14 May, 2021

Caesaria’s Misdirected Stabs

This is no starry-eyed study of Mossad’s acumen in assassinations, but a catalogue of its horrible bunglings and politically naive judgements too

Caesaria’s Misdirected Stabs

On March 14, 1988, the Israeli cabinet under prime minister Yitzhak Shamir met to approve the killing of PLO leader Khalil al-Wazir or Abu Jihad, who was Yasser Arafat’s closest ally. The first Intefada had started from December 1987. Abu Jihad was directing it from Tunis. Rabin, who as former PM had approved his killing, was hesitant to sign as he feared adverse international reaction. However, finance minister Moshe Nissim, son of the chief rabbi of Israel, persuaded him, quoting a Talmudic precept: “If a man comes to kill you, rise early and kill him first”.

This is the ‘religious sanction’ for ‘targeted assassinations’ by Mossad and IDF (Israeli Defence Force) quoted by Ronen Bergman in his deeply resea­rched book. Bergman is an investigative reporter with Israeli paper Yedioth Ahro­noth, which is an involved party in a police bribery case against Prime Minister Benjamin Neta­n­y­­ahu. He gets chilling details of the Cae­sarea’s (a unit of Mossad) assassinations and their...

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