Mabhouh 311 AP.
(photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Israel seems to stumble from one crisis to the next these days. As the
government continues to reel in the aftermath of the botched raid on the
international aid flotilla two weeks ago, it now has a new crisis to
deal with –
this time with one of its last two remaining friends in Europe: Poland
The capture of the so-called Mossad agent Uri Brodsky in Warsaw
for allegedly assisting the assassins of Hamas arch-terrorist Mahmoud
in Dubai six months ago raises several serious questions regarding the
and its handling of this latest affair.
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First, if the 43-year-old Brodsky
is in fact a Mossad agent – as appears to be the case according to the media
reports originating in Germany – then why was he flying with a passport for
which an international arrest warrant had been issued? Did the Mossad not know
that Germany had issued such a warrant, and if not, why not?
Second, the affair
casts a worrisome light on Israel’s relations with Poland and especially with
Germany. While those relations have been hailed in recent years as tighter than
ever, the arrest of a Mossad agent by Poland and on behalf of Germany could deal
a blow to those ties.
The fact that the affair reached the press in and of
itself demonstrates a possible failure by Israel, if the Mossad was involved, as foreign reports suggest. In the Mossad there is a branch called
Tevel, which is in charge of forging ties with other foreign espionage agencies,
such as the CIA in the United States, Poland’s Agencja Wywiadu (AW) and
Germany’s Bundesnachrichtendienst, more commonly referred to as the
According to various media reports, Brodsky, the alleged Mossad spy,
was arrested by Polish authorities after he tried entering the country 10 days
ago. If true, that is, if the Mossad was involved and its Tevel branch did not
succeed during the past ten days in discreetly securing his release, this could mean
that something went wrong in the dialogue between the agencies.
In addition, Germany could have easily
copied Australia’s and England’s responses to the use of passports in
Mabhouh assassination by expelling the Mossad representative.In
England’s case it was reported that, while the Mossad representative was
expelled, he has not been declared a persona non grata, which means that
he may return to London. The fact that Germany decided not to do this
instead issue an arrest warrant for an Israeli speaks for itself.
the above calls for a reexamination of the Mabhouh assassination. While
operation was successful – Mabhouh is dead and no Israeli agents were
Dubai – it has caused Israel immense diplomatic damage.
It has also
revealed some of the techniques used by the Mossad – if the Mossad was
behind the assassination – when operating overseas, particularly the way
deploys and disguises its agents as well as its policy of borrowing
and identities of dual citizens.
If Israel was behind the assassination, it will now have to ask itself
whether it was all worth it.