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Assassination in Dubai

Palestinian Hamas militants participate in a rally for the memory of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, seen in the portrait, in the town of Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, on Feb. 17, 2010. (AP)

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Dubai has become the new Casablanca — the hottest spy center in the hottest corner of the world, where Russians, Afghans, Chechens, Americans, Pakistanis, Iranians, everybody, does spy business with full creature comforts nestled up against oil, holy war and nuclear brinksmanship.

Even so, the assassination of a top Hamas leader in his Dubai hotel room in January has made big, ongoing headlines.

Dubai says Israel’s secret service, Mossad, did it. Twenty-seven agents, lots on video tape. A wild story. Israel won’t confirm. What happened here?

This hour, On Point: a killing in Dubai, and the fallout.


Paul McGeough, chief correspondent and former editor of Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald. He’s the author of “Kill Khalid: The Failed Mossad Assassination of Khalid Meshal and the Rise of Hamas.” He joins us from Washington.

Ronen Bergman, senior intelligence and military analyst for the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth and author of “The Secret War With Iran.” He joins us from Tel Aviv.

Tobias Buck, Jerusalem bureau chief for The Financial Times. He joins us from Jerusalem.


This AP video from Feb. 17 shows surveillance camera footage from the hotel where al-Mahbhouh was staying:

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  • Michael

    I bet this is going to by objective and unbiased :)reading from you guest list

    So i guess now if Israel see anyone as a threat they can send some men to kill them, no matter the country, or whose passport or identity they steal(who cares if the person identity they took are arrested and thrown in jail, or targeted in return), since this in not a act or terrorism,murder, or breaks the law, i guess iran can send people to America to take out former shah supporters or Russia can take out Chechnya former leaders, than Arab countries can start sending people to killing Israeli officials all any of them has to do is neither confirm or deny there trying to or did do it.

  • Michael

    took this from another thread but it rings so true

    Another problem is that once you pronounce yourselves able to kill anyone you want, you can then kill anyone you want. It’s the proverbial license to kill. When you start down that path, it’s hard to stop. Killing itself becomes the meaning of life, and the original purpose is lost. For instance, “Afghanistan.” Does anyone remember the reason “we” invaded? It certainly wasn’t to establish “democracy.”


  • jeffe

    Michael the CIA does this as well.
    They are doing right now in Pakistan with drones.

  • Janet

    They have the courage to take action against the terrorists and I wish we would do the same thing.

  • Ed A

    No one knows who did this – it could have been Fatah as well. However, why is there no concern or outrage that this murderer was living in plain view in Dubai for years? Is it acceptable for Muslims to protect their own and ignore international law or is outrage only reserved for Israel? He was a murderer and a terrorist and deserved justice. Dubai was never going to deliver this as it is convenient to explicitly or implicitly support murderers who target Israelis.

  • TJ

    Are there possible legal ramifications from this? Especially, I am thinking, from those whose passports were stolen/copied… seems like that is illegal on many fronts.

  • A liberal Buchananite

    I keep thinking at some point the American people will reach a breaking point on our middle east involvement. Put a damn solar panel on every new structure in this country and get the hell out of there. Other than oil, I can’t name a good reason to be there. Israel has nukes, so we’ve given ‘em everything we’ve got. They can go it on their own.

    This is a violent, unstable region and we are a bankrupt, fading empire. We must build a new paradigm that doesn’t involve us pouring resources into the sand.

  • David

    The muslim world is a joke. They have these type of terrorist thugs living the high life and get upset when they get whacked?. Failed states following a failed religion.

  • http://www.lit.org/author/fritzwilliam F. William Bracy

    The Israelis do in fact assassinate at will. I would hope there are those who remember Gerald Bull, who, as a master gun maker, planned a “doomsday gun, which captured the immediate attention of the Palestinians.” The story was popularized in a movie of the same name. As far as I know, there were never any prosecutions in this killing either.

  • Ed A

    The costumes referred to were probably for the holiday of Purim, which celebrates the turning of the tables on Haman, the Persian ruler who tried to kill all the Jews.

