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First Dubai-Related Arrest Made

Alleged Mossad agent could face German trial

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The false passport for Michael Bodenheimer.(JPost)

Reportedly, an Israeli Mossad operative named Uri Brodsky was arrested in Poland earlier this month in connection with the assassination in January of Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai. Neither Poland nor Israel will confirm this, exactly; Brodsky denies the accusations. Germany sought Brodsky’s arrest (and indeed may have intentionally leaked word of it) because Brodsky allegedly procured a fraudulent passport for Michael Bodenheimer—a real-life Israeli rabbi who, being the American-born son of a pre-World War II German citizen, is entitled to a German passport. A Polish court says that a decision on Brodsky’s extradition to Germany will be decided within a month. Top Israeli spy correspondent (and Tablet Magazine contributor) Yossi Melman reports that, although the two countries have a bilateral extradition treaty, in Brodsky’s specific case it is by no means a sure thing.

So now this is back in the news, and with it comes renewed discussion of the assassination’s wisdom (or lack thereof). Israel “now,” writes columnist Yaakov Katz, “has a new crisis to deal with—this time with one of its last two remaining friends in Europe: Poland and Germany.”

And while Melman points to Poland’s efforts to keep the arrest quiet as evidence of its friendship with Israel, he adds,

The fact that this is the first arrest of an Israeli suspected of being a Mossad agent involved in the Dubai assassination indicates that the matter refuses to fade away.

The Dubai hit may have been a success operationally, but it has severely damaged Israel diplomatically. …

The political damage to Israel comes as a series of actions—or lack of actions—indicate that the world is sick of Israel’s deeds and sees Israel as a neighborhood bully that disregards and violates international norms. Israel’s good friends, like Australia, Germany and France are finding it difficult to defend Israel and to justify their support of Israel to their publics.

Of course, as a defender of the assassination might say, Mabhouh could not be reached for comment.

Is Israel Losing Another Ally Because of Dubai Hit? [Haaretz]
Analysis: Was Mabhouh Worth It? [JPost]

Poland To Rule on Suspected Israeli Spy Within a Month
[Ynet]
Related: Murder in Dubai [Tablet Magazine]

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I agree that perhaps Israel has not been as careful as other nations in the recent past when it comes to carrying out military and security operations (both overt and covert), but I think it is unlikely that the German authorities would have purposely leaked information about the arrest warrant. I say this because while I have no doubt that the German government is not happy about the fraudulent use of a passport, Germany has been working quite hard itself to combat terrorism. They may be unhappy about the passport, but I’m sure no one in the German law enforcement or intelligence community is shedding any tears over the death of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. The real tragedy in all of this is that we do not live in a world in which Israel and Dubai could have cooperated to apprehend al-Mabhouh.

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First Dubai-Related Arrest Made

Alleged Mossad agent could face German trial

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