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Mossad Tag

The news reports at first were vague, an Israeli helicopter strike on one or more vehicles on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, in an area in which Syrian troops, Hezbollah, and Syrian rebels operated. Reportedly it was on a group getting ready to fire rockets into Israel. More details are leaking out. The usual caution that early reports can be wrong apply. The latest reports are that several senior Hezbollah operatives, including Jihad Mughniyeh, the son of Imad Mughniyeh, were killed. Imad Mughniyeh, considered the top Hezbollah military operative at the time and the mastermind of numerous attacks on Israel and Israelis, was assassinated in Damascus when the headrest of his car blew up. Israel has never admitted the assassination, but just about everyone presumes it to be so. Hezbollah planned several revenge attacks that were thwarted, likely because the Israeli Mossad infiltrated Hezbollah's highest ranks including Hezbollah Chief Hassan Nasrallah's security detail. The Lebanese Daily Star reports Israel strike in Syria kills Mughniyeh's son, 9 others:

We reported yesterday how incoming American Studies Association President Lisa Duggan of NYU organized an anti-Israel conference through NYU, but didn’t want those who disagree to know about it (via Elder of Ziyon).  The Facebook post about the event since has been taken down. It appears that secrecy is the new policy at ASA. Earlier this month I wrote to ASA Regional Chapter Presidents asking for their position on whether the ASA academic boycott of Israel applied to Regional Chapters and their events, such as regional conventions.  This is an important issue because much of ASA's presence -- other than its Annual Meeting -- takes place through the Chapters.  To understand the scope and application of the boycott, we need to know whether the Regional Chapters will follow the boycott. My email is quoted below.  Some responded that they didn't know but would find out and get back to me (but didn't), others didn't respond. Now I know why I have been met with mostly silence. Apparently the ASA Exceutive Committee is not happy about this inquiry, and has told the Regional Chapters not to communicate with me other than to refer me to the ASA boycott resolution itself (which, of course, I already have).  This amounts to a complete non-communication strategy. Here is the email the ASA Executive Committee sent (emphasis added):

Recently, Joshua Muravchik wrote Why the Left Should Stop Carping and Love the Jewish State, Again, at The Tower Magazine. In one paragraph he presents the gist of his argument.
Moreover, when viewed in the light of the core values of the Left—and, indeed, much of the contemporary Right—Israel actually comes off remarkably well; often much better than its most violent critics. These values are summed up by the great slogan of the French Revolution: “liberté, egalité, fraternité,” “liberty, equality, fraternity.” Israel’s record with respect to these core values ranks among the best in the world, while that of its principal enemies, the Arab nations, is dismal. Indeed, Israel’s record is in some cases better even than its European and other Western critics. Because this record is often obscured in the angry polemics against Israeli policies toward the Palestinians, it is worth examining it in depth.
One thing Muravchik mentions is the record of Israel's Arab enemies. It's indeed something worth looking into. However there's also the record of Iran, Israel's major non-Arab enemy that's worth examining. The liberal (or leftist) world has made a cause of reaching out to Iran. In doing so the Left ignores the way Iran violates many of its cherished values. I'd like to look at a few of these issues.

Minority Rights

Contrary to the impression presented by Iran's leadership, Iran has a huge minority population, including Kurds, Azeris, Balochs and Arabs. According to this list, minorities make up at least 40% of Iran's population. (I recently attended a lecture that put the figure at 50%.) What rights do minorities in Iran have? In last year's election, then-candidate, Hassan Rouhani promised greater freedom for Iranian minorities.