  • cory


    I wonder if you’d feel differently if someone you knew was abroad and inadvertently killed in an attempt to kill a “terrorist”. It takes an amoral conservative mind to decide that it is OK to kill someone we say is a terrorist anytime and anyplace, even to the point of killing innocent bystanders in the process. Can you formulate any way that this policy could be turned around to hurt us? By the way, we ALREADY do this. Ever hear of American drones killing foreign nationals in a country we are allied with (Pakistan)?

  • David Wm.

    Hammas is currently at WAR with Israel.
    Hammas has complete control over Gaza.
    They are still planning to DESTROY all of Israel.
    They are still actively working on their plan.
    IF Mossad took out one of Hammas’s most active agents…………….

  • Sean

    why would the Israeli use passport of its own innocent citizen and then run to Iran . No this is a frame up .

  • Bill Ray

    I find it most interesting that in our national amnesia
    we have forgotten the elaborate plot that wiped out the
    life of President Kennedy in 1963–a plot that most
    historians and researchers agree involed our own secret
    intelligence services either in the actual assassination
    or cover-up afterwards. There was careful preparation,
    scouting for ideal locale, fake secret service credentials, multiple assassins, disguises, safe houses, quick exits to other countries–the whole bit. Some even suspect that the Mossad was involved in supplying shooters. I wish the American media was just as interested in solving and understanding our own cold case.

  • cory

    Ed A.

    Since when is assassination considered justice? I think it is a little closer to murder than justice. We execute innocent prisoners in this country who had a jury trial. Do you think that we could possibly assassinate the wrong person?

  • cory

    Bill Ray,

    Oops! I think you dropped your tin-foil cap!

  • James

    If an Israeli defense or intelligence official and gets assassinated overseas by a Palestinian will Israel see this as a terrorist attack or all is fare in love and war

  • Janet

    Cory – I would feel worse if a friend was killed by the terrorists that liberals seem so determined to protect. Did you ever hear of the Phoenix Program from Vietnam?…where do you think we got the idea of taking out terrorists with drones in Afghanistan?…Israel has the courage to take the war to the terrorists and I hope they keep it up…

  • Sean

    The Financial Times over the years has had a slanted coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict

  • loay

    Thus continues Israels decent into insanity. According to the Financial Times this is Israels warning to Dubai that that its openness will not be tolerated. Israel will destabilize that country if it refuses to do Israels biding and cut off contacts with Iran.

  • Kenyon Wells

    I don’t see any long term diplomatic damage to Israel as a result of this targeted asassinaton. Israel seems to be sufficiently thick-skinned when it comes to world opinion concerning their security. They seem to have no more true concern for how other nations see their actions in this regard than they do for cooperating in any genuine approaches to peaceful settlement in the Middle East. The modern Jewish state of Israel was conceived, birthed and is maintained in violence. It seems to thrive in this manner. Giving in to anyone or any nation is anathema to survival of the state. As long as West in general and the U.S. specifically feel a collective societal guilt because of the Holocaust, Israel will never be held responsible of its actions in any context that involves its security.

  • Sandra Thaxter

    Extrajudicial assassinations such a Israel has used since the Munich Olympics attacks, violate every peace treaty that nations have made over the last 60 years. It brings war to everywhere. There is no place where innocent citizens can live peacefully.

    I do not want anyone using passports from my country because they feel they have the right to pursue vengence against perceived threats or parties to continue a war and turn their back on peace.

  • mike

    Assasination should beconsidered a viable option to ANY world power. Political Hardline-ers and religious fanatics understand the risks they take by doing what they do. it would have been handy to have an assasin or two in germany during hitlers rise to power.

  • Peter

    The relationship between the US and Israel is driven not by a love of fairness or democracy, David against Goliath. It is driven by American Christian messianism, exploited by expansionist Zionism. The fallout is an inflamed and indignant Moslem world.

  • justanother

    If you want to see “evil”, look nowhere else, just to look at the over ambitious politicians all over the world.

    This is an ugly dirty world which I’m so proud of.

