web analytics
March 1, 2015 / 10 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Dubai Hit Spotlights Mossad’s ‘Knife Between Its Teeth’ Mandate


JERUSALEM – Israel has not claimed responsibility for the assassination in Dubai of top Hamas arms smuggler Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, but the killing is raising questions about whether it will compromise Israel’s effort to stop Iran from obtaining the bomb.

That’s because one of the key figures behind the effort, Mossad chief Meir Dagan, is coming under heavy criticism for the sloppy operation in Dubai.

Operating under the assumption that Israel was behind the Dubai hit, some Israeli analysts are calling for Dagan’s ouster. They say the Mossad has adopted an irresponsible approach to fighting terrorism, and they point to the diplomatic imbroglio facing Israel for the use of fake British and Irish passports by members of the hit squad, who traveled under the names of European citizens now living in Israel.

Dagan’s tenure at the Mossad is up for renewal at the end of the year.

Defenders of Dagan point to the long list of Mossad achievements in the war on terrorism and the campaign against Iran’s nuclear program, and argue that his tenure at the intelligence agency should be extended for an unprecedented fourth time. They insist that his knowledge of the Iranian theater is unmatched, and that as the clock reaches zero hour on the Iranian nuclear threat, his input will be invaluable – and not only for Israel.

Under Dagan, the Mossad has had just two priorities: delaying Iran’s nuclear program and counter-terrorism.

“The list must be short. If we continue pretending we can do everything, in the end we won’t do anything,” Dagan was quoted as saying when he was appointed by then-prime minister Ariel Sharon in 2002.

Sharon reportedly told Dagan to run the agency “with a knife between its teeth.”

The main focus of his tenure has been Iran. Soon after Dagan took over the Mossad, the agency reportedly passed on information to the United States and others that the rogue Pakistani nuclear dealer Abdel Qadir Khan was helping the Iranians build a uranium enrichment facility at Natanz.

Since then, a string of unexplained accidents has afflicted the Iranian nuclear project: scientists have disappeared, laboratories have caught fire, aircraft have crashed and whole batches of equipment have proved faulty. 

In 2007, Israeli intelligence detected work on a secret nuclear program in Syria, and in September of that year Israeli planes bombed the site of a North Korea-style reactor the Syrians were building.

The Mossad also was credited for the discovery of a hidden Iranian enrichment plant near the holy city of Qom last September – a find that finally convinced even previously skeptical international observers that Iran indeed was conducting a clandestine nuclear weapons program. 

Although the Mossad has not claimed credit for any of this, regional players have little doubt as to who has been behind the killings, the accidents and the pinpoint intelligence.

Egypt’s Al-Ahram daily ran an article in mid-January calling Dagan Israel’s Superman and claiming that he almost single-handedly has delayed the Iranian bomb.

“Without this man, the Iranian nuclear program would have taken off years ago,” the newspaper’s former Gaza correspondent Ashraf Abu al-Haul wrote. In a moment of rare praise for an Israeli in the Egyptian press, he called Dagan’s actions against Israel’s enemies “very brave.”

Now, as the international community dithers over new sanctions against Iran and the Iranians move closer to nuclear weapons capacity, Dagan’s reading of the situation will be crucial. He recently revised backward his estimate of when Iran will be able to manufacture a bomb it can deliver to 2014.

Still, there are fears in the international community that Israel may act to stop the Iranian program before it reaches its “breakout point” – when Iran will have stockpiled enough highly enriched uranium to manufacture a bomb if it so chooses. That could come by the end of this year.

For now, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he favors giving sanctions a chance as long as they are tough – not allowing oil out of Iran or oil distillates like petroleum into the country.

Dagan’s eight years at the helm have seen several targeted killings of top Hizbullah and Hamas operatives in Beirut and Damascus attributed to the Mossad – the most notable of which was the assassination of Hizbullah terrorist mastermind Imad Mugniyeh in a car bombing in Damascus in February 2008. Mugniyeh, who reportedly planned the attack on the U.S. Marines compound in Beirut in 1983, had been on the wanted lists of Israel and the United States for more than two decades. 

Late last year the Mossad, although it never acknowledged any involvement, seemed to step up its activities.

In early December, a bus carrying Hamas members and Iranian officials exploded outside Damascus. Two weeks later, two Hamas members were killed in a mysterious bombing in the heart of Hizbullah’s Dahiya stronghold in southern Beirut. Last month, an Iranian nuclear scientist died in a bombing outside his home in Tehran. A week later, al-Mabhouh was found dead in his Dubai hotel room.

