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“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Posts Tagged ‘Mossad

Leaders’ Judgment?

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I wanted to cover more of events in Syra and Yemen, but this piece in the New York Times is very relevant.

So I am not the only one with a low opinion of Binyamin Netanyahu:

“Journalists recalled that Mr. Dagan, who had refused contact with the media during his time in office, called a news briefing the last week of his tenure and laid out his concerns about an attack on Iran. But military censorship prevented his words from being reported.

“Dagan wanted to send a message to the Israeli public, but the censors stopped him,” Ronen Bergman of the newspaper Yediot Aharonot said by telephone. “So now that he is out of office he is going over the heads of the censors by speaking publicly.”

Mr. Dagan’s public and critical comments, at the age of 66 and after a long and widely admired career, have shaken the political establishment. The prime minister’s office declined requests for a response, although ministers have attacked Mr. Dagan. He has also found an echo among the nation’s commentators who have been ringing similar alarms.

“It’s not the Iranians or the Palestinians who are keeping Dagan awake at night but Israel’s leadership,” Ari Shavit asserted on the front page of the newspaper Haaretz on Friday.

“He does not trust the judgment of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.”

It was Mr. Shavit who interviewed Mr. Dagan on stage at Tel Aviv University this week. And while Haaretz is the home of the country’s left wing, Mr. Shavit is more of a centrist.

“Dagan is really worried about September,” Mr. Shavit said in a telephone interview, referring to the month when the Palestinians are expected to ask the United Nations General Assembly to recognize their state within the 1967 border lines. The resolution is expected to pass and to bring new forms of international pressure on Israel. “He is afraid that Israel’s isolation will cause its leaders to take reckless action against Iran,” he said.

Nahum Barnea, a commentator for Yediot Aharonot, wrote on Friday that Mr. Dagan was not alone. Naming the other retired security chiefs and adding Amos Yadlin, who recently retired as chief of military intelligence, Mr. Barnea said that they shared Mr. Dagan’s criticism.

“This is not a military junta that has conspired against the elected leadership,” Mr. Barnea wrote. “These are people who, through their positions, were exposed to the state’s most closely guarded secrets and participated in the most intimate discussions with the prime minister and the defense minister. It is not so much that their opinion is important as civilians; their testimony is important as people who were there. And their testimony is troubling.”

This concern was backed by a former Mossad official, Gad Shimron, who spoke Friday on Israel Radio.

Mr. Shimron said: “I want everyone to pay attention to the fact that the three tribal elders, Ashkenazi, Diskin and Dagan, within a very short time, are all telling the people of Israel: take note, something is going on that we couldn’t talk about until now, and now we are talking about it. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, and that is the decision-making process. The leadership makes fiery statements, we stepped on the brakes, we are no longer there and we don’t know what will happen. And that’s why we are saying this aloud.” “

Update 1: Letters From a Young Contrarian does a great job, The Arab Spring into Summer: Today’s Events.

Update 2: Not forgetting Left Foot Forward’s Arab Spring latest: Murder, civil war and motor racing.

The BBC And Casual Antisemitism

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You can almost guarantee that should something nasty happen in the world that Israelis or Jews will be blamed for it.

Of course, the majority of those doing the blaming are cranks, neo-Nazis, White Power freaks or their friends, you wouldn’t normally expect to hear casual antisemitism on BBC Radio Four, and certainly not on their premier news programme, PM, but that’s what happened on the 17th February 2010 edition.

Listen to it at from 10:40 onward with the silly statement at about 17:45 into the programme:

‘Gordon Thomas:

“Usually, as I said, they would like to have, carry out their mission killing someone in the bedroom, that is easy for them, because what they do they have a whole backup system called assigment (?). These are the people, local residents, Jewish people, who will help the Mossad, and there’s estimated to be in the world about half million, some people say a million, I tend say to it is about half a million from what I have learned from the Mossad.” ‘ [My transcript]

Given there are about 13 million Jews in the world, then BBC’s PM would have us believe that about 1 in 13 Jews either work for or would assist Mossad, if required.

It doesn’t occur to them that this is on a par with cranky antisemitic theories which have been doing the rounds of the Internet for years, where they basically argue that Mossad are secretive, all-powerful and bloodthirsty.

BBC’s PM adds a new dimension to that deranged thinking, where instead of “reds being under the bed” Mossad is seen to be behind numerous unexplained occurrences and presumably helped by this legion of Jews just waiting for the word?

It is a pity that the BBC doesn’t commission a programme on antisemitic conspiracy theories and make the PM producers and interviewers sit through it for a few hours, then perhaps they wouldn’t come out with this nonsense, again.

If you read the blurb for Gideon’s Spy by Gordon Thomas (the PM interviewee), you’ll find out that Mossad were somehow involved in the killing of “Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed”, but given the ludicrous nature of these allegations I am surprised that Gordon Thomas doesn’t blame Mossad for Climate Change, pigeon droppings or halitosis.

You can read the reviews on Amazon and make your own minds up, I suspect his research is about as useful as a papier-mâché suspension bridge.

The Speccy had a review of Mr. Thomas’s work and this sums it up nicely:

“Many other examples could be cited. Basic mistakes about those cases whose facts are known do not encourage confidence in the author’s other revelations. And if Mossad was even half as skilful and all-knowing as Thomas suggests, Israel’s military and political problems in the Middle East would surely have been solved long ago.

Oh, the poor old BBC.

(Hat tip: Adam Holland)

Update 1: Ops, I am a little behind events, Judeosphere covered it here 3 days ago, BBC Reports That One Million Jews Worldwide are Trained Assassins. Readers had better read his account, he’s a lot sharper than me.

Written by modernityblog

22/02/2010 at 01:07