  • Ellen Dibble

    This show starts to bring into focus 21st century conflict and the legal and moral fallout from the shift from declared enemies in uniformed forces, to terrorists (criminals?) saying they are acting in self-defense because harm to such and such a contingent is being prevented.
    The issues are more like those in a civil war. Americans go to Af-Pak to arm themselves against Americans. People under the aegis of Israel get arms from Iran to attack Israelis.
    I think it was Tobias Buck who succinctly said that this was a failure in that the family of nations is at the present moment trying to come together to, um, “contain” Iran and its nuclear ambitions, which is surely one of Israel’s interests as well, and if Moussad perpetrated this assassination, or even appeared to have done so, it interferes with that coming together of nations.
    It seems to me, to concur with that, that international intelligence agencies at best seek to keep the peace, serve as the early warning system, as preemptive systems. In cases of assassination, they can spur just the opposite, and invigorate the opponents of peace. American drone strikes are certainly a good example.
    Just, we live in a world where a single person with a supply of anthrax or smallpox for instance can cause vast harm. Is said individual criminal if he has no wider agenda, no links? And the same individual a causus belli, the gauntlet thrown down for all-out war, if he has associates out of a nation or group like Hamas? The world maybe needs to learn not to overreact, partly because there are levels of secrecy at play of necessity. You-Tube notwithstanding.

  • MK

    What is wrong with importing weapons to protect one’s own community?
    We americans are priding ourselves for promoting democracy and our way of life to the rest of the world ( selectively and with bias).
    As I am sending you this email, there is a supreme court hearing on the chicago handgun ban. People need their guns as a deterent more so for the palestinians than anybody else.
    If palestinians were alllowed to arm themselves, Israel would think twice before assaulting them. The abused have become the abusers.
    All things must come to an end one day and this abuse must come to an end since you are deceiving your allies too.

  • roberto

    I was very disappointed by the narrow range of views presented on the show. The 3 guests shared a common world view including sympathy for Israel, and a realpolitik bias on assassination. Missing was a perspective (shared by much of the world) which sees Israel as an occupier of Palestinian land. Missing also was a human rights perspective which sees arrest and trial as the way to deal with criminals (including those accused of terrorism).

  • cory

    Civilization is and has always been held together by a thread. The thread is the agreement of the populace to agree on and follow rules and laws. There aren’t enough police or even military personel to force everyone to obey the laws.

    If you cannot see the existential danger of nations and organizations assassinating politicians and individuals with impunity, there really isn’t anything else to be said.

    Just remember this time when assassinations start happening here, perhaps even to people you know. Who is to say who is an enemy? Remember what civilization is.

  • justanother

    “War is a poor chisel for carving out peaceful tomorrow”

    – Martin Luther King

  • Lee Mortimer

    Israel faces the greatest of all security challenges–guarding stolen (Palestinian) property.

  • justanother

    We use the quick and easy way to kill our “enemy”, our enemy’s future generations happen to believe our mentality of “vengeance”, we plan a seed of “infinite hatred”, just be prepared for our infinite endless struggle for a “never reaching peace”.

  • Brett

    I remember just after Israel attacked Gaza with white phosphorous bombs, which is against international laws, there was an independent investigation proving Israel had used the bombs. When an Israeli official was asked about the investigation’s findings, he arrogantly and angrily told the reporter that Israel did not have to honor anybody’s investigation findings and that Israel would conduct its own investigation, that Israel would believe only Israel’s investigation–which, also, the outcome would be no one’s business! Israel’s arrogance on the world stage is supreme, and they are not being held accountable for their actions.

  • justanother

    Destruction is always quick and easy. Look at how an earthquake shakes about less than a minute, destroys all the things we have built for 100s or 1000s of years. How can we not make every effort to treasure for what we have built and will build?

  • Leo

    It’s about time somebody go after those club med terrorists. Good for Israel!

  • Sheryl

    I believe that this is something that was done by professionals, quite possibly trying to make Israel look like the assassins. However, Israeli’s their secret agents, special services are not going to be this obvious. This group seemed to deliberately do things in front of cameras, such as changing their appearance in order to be seen. It’s ridiculous to think that Israel would have been involved in this operation. I think that this is something made for “the movies.”

  • peter nelson

    It’s obvious that Israel did it. Too obvious.

    That’s what doesn’t add up here. The Israelis are professionals – so we must account for why so many obvious clues were left pointing at Israel, why was the whole thing so sloppy and why would they have left an identity trail pointing to Israeli citizens?

