intelligence operations on their own soil. While I may be naive, I find it extraordinary they would do so. Don’t they have enough problems with their own domestic insurgencies without getting mixed up with those of Israel? Does China want Hezbollah planning attacks in China? Or is it so confident of its security that it can discount this happening?
Both China and Thailand believe they have much in common with Israel. All three have Islamist insurgencies threatening the stabilities of their respective regimes. Uighurs in China and Muslims in southern Thailand, both of whom have engaged in violent insurrections and acts of terror to dramatize their plight. Thailand even had an attempted terror attack against Israeli targets that was allegedly masterminded by Hezbollah. It should be noted that Israel’s spy ring in Lebanon was designed to penetrate Hezbollah.
There has also been a long history of cooperation between the Chinese and Israeli militaries. Israel even sold China sophisticated early-warning radar technology and an advanced drone, which violated conditions under which U.S. offered the technology to Israel. It was forced to cancel both contracts. The IDF has embedded Chinese military officers (Hebrew) in its public affairs office so the Chinese may learn how to sway public opinion in the midst of controversial military operations against Islamist militants, a problem China also faces.
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If China has ties with Israel — be they economic, military, espionage, anti-Islamic, or otherwise — then it suggests that the BRICS nations, as a totality, will not be putting pressure on Israel of a BDS nature (as some South African pro-Palestine activists hope and have been militating for). A shame, and shows how the entanglements in the world make nation-state BDS (sanctions) unlikely. We know that the USA is a prisoner of Zion; the inactivity of the world suggests that the prison is more encompassing still.
“he was brought face to face with Israeli agents who offered him $100,000 to betray his country.”
So joining forces with Israel in order to combat Hezbollah means Mr. al-Homsi betrayed his country? I
don’t think so.
Since Hezbollah is more of a threat to Lebanese freedom and democracy than Israel is, Mr. al-Homsi is a patriot and no traitor.
Richard Silverstein says
You, my friend, don’t get to determine who’s a Lebanese patriot unless you want to assume Lebanese citizenship. Al-Homsi was sentenced to prison by the Lebanese state which deemed him a spy & traitor. He’s lucky he only spent three yrs in prison.
Why don’t you stick to mouthing off about Israel and stop sticking your nose into matters concerning Arab nations of which you know little or nothing?
Hezbollah pulled an unwilling Lebanon into a war with Israel in 2006 and than launched a bloody putsch in 2008.
These days, Hezbollah will drag Lebanon into conflict with Syria because it supports Syria’s Alawite minority dictaitorship.
Any Lebanese who loves his country opposes Hezbollah.
Richard Silverstein says
How do you know whether Lebanon was willing or unwilling to enter war? I’d say Israel was at least as responsible for provoking this war as Hezbollah. Yet not a word from you about Israel’s virtual declaration of war after a few of its soldiers were killed. In return, Israel killed over 1,000 Lebanese, most of them civilians. Not a word from you about the disproportionality of this.
As for “bloody putsch,” stop lying. The violence was provoked by the Hariri forces who attacked first. Not to mention that calm was restored and the coalition which rules now came to power in democratic elections and Hezbollah is a member of this coalition. It does not run Lebanon.
I find your deliberate hasbara and ignorance offensive. If you can’t argue using facts, and substitute opinions & empty claims for facts, then you are in jeopardy here.
Over 30% of Lebanese support Hezbollah. I find your claim that these people do not love Lebanon to be racist and offensive. You are on notice. You are already moderated. If you can’t comment without being offensive your next step is comment oblivion.
” The violence was provoked by the Hariri forces who attacked first”
Incorrect. Hezbollah and her allies reacted violently to what had been, a political crisis, and Hezbollah attacked first.
‘In about 12 hours, between May 7th and May 8th, the Hizbullah-led
militias armed mainly with assault rifles and RPGs defeated in a series of clashes the opposing
pro-government, mainly Sunni militias, and seized the buildings hosting the political parties and
the media loyal to the “March 14”…’
‘The second phase took place in Tripoli, in the North Lebanon Governatorate, as well as in the
Druze strongholds of Aley and Chouf, in the Mount Lebanon Governatorate, from the 10th to
14th of May. The clashes killed at least 44 people and wounded at least 150. The most serious
clashes happened on May 10th-11th at Aley, Mount Baruk and Chouf, and pitted the Shia-led opposition militia (apparently including some pro-opposition Druze fighters) against the progovernment Druze militia loyal to Walid Jumblatt. The fighters allegedly used machine-gun, RPGs and, for the first time, heavy artillery. Even in this case, the pro-government forces suffered a crushing and quick defeat.’
Richard Silverstein says
What you’ve written in no way disputes my contention that the fighting originated from Hariri’s side. Hezbollah merely had superior manpower & firepower and overwhelmed the resistance. But rather than pursue fighting and attempt to take over the government by coup d’etat, Hezbollah eventually retreated and accepted a status quo. It is certainly powerful in the current government, but by no means dominates Lebanon overall. It accepts that it is but one player among many.
BTW, you neglected to offer any proof that Hezbollah runs Lebanon, another false claim of yours. Nor have you proven that Lebanon objected to Hezbollah’s attack against Israel that initiated the war. There’s so much you haven’t proven, isn’t there?
We’re done on this topic. You’ve wasted far too many words. Move on to another comment thread. I insist.
Cancelling the Phalcon AWACS order grossly offended the Chinese leadership and demanded compensation. Israel used this also in leverage with the US for political and military gains under Bush. The Chinese, as could be expected, intensified relations with Iran on intelligence and cyber warfare. Breaking the code of the newest US RQ-170 Sentinel drone was most likely with assistance of China. Israel cut a deal with arch-enemy India and a $1bn contract for the Phalcon AWACS in 2004.
Angelo Michel says
“Thailand even had an attempted terror attack against Israeli targets that was allegedly masterminded by Hezbollah” At the time, it was Iran that was the “culprit”, not Lebanese Hezbollah …
But the “professionalism” of the alleged perpetrators was so poor the general opinion here was that they could not be state-operated but manipulated !
NB: Insurgents in the South are Sunni extremists, if they only could lay hands on a Shia they would slit his throat instantly
Chinese Intelligence In Africa: The (Historical) Israeli Link by Gary K. Busch.