Have the Israelis gone crazy?

We have recently witnessed a number of incidents in which Israeli hostility to the West has been made manifest.  Yet the Western world has been the biggest—indeed, the only—supporter of the Zionist project outside the Jewish Diaspora.

First, consider the ambush of Joe Biden in Israel, where he went to talk some sense to Tel Aviv on the troublesome issue of the settlements, the primary obstacle to restarting the peace process.  No sooner had Biden’s plane touched down than the Israeli minister of the interior made a startling announcement: The Israeli government would proceed with the construction of 1,600 more settlement houses in East Jerusalem.  Blindsided, Biden remonstrated with his inhospitable “hosts” and then went back to Washington with his tail between his legs, while the Obama administration—in a rare display of American anger at our increasingly contentious “ally”—denounced the announcement (and its timing) as an “insult.”  Netanyahu then arrived in Washington, where he openly incited the large and very loud Israel lobby to push back hard against the administration.

Such defiance is nothing new for the Israelis, whose capacity for aggression isn’t limited to shooting rock-throwing adolescents and demolishing their thousand-year-old homes.  What’s interesting is that this open and increasingly acrimonious rift with the United States occurs within the context of an unfolding scandal that may signal a break with the West.  The murder of a top Hamas commander in Dubai by a team of some 27 Mossad agents has stirred an international diplomatic storm.  Disguised as tourists, the assassins used passports forged by means of a massive identity-theft operation.  According to the report filed by Britain’s Serious Organised Crimes Agency, information gleaned from passports handed over to Israeli customs officials at Ben Gurion Airport and abroad was stolen and used to create, in effect, a passport “farm.”

The revelation sent shock waves from London to Paris and even to Washington.  London was the first to retaliate, with the expulsion of an unnamed “diplomat” from the Jewish state’s London embassy.

The outcry in Parliament was well-nigh unanimous, with the Tory shadow foreign minister, William Hague, rising to remark that Israel is a repeat offender when it comes to forging British passports—referring to the early 1980’s, when a Mossad agent left a sack of forged British passports, enclosed in an Israeli embassy envelope, in a phone booth.

More serious was the time when members of a PLO cell in London were arrested on suspicion of murder.  Under interrogation, one member of the cell admitted to being a Mossad agent.  The Brits were furious: The Israelis might have prevented the brutal murder of a Kuwaiti caricaturist who had dared mock Yasser Arafat.  Instead of merely expelling a single Israeli “diplomat,” the Thatcher government sent a number of them packing and effectively shut down the Mossad in the United Kingdom.

The Israelis pledged never to do it again.  Hague’s implication that sterner measures are called for seems justified merely by what we already know—that Israel has compromised, perhaps fatally, our primary defense against terrorism, which is our ability to track who is coming into this country.  The security of every other country on earth—excepting Israel—is threatened by this brazen violation of trust and the standards of civilized conduct.  The cold fury of the British government was expressed in a terse announcement on the website of the Foreign Office:

UK passport holders should be aware of a recent Serious Organised Crime Agency investigation into the misuse of UK passports in the murder of Mahmud al-Mabhuh in Dubai on 19 January 2010.  The SOCA investigation found circumstantial evidence of Israeli involvement in the fraudulent use of British passports.  This has raised the possibility that your passport details could be captured for improper uses while your passport is out of your control. . . . We recommend that you only hand your passport over to third parties including Israeli officials when absolutely necessary.

Individuals from Britain, France, Germany, and the Netherlands have been identified as having had their personal information stolen by the Mossad.  So much for the Israeli tourist industry, which will now have to cater to those who don’t mind having their identities stolen for a “good” cause.  I’m just wondering when we will discover how many Americans have had their identities hijacked.