    One possibility that’s already been mentioned is that a rival Palestinian or Iranian group did it. That’s perfectly plausible; their skills are clumsy enough to account for the “obviousness” of the whole thing.

    Another possibility is that it was a third party (Russians, Americans, who knows) with some totally unrelated motive to kill Al-Mabhouh – and since Israel would be the first suspect anyway they might as well go with that.

    Or it could might actually be Israel but they were “sloppy” _on purpose_ to achieve some larger goal (but what?)

    Regardless, we cannot avoid the task of explaining why the clues pointing to Israel were written in such bold text.

  • peter nelson

    If an Israeli defense or intelligence official and gets assassinated overseas by a Palestinian will Israel see this as a terrorist attack or all is fare in love and war

    What are you talking about?! It happens all the time!

    In 2001 the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine assassinated Israeli politician Rehavam Ze’evi, for instance, and this set off a whole series of repercussions (remember the siege of Arafat in his Ramallah compound?) The Syrians assassinated Lebanese leader Hariri in 2005; Sheik Saleh Aridi was assinated in retaliation; Also George Hawi and Lebanese Cabinet minister Pierre Gemayel were asssinated in a whole series of tit-for-tat-for-tit-for-tatassasinations there. In Yemen the US assassinated Abu Ali in 2002, etc, etc, etc.

    Assassination – in the mideast the game, this is how she is played.

  • Sree Srinivasan

    Why would it take 27 or more agents to kill one man?

  • peter nelson

    Why would it take 27 or more agents to kill one man?

    1. It was a class project – 1 professor and 26 students?

    2. Dude was one tough hombre?

    3. Featherbedding by the Assassin’s Union?

    4. Guy who forged the passports gave them a really good deal if they placed a bulk order?

    5. It was part of a joke: “How many assassins does it take to kill an arms dealer?”

  • david

    Pres. Clinton had Bin Laden in his sights. Knew where he was, all that was needed was the words, “Do it” Imagine it he had been removed and the 9/11 attack was stopped.
    I knew an assassin once, tried to blow up a bus. He failed, burned his lips on the tailpipe.
    Just a little humor in world full of trouble.

  • civ

    Israel did the world a favor by eliminating this terrorist.

  • Sean

    The lies , bias and demonization of Israel is so obvious in some of the comments here ….The Arabs are not innocent…


  • Jonathan

    We have no idea who was really involved in this assassination. Assassins are trained professionals well versed in the art of clandestine activities. If we know about their activities, which usually they do not desire, we must ask ourselves why we know about their activities. It is also quite possible that another organization carried out the assassination, and wanted it to look as though Mossad carried out the assassination. To think that an assassination squad blundered and we the public now get to hear about all the juicy details is overly simplistic, and highly improbable, at least in my opinion. There is always more to the story, and usually things are not as they seem.

  • PJ

    This Dubai story is not available on the usual podcast.
    Hope Tom Ashbrook is not next on the assassination list!

  • Froderick Fronkenstein

    Peter Nelson…you never disappoint..thanks…and Gary from the sex addiction comments…give us more!

  • Froderick Fronkenstein

    David…Good one!…give us more.

  • David

    The reason we have laws against things like this is not just to protect us from people who know that they’re doing wrong–but to protect us from people who think they’re doing right!

  • Dave

    When has Israel NOT been held under a microscope? Would you expect anything else but world “condemnation”? – Wasn’t Israel condemned when it destroyed Iraq’s nuclear reactor? And again, why was this militant- a terrorist of the first order-allowed to live in Dubai with no question?

  • Chetan Patel

    I think this is done by someone else who is trying to frame Israel, because, Mosad is not naive enough to use passport from Israeli citizens, even a layman like me understands that.

  • peter nelson

    Pres. Clinton had Bin Laden in his sights. Knew where he was, all that was needed was the words, “Do it” Imagine it he had been removed and the 9/11 attack was stopped.

    Imagine if Bin Laden had been “removed” and the 9/11 attack was NOT stopped? Assassinating Bin Laden prior to the 9/11 attack would have simply provided even more justification for attacking the US.

    We get too hung up on personalities and it makes us overlook the more fundamental historical, theological, cultural, economic, political and other factors that produce events like 9/11 and the Iraq invasion.

