The real Mossad mystery
Few doubt that the spy agency was behind the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai. But the negative repercussions of the killing for Israel are still emerging.
April 11, 2010 7:57 by Orly Halpern
If Mabhouh was indeed a buyer of Iranian arms, as some Israeli sources claim, he can easily be replaced. Why work so hard and risk so much to kill someone who is replaceable?
As Haaretz newspaper’s intelligence commentator Yossi Melman and CBS correspondent Dan Raviv wrote in Newsweek in 2008, assassinations are a “double-edged sword.”
“The policy only pays off … when a state deals with a terrorist group that is basically a ‘one-man show,’ chopping off the snake’s head by killing the leader can neutralize the group,” the pair wrote. “But when a country encounters a highly motivated, solidified and structured terrorist group, killing its senior members proves to be counter-productive. The dead are soon replaced by members who are sometimes more skillful and more determined.”
The chances are that this was a Munich-style, 21-years-later revenge hit for the killings of two Israeli soldiers abducted in 1989, as well as a warning to Israel’s enemies.
But, as Melman of Haaretz newspaper writes, “in a cost-value analysis, the State of the Jews paid far too much and at some point in the future Jews around the world may pay an additional price.”