Dagan also has pulled off some major intelligence coups in the war on terror, enabling Israeli forces to intercept weapons destined for Hamas and Hizbullah as far afield as Sudan and on the high seas near Cyprus.

In mid-January 2009, a convoy carrying weapons for Hamas during Operation Cast Lead reportedly was bombed by Israel Air Force planes in Sudan. In November, the Francop, an Antigua-flagged vessel carrying more than 100 tons of rockets, mortars and anti-tank weapons for Hizbullah, was captured by the Israeli navy.

Dagan’s advice on Iran over the coming months will carry considerable weight. He seems to think there is still time for actions other than a full-scale military operation.

If and when it comes to that, however, chances are that despite the Dubai incident, Netanyahu, one of Dagan’s staunchest admirers, will want Dagan at his side helping to plan it.

(JTA)

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Dubai Hit Spotlights Mossad’s ‘Knife Between Its Teeth’ Mandate”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Hamas terrorists manage  to find their way to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem as well.
Egypt Formally Designates Hamas as Terrorist Entity
Latest News Stories
Hamas terrorists manage  to find their way to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem as well.

An Egyptian court has formally ruled that Gaza’s ruling Hamas faction is a banned terrorist organization.

Jeffrey Goldberg

Goldberg might as well have been quoting from Netanyahu’s talking points sheet.

Anti-Israel Bus Ad

The ads use of quotes from a 2001 Netanyahu speech, in which he supposedly described the U.S. as “a thing you can move very easily.” Watch the tape here.

This past summer’s war isn’t over for everyone.

“With the launch of this new historic agreement, we hope to make the lives of newlyweds better and more meaningful, so that if, God forbid, the marriage breaks up, it will be done in a fair and respectful manner.”

Bibi’s speech will be during the U.S. workday, but prime viewing time in Israel.

The report, ordered but never implemented by PM Netanyahu, determined that Israeli settlements are legal according to international law.

This isn’t the first assassination attempt against him.

Herzog, Livni and their media backers have thrown everything at Netanyahu. Voters are not impressed.

He said his mission is “fateful, maybe even historic.”

The report seems unbelievable, but the newspaper has an interesting track record.

Snow is uniting the American people, so to speak. An area in every one of the 50 states, including Hawaii, will see snow this week, according to the WeatherBell site. This week will be the first time since 2012 that even Florida will see snow. New York is expected to get another 3-4 inches today, […]

A link for the poll is provided below. Deadline is today.

On Thursday evening, students at the Orot Etzion Boys Elementary School in Efrat reenacted different Biblical scenes as part of an interactive live art/Torah exhibition for the month of Adar. Every floor, corner, class and even staircase of the school (think Jacob’s ladder) showed off exhibits and models the students put together by themselves. In […]

A proposed law would require the Senate to approve the deal. Obama threatens to veto it.

More Articles from Leslie Susser

JERUSALEM – For Israel, the popular uprising in Egypt against the Mubarak regime raises the specter of its worst strategic nightmare: collapse of the peace treaty with Egypt, the cornerstone of its regional policy for the past three decades.

JERUSALEM – Not so long ago, few Israelis had heard of Rabbi Chaim Amsellem, a soft-spoken Shas backbencher in the Knesset.

JERUSALEM – With talks at a stalemate and no agreement from the Israelis to reinstate a settlement freeze, the Palestinians are playing a new card: an end game to statehood through an appeal to the international community.

JERUSALEM – With talks at a stalemate and no agreement from the Israelis to reinstate a settlement freeze, the Palestinians are playing a new card: an end game to statehood through an appeal to the international community.

JERUSALEM – Following reports of an unprecedented U.S. offer of a host of assurances in return for a 60-day extension of the settlement building freeze, some political analysts are wondering why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not grabbed the deal with both hands.

JERUSALEM – If the United States doesn’t attack Iran’s nuclear facilities within the next eight months or so, Israel probably will.

JERUSALEM – In one of the more curious twists in Israeli politics, prominent right-wing political figures in Israel have begun pushing for a one-state solution with Israelis and Palestinians as equal citizens with full voting rights.

JERUSALEM – -The showdown between the Israeli Supreme Court and the parents of students at a haredi Orthodox school found guilty of discriminatory practices against Sephardic girls has brought already strained secular-religious relations in Israel to a fever pitch.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/global/dubai-hit-spotlights-mossads-knife-between-its-teeth-mandate/2010/02/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: