When is the world going to finally decide Israel has gone too far – and do something about it?
When Israel invaded and retained the occupied territories, imposing a regime that resembles the old South African apartheid system, the world looked the other way – after all, beleaguered Israel was fighting for its survival, and, besides that, peace talks were underway. The daily grinding down of the Palestinians could be accepted as a temporary and even necessary evil as long as there was some sort of vague expiration date attached to the arrangement.
When it began to look like peace might be just a pipedream, and the Israelis continued sponsoring invasive "settlements" to cement their conquest, the world looked the other way. After all, everybody knew Netanyahu had to deal with an increasingly right-wing Israeli electorate, and his government could fall apart at any moment: no one expected President Obama to get tough with Tel Aviv anyway, and so no one was too surprised when the US caved on the settlements issue.
The bombing and continued blockade of Gaza, the barbaric invasions of Lebanon, and the continuing refusal to correct the widespread human rights violations documented in the Goldstone report – all of this has darkened Israel’s image considerably, even among its staunch supporters. On account of this record, Israel is now widely considered a "rogue" nation, at least outside the US. One of the major reasons for this shift in perception has to do with the wide-ranging activities of the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence service.
With a fearsome reputation for ruthlessness second only to the old KGB, the Israeli intelligence services are known for their boldness and their buccaneering tactics. This was once a public relations advantage: their raid on Entebbe was made into a successful movie for a reason. From rescuing hostages, however, the Mossad has lately gone in for assassinations on foreign soil, most recently in Dubai, where they offed Hamas military commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.
This is nothing new for the Israelis: picking off their enemies on foreign soil is a longtime favorite sport of the Mossad. The innovation that’s got Israel’s allies in an uproar, however, is a relatively new weapon in the Mossad’s arsenal: identity theft. As the Telegraph reports:
"Ministers are understood to be furious that an alleged hit squad which murdered a Hamas leader in Dubai last month cloned the passports of six unsuspecting Britons, who are now living in fear of reprisals.
"Israel, which has not denied involvement in the murder, had previously promised that Mossad, its secret intelligence service, would never use British passports to help its agents carry out covert operations."
The six are all British citizens living in Israel, where the Mossad had full access to their essential documents: they simply cloned the passports and sent their agents into Dubai. There the Israelis reportedly assembled quite a contingent, as many as 18, enough to qualify the effort as a full-scale military operation. In effect, the Israelis carried out a mini-invasion of Dubai, a fact not lost on the Emirate authorities.
"Since INTERPOL has reason to believe that the suspects linked to this murder have stolen the identities of real people, the Red Notices specify that the names used were aliases used to commit murder. INTERPOL has officially made public the photos and the names fraudulently used on the passports in order to limit the ability of accused murderers from traveling freely using the same false passports."
If any institution embodies that vague abstraction known as "the international community," then surely it is Interpol, which coordinates the capture of transnational criminal gangs – sex traffickers, drug lords, and, yes, Mossad assassins. That they see Israel’s intelligence agency as an obstacle in their task of limiting "the ability of accused murderers from traveling freely" speaks volumes about the degree to which Israel has truly crossed the line.
This isn’t exactly an innovation on the part of the Israelis: in New Zealand, you’ll recall, they had a large-scale passport "farm" in operation a few years ago. Their agents would identify someone completely disabled, or otherwise unlikely to travel abroad, and – unbeknownst to the victim — apply for a passport in their name. When discovered, the Israelis denied everything, but the cops had the goods and the trial of the Israeli spies was front page news for weeks. The New Zealanders all but broke off diplomatic relations with Israel over the matter, and the Israelis, while never admitting anything, made apologetic noises while the issue – mostly ignored by the Western media outside New Zealand — faded into obscurity.
Now it has arisen once again, but this time in a far more serious context: this isn’t inconsequential-albeit-lovely New Zealand but Britain, France, Germany, Ireland, and possibly other Western nations who have had their passport systems violated. However, the worst of it is that the Mossad has apparently taken to "farming" the passports of Israelis who hold dual citizenships. According to Ha’aretz: "Five Israelis who hold dual citizenship in Britain and Germany and whose names were on some of the passports denied any connection with the Dubai death."
If Israel’s intelligence services are now "farming" the passports of those numerous Israelis who hold dual citizenship, then the passport system – the key to maintaining security in the age of terrorism – is no longer reliable or even functional. Israel is a multi-national "nation," one created by a state-sponsored effort to get people the world over to move there, and many retain citizenship in their country of origin. The US doesn’t compile statistics on dual citizenship, but the number who hold dual Israeli and US citizenship is substantial: they are now all at risk of having their identities stolen by a covert army of assassins.
There’s just one way to solve this growing problem, and that is to ban all dual citizenship, and ask Americans to choose. Yes, there’s a Supreme Court decision standing in the way, but if it requires a constitutional amendment, then so be it. At a time when maintaining the integrity of our passport system is key to preventing terrorist attacks on our territory and against our citizens abroad, it’s worth taking the trouble to patch up this gaping hole in our national security.
That Israel has gone this far in its international campaign of murder and intimidation ought to motivate the civilized nations of the world to unite in protest. The government of Dubai is petitioning to have the head of the Mossad arrested for murder, and, come to think of it, issuing a warrant might not be such a bad idea. With a foreign minister who is the Israeli equivalent of David Duke, and a foreign policy that owes much to the Klingons, Israel, which is veering off into Asiatic despotism, needs to be pulled back toward the West. The way to do that is not to offer the Jewish state unconditional support, no matter how potty and self-destructive its policies may be, but to offer the kind of "tough love" that can bring it back into the Western orbit.
We can’t afford to look away anymore: Israel has massively compromised the security of international travel, and has brought this on itself. Now is the time for the US and other Western countries to rein in their client state gone rogue – before it’s too late.