    It is not at all obvious that 9/11 or some similar attack on the US would not have happened in Bin Laden’s absence. Would NAZI Germany still be ruling Europe if, say Omar Bradley or Dwight Eisenhower disappeared in 1943? Someone would have taken their place and the job would still have gotten done. Ditto with Al Quada.

  • peter nelson

    Just to clarify my prior point about Bin Laden – - in an earlier post I mentioned a number of prior mideast assassinations. That list is just a tiny subset of all the assassinations which have taken place there in the last few decades.

    Yet the conflicts in that region continue unabated, fed as they are by the fuel of historical and other circumstances. I see no evidence that any of those assassinations have altered the course of history.

    According to Wikipedia “the word assassin is derived from the Arabic word Hashshashin (Arabic: حشاشون \ جماعة الحشاشين‎), the Arabic designation of the Nizari branch of the Ismā’īlī Shia Muslims during the Middle Ages.”

    So this has been going on for a LONG time there!

  • Michael

    “When has Israel NOT been held under a microscope? Would you expect anything else but world “condemnation”? – Wasn’t Israel condemned when it destroyed Iraq’s nuclear reactor? And again, why was this militant- a terrorist of the first order-allowed to live in Dubai with no question?”

    ohh poor israel just, imagine the condemnation if iran found and attacked israel nuclear reactor/s remember a nuke free middle-east, whoops forget israel is somehow not part of the middle east when talking about a Nuke Free middle east, my bad :)

    “It is not at all obvious that 9/11 or some similar attack on the US would not have happened in Bin Laden’s absence. Would NAZI Germany still be ruling Europe if, say Omar Bradley or Dwight Eisenhower disappeared in 1943? Someone would have taken their place and the job would still have gotten done. Ditto with Al Quada.”

    I think of the movie “the butterfly effect”

    “When has Israel NOT been held under a microscope? Would you expect anything else but world “condemnation”? – Wasn’t Israel condemned when it destroyed Iraq’s nuclear reactor? And again, why was this militant- a terrorist of the first order-allowed to live in Dubai with no question?”

    Say reason why a jewis terrorist was allowed and even elected as P.M. of israel, “One mans terrorist is another freedom fighter.

    “Yitzhak Yizernitzky. He was one of the Jewish extremists who, between 1937 and 1939, killed more than 300 Arab civilians by machine-gunning passing buses and bombing open air restaurants and marketplaces. On one July day in 1938, they rolled an oil drum laden with explosives downhill into a bus stop in Haifa, killing 35 men, women and children and leaving others maimed and bleeding.

    When World War II began, one group of these terrorists, called Irgun Zvai Leumi and headed by future Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, declared a cease-fire with the British. The other group, Lehi, the Hebrew acronym for “Fighters for the Freedom of Israel” tried to ally itself first with fascist Italy, then with Nazi Germany and finally with Stalinist Russia.”


    egin then found his sister, the only other survivor of their family, and became active in the illegal immigration of Jews to Palestine.

    He soon joined the Free Polish Army. The stint took him to Iran and then Palestine. He learned English from listening to BBC Radio. He then served in the British Army in Palestine as an interpreter until 1943.

    At that time, he became the leader of the liberation movement Irgun Tzvi Leumi- Etzel- whose means were more violent than the mainstream Haganah, with which he disagreed over how to push the British out of Palestine.

    In 1946, under his leadership, the Irgun blew up a wing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, where the British were headquartered. Some 90 people- Jews and Arabs, as well as British- were killed, despite warnings that there would be a bombing.

    Begin’s picture, that of a wanted terrorist, was posted in all British prisons and offices in Palestine. The British conducted an extensive manhunt for Begin, who had a price on his head that began at $8,000 but was raised to %50,000. Begin escaped the British dragnet by disguising himself as a bearded Orthodox rabbi”

    Noted by Pres Bush as a courageous man,both sides(mostly) are crazy, and often blood thirsty for revenge, at least the U.S. throws out statements saying there sorry, unlike the other two,

  • Brett

    Pres. Clinton had Bin Laden in his sights. Knew where he was, all that was needed was the words, “Do it” -david

    Of course, what you fail to mention is that few on the world stage knew who bin Laden was at that time and even fewer could have guessed what he would be up to in the future; and, that the “opportunity” to get him came when he was in a caravan consisting of many dignitaries from various Arab countries. If his caravan had been bombed, or a group of assassins had ambushed them and mowed everyone down, it would have touched off an incredible international incident that could have caused infinitely more damage to US relations around the world than Bush did in his entire eight years. To “imagine” as you are doing, “imagine” the many acts against the US that this scenario of fantasy could have caused if carried out?

