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On Prisoner X and the Dubai debacle 15, February 2013

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, The Emirates, The Gulf.
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Haaretz

The Prisoner X case in Israel is interesting for a few reasons.

Firstly, Bibi’s reaction to try to block Israeli papers from reporting on this incident smacks of the most pointless Mubarak-esque finger-in-the-dam mentality. We just do not live in that kind of world anymore. Instructing Israeli papers to ignore the incident as the story flies around the world is not only utterly futile but creates the impression that he has not learned anything from regional events. Was there any chance that this story would not have broken in Israel eventually?

Secondly, quoting the hugely reliable Kuwaiti press (…) the New York Times speculates that the reason Prisoner X was in such unusual custody was because he was involved in the Dubai assassination incident back in 2010. Apparently he was in the process of disclosing Mossad’s involvement and was thus arrested and incarcerated in this way such was the potential fall out were he to (or because he already had) disclose(d) information about Mossad’s involvement.

I have never quite understood this incident. How the Dubai authorities and countless op-eds across this part of the world mocked the Mossad for this ‘failure’ of an operation has never made sense to me. Around 20 Mossad agents waltzed into Dubai through its key international airport hub, sauntered to the hotel in question, mingled around, went to the room, killed the chap, wandered away, leisurely returned to the airport and skipped merrily through Dubai International Airport once more. How this is not a catastrophic and embarrassing failure for Dubai’s police force and domestic intelligence service I just don’t know.

OK, the suspects were caught on camera and I am sure they hoped it would be assumed that the chap died of natural causes but what does it matter? They killed him with ease and escaped with not so much as a murmur from Dubai’s authorities. So many congratulations to the Dubai police for putting together such a riveting series of pictures, better luck next time with – you know – actually catching them and stopping the assassination, perhaps?

And what do the Israelis care as to the embarrassment of this incident? It shows the impunity with which they can operate across the Middle East and their resolve in assassinating key leaders. I’m sure they were at least half pleased when the whole thing broke.

So to me, at least, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense that Prisoner X received such special treatment over this incident. I assumed that he had something to do with leaking Israeli nuclear secrets and this still seems the most likely thing to me, but I suppose we’ll never know.

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Israeli ad campaign parodies Dubai assassination 11, March 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.
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Various news outlets are reporting on a new Israeli TV ad campaign for a supermarket which mimics the CCTV surveillance footage of the assassins that killed Hamas commander Mahmoud Al Mabhouh. Wearing tennis clothes, hats and disguises, the ad follows the protagonists via grainy CCTV throughout the shop as the assassins were followed (subsequently…) by Dubai police before promising “killer prices” at the end. Surprisingly, in a region known for its sense of humor, many people are not amused.

Dubai police chief: ‘I know an Israeli when I see one’ 4, March 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in American ME Relations, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.
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As if Dubai’s police have not been ridiculed enough recently with nearly thirty foreign agents waltzing through their security, killing a high-value target in their midst, and then waltzing straight back out again, their Chief of Police has said that he can spot an Israeli by their face or by their accent. I’m sure that that will flood Emiratees with confidence.

Incidentally, I borrow the above picture from an interesting website called richardsilverstein.com which also has a great link to a new fashion range that has just sprung up.

Hat tip: Abstract JK