We noted previously the Senior Hezbollah commander assassinated, Hassan Laqqis. Hezbollah immediately blamed Israel. It certainly makes sense when you consider how professionally it was carried out. Unlike the Jihadis who blow up cars or themselves, the Laqquis hit was carried out precisely and using silenced weapons. The hit men (or women?) got into a heavily secured area without notice, and located their target late at night. There must have been precise intelligence not only as to his location, but his movements. Even more impressively, the gunmen escaped without being captured. There must have been help to get them away from the scene, and likely out of the country, before Hezbollah security woke up to what had happened. So we are talking minutes to get out of the area, and hours to get out of the country. While we cannot eliminate that the hit was carried out by Jihadis or some other intelligence service, it seems unlikely. Foreign Policy magazine had an article asserting that Laqqis was on Israel's Kill List:
There'll be a summit conference in the sky," smiled an Israeli intelligence official Wednesday morning when he learned of the assassination of Hassan Lakkis, the Hezbollah commander in charge of weapons development and advanced technological warfare, in a Beirut suburb around midnight on Tuesday, Dec. 3. The killing of Lakkis is yet another in the latest in a long series of assassinations of leading figures in what Israeli intelligence calls the "Radical Front," which comprises two countries -- Syria and Iran -- and three organizations: Hezbollah, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Hamas....

This is a follow-up to our posts about Prisoner X. Our resident reader from Down Under s_dog sent me this link to Andrew Bolt's blog, An Israeli tragedy, an Australian silence: Greg Sheridan dismisses conspiracy theories in the Ben Zygier case, following the report released by Foreign...

This is a follow up to yesterday's post about Prisoner X. I'm not sure there is much greater clarification of why he was imprisoned, but it's clear he was not secretly imprisoned, as the Australian Embassy was informed, he had a lawyer, and the courts were...

The mother of all mysteries, making Stuxnet look like a B-grade movie, is unfolding in Israel over Prisoner X. The New York Times has a good summary: The story had all the trappings of a spy thriller: an anonymous prisoner linked to Israel’s secret service, Mossad, isolated in...

This is one of those "we're really deep into their heads" type stories. Sudan is furious that a large missile factory run by Iran was blown up, presumably by Israel. Sudan has captured the intelligence agent responsible for surveillance, or so it says, via The Independent, Meet operative...

Israel reportedly has been under cyber attack by Anonymous, although the lethality of the attacks is questioned: Anonymous, the loose coalition of hackers waging war on Israeli Web sites, is the least of Israel’s cyber problems. Its campaign against Israel is a minor annoyance compared with...

There seems to be a war brewing in the Middle East, if not on the battlefield at least in the political realm. The Wall Street Journal and many others report tension between the U.S. and Israel over a potential strike on Iran.  There also is tension over...

it turns: How Romney won New Hampshire.  It's the (supposed) electability, not conservatism, stupid. Bad signs for GOP.  Why do you hate capitalism? Another Iranian nuke scientist goes down.  And I don't mean what you think I mean, you depraved freaks. Have you noticed that Fox News turned negative...

This week in 1983 Iranian backed Shiites bombed the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 299 Marines and French soldiers. The Marines had been sent as part of an international peacekeeping force in the wake of the Lebanese civil war.  Iranian-backed Shiites who later formed Hezbollah...

No official incitement in the new Egypt, "Mossad plotted to harm Egyptian fertility": Israeli citizen Ofir Harrari, recently accused by Egypt of spying for Israel, was allegedly involved in a complicated scheme intended to harm Egyptian reproduction abilities, Egypt's official state paper Al-Ahram has claimed. Harrari, accused by...

What will the Mossad think of next?A few years ago the Egyptian press was full of reports about an alleged Mossad plot to distribute chewing gum that would cause young women to become sexually promiscuous. Though it heavily censors its press, the government did nothing...

Sometimes you stumble upon a news story that is so absurd it makes you question your hope for the world. Today, I found one of those. An Egyptian official believes that Israel's intelligence agency might be behind the fatal shark attack of a German tourist in...

There is plenty of speculation that the Chinese will agree to, or at least not block, new sanctions on Iran. The Obama administration stands ready to claim the credit, but if China comes around, it may be the threat of unilateral Israeli action which made...