With assassins on motorcycles attaching magnet bombs to vehicles in Iran and India, I'm reminded once again of Mossad's assassination of Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai just over 2 years ago. You'll remember how the Mossad agents involved used a variety of foreign passports, including Australian, British, German and French, a liberty which led then Prime Minister Rudd to expel an Israeli 'diplomat'.
So far, so good.
You'll probably not rememember, but can imagine, The Australian's foreign editor, Greg (Jerusalem Prize) Sheridan rapping Rudd across the knuckles for this act of lese majeste and suggesting we should have been a bit more understanding of the behaviour of our dear friend, or, as he put it, adopt the more mature and worldly approach of Germany and France, who chose not to expel an Israeli 'diplomat':
"The Rudd government has overreacted and made a bad mistake in expelling an Israeli diplomat over the Dubai passports affair. Surely the Rudd government is more mature and worldly than [Britain, which also expelled an Israeli 'diplomat']. Australia should not ape its former masters in London in this but embrace some of the sophistication of Berlin or Paris... "(Badly misjudged action will have political cost, 25/5/10)*
Ah yes, if only we'd acted with a touch of French sang-froid. It would have made all the difference, right?
Not really, as it happens. Expel their 'diplomats' or cosset the buggers, give them the cold shoulder or snuggle up close, it's neither here nor there to the Israelis because when they do the things they do, ladies, you're the last thing on their minds. See here what I mean:
"[The Times] said new evidence indicates that foreign nationals in Israel continue to allow Mossad to use their passports - 'on many occasions willingly'. Though it never admitted that Mossad agents were behind the Hamas terrorist's [sic] death, Israel assured London its intelligence agency would stop using British passports. 'Matthew', who moved to Israel from London in 2009 and joined the IDF shortly afterwards, told The Times that just before his first week of army duty he was approached by a young woman from Mossad and asked if he was 'committed to the State of Israel'. 'She was really, really friendly. She gave me a recommendation of a good bar in Tel Aviv, and her favorite place for hummus', he said. When she asked if Matthew was willing to do 'a small thing to help', such as, for example, lend his passport, he did not refuse, The Times reported. He said: 'She pointed out that I wouldn't need it for the next year or so. I'd be doing basic training and everything for the army. So I said 'yes' - I was in that frame of mind of strong Zionism, you know?' According to the report, Matthew received his passport back after 18 months of army service, and was surprised to find stamps in it from Turkey and Azerbaijan, countries that he had never visited. 'She told me it would maybe be a good idea not to go there... for the time being', he told the British newspaper.
"'Peter', a Frenchman who moved to Israel last year, revealed a similar story. A few months after arriving in Israel and volunteering for IDF service, he began meeting 'a sexy woman, who asked me if I wanted to help her'. He told The Times his passport was also taken, and returned a year later with stamps from Russia and several other countries 'I couldn't read. All of a sudden I was like, 'oh!' But it was important work, I think', he told the daily." ('Mossad continues to use UK passports', Daniel Bettini, ynetnews.com, 12/2/12)
[*See my 26/5/10 post His Master's Voice for the full story.]