Just watched the incredibly creepy step by step video of the Dubai assassins’ liquidation of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. Sort of like watching a real-life version of “Munich” without the pretentious dialogue.
From all reports, Israelis are overwhelmingly approving of the operation (if not of the way it was amateurishly botched). Ha’aretz’s Gideon Levy, as usual, begs to differ – cutting to the heart of the matter with the critical questions:
Let’s suppose the Dubai assassination project had worked out well. Mahmoud al-Mabhouh would have received his kiss of death, the assassins would have returned safe and sound to their bases, and no Israeli would have run into identity complications. And then? Mahmoud’s place would have been taken by Mohammed, who also would have tried to kill Israeli soldiers and smuggle Iranian arms into Gaza. Perhaps the heir would even outperform his predecessor, as has happened in several previous liquidations.
We eliminated Abbas al-Musawi? Well done, Israel Defense Forces. We got Hassan Nasrallah. We killed Ahmed Yassin? Well done, Shin Bet security service. We got a Hamas many times stronger. Abu Jihad was eliminated? Well done to the Sayeret Matkal special forces unit – of course, according to foreign news reports. We killed a potential partner, relatively moderate and charismatic. As a bonus, we got revenge attacks like those after “the Engineer” Yihyeh Ayash was slain. We also got the danger hovering over every Israeli and Jew in the world each anniversary of the assassination of Imad Mughniyeh, which was also blamed on Israel.
Click here for the full article.
Yossi Sarid has a condemnation, though I can’t find it in the English version.
Sorry, but Gideon, like almost always, is wrong. Assassinations have proven to be a pretty effective way at getting at the enemy. Of course, there have been failures and miscalculations, but also a lot of successes.
Nasser imported German rocket scientists to try to help him build long-range rockets to attack Israel. It is stated that Israel eliminated some of the scientists, bringing an end to the project. Assassinations succeeded in eradicating most of the top terrorist leadership of “Black September” in the 1970’s which was the group responsible for the massacre of the Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olypmics (they missed Abu Mazen, though). More recently, Israel liquidated much of the terrorist infrastructure that brought Arafat’s horrible suicide bomber war against Israel in the 1990’s and caused THOUSANDS of Israeli casualties.
Israeli’s eradication of HAMAS leaders Yassin and Rantisi, combined with the 2008 Gaza War caused HAMAS to be much more cautious.
I don’t see why these terorrist leaders should be immune. They are at war with Israel and conventional law enforcement procedures are ineffective. Isn’t eradicating a few major terrorists better than fighting a big war?
Why does Israel seem to be especially fond of targeting individuals who have a greater likelihood of being willing to try to work things out?
Shirin, Mabhouh “..[had] a likelihood of being willing to work things out?”
He was personally involved in the kidnapping and murder of two Israeli soldiers and was now dealing in smuggling arms to target Israeli civilians.
Nice try, Laurence, but where did I mention Mabhouh, or any other specific individual, please? It is a cheap, and not every effective trick to try to refute a general comment by trying to make it specific.
Oh, and also nice use of the propaganda term “kidnapped” and “murdered” in relation to the capture of active duty soldiers during a conflict. Unfortunately, you won’t get away with it. The correct term under the circumstances is captured, not kidnapped. Civilians are kidnapped, not soldiers. Soldiers are captured.
The article you commented on, was written about Mabhouh by the way, in case you did not notice. If you are not referring to Mabhouh; either provide the names of the individuals you refer to, or comment where appropriate. This is not the best place to be commenting on English literature either.
Secondly, call it what you like, Mabhouh took part in killing two soldiers. They were “captured” and executed, ok? If you are so civil and pedantic about the terms, what about the conditions? It took some years to find one of these soldiers. You might likje to comment on Gilad Shalit too.
Thirdly, you do not negate the fact about weapon smuggling to target Israeli civilians.
“The article you commented on, was written about Mabhouh by the way, in case you did not notice.”
Wrong. The article I commented on was about the way Israel shoots itself in the foot with its unfortunate habit of murdering people it does not like.
I have no idea what your “English literature” reference is about. However, it is not up to you, but to the owner of this blog to decide whether a comment is appropriate or not, and it seems that so far the Rabbi considers my comments to be sufficiently appropriate to approve them for publication.
Combatants who are captured by either side should be held and treated in accordance with the Geneva Convention. Perhaps when Israel decides to comply with the Geneva Conventions it will have better standing to demand that others do so.
Gilad Shalit was captured while on active duty and when he was actively participating in an attack on Gaza, as I recall. His capture and detention were quite legitimate.
To the extent that the Palestinians have failed to apply the requirements of the Geneva Convention, their handling of prisoners is wrong. On the other hand, if Hamas is using Israel’s compliance with international law as a model, it has done no worse than Israel ever has, and at least Shalit is alive and healthy, and has apparently not been tortured, which is more than you can say for Palestinians, including Palestinian children, who end up in Israeli custody.
I haven’t mentioned the subject of weapon smuggling at all, nor do I intend to since it is not relevant to what I have had to say.