  • Michael

    “The reason we have laws against things like this is not just to protect us from people who know that they’re doing wrong–but to protect us from people who think they’re doing right!”

    This is the point that others seem to forget as long as there side is doing the killing of course.

    Once you justify your side having the right and morals to kill, why would anyone give up that power? since that would require boring talks, and debates, give and take and blah blah blah, easy to just kill your rival and call them evil, bad or whatever the dehumanized word is.

    Reminds me of Dave C. performance,

    Dave Chappelle speaks about the behaviour of the police to Afro-Americans:”Let�s sprinkle some crack on him and get out of here.”

    In israel case “lets sprinkle some terrorism on him and get out of here”

  • jeffe

    Gee Michael your anti Israeli rants are over the top. As if there is not Arab fault in this picture. As if there is no Arab violence against Jews. Let’s be realistic, both parties have enough bad history to fill volumes.

    However sitting around and posting what you post offers nothing. It makes you feel good I’m sure but in the scheme of things for every bad thing the Israeli government has done in its history there are ten fold of atrocities perpetrated by Arab states. Let me be clear here, I mean governments and not the people. They hang people for being homosexuals in Saudi Arabia and stone women for adultery, proven or not.

    Israel has a lot to answer for, that is true. But, so do the Arab and Iran for that matter. The West is also complicit is this mess.

  • Barry Wright

    Israel holds 1.5 Palestinians hostage, Gaza and the West Bank are not independent
    states. Israel’s 40 year plus occupation is the background of Arab ‘terrorism’ in the region.

    We the US have helped veto over 80 UN resolutions against Israel for things like unlawful occupation of land, apartheid and war crimes.

    The Goldstone Report has been effectively shelved, which alleges Israeli war
    crimes, 1400 Gazans killed by horrible weapons like white phosphorous bombs which scatter burning fragments that eat right through to the bone.

    Why is Israel the 600 pound gorilla in the room which must always be protected or at least ignored? Israel’s arrogance and bullying behavior is infamous, why must the focus in our press
    and media like tv and radio be Muslim ‘terrorism’?

    What are the root causes of Mideast terrorism and how does Israel’s long history of
    atrocities against its non-Jewish indigenous peoples play its role.

    I was ashamed and appalled at your program tonight Tom. We need to deal with israel as we dealt with any other misbehaving nation, with boycotts, sanctions and
    the withholding of funds, some 10 billion a year as I understand.

    A friend of mine leads tours to the Holy Land and Israel, and has seen weapons made in the US of A fired at Palestinians, weapons are one of our last big industries apparently. He specifically mentioned rockets marked PITTSBURGH PA.

    What do Palestinians make of that I wonder. How about a radio show about it?

  • Zane Sidd

    “They have the courage to take action against the terrorists and I wish we would do the same thing.”

    The logic is corrupted; by your logic, we should not have decried the recent assassination of CIA individuals. In a civilized country, like the United States, we need to be mindful of an important distinction between proper judicial process and extrajudicial killing.

  • Michael


    Can you name some santions actually enforced against Israel, Israel received for doing say 1/10 of what some of those arab countries have? Don’t like what i say you can always scroll passed my comment, as well as i can scroll pass comments i may perceive by you as “rants” or maybe “apologist rants”

    ……waiting? Seems all those nations have faced some type of punishment, with exception of the ones the U.S. supports, or have a certain interest in keeping such abusers in power.

    So far the violantion of international treaties, passports, international laws have been meet with a :( face of israel actions since the U.S. vetos anything with teeth in it. So spare me the but this but that, both sides have there crazies, yet seems somehow its a crime to punish israel cause it is israel, but any arab county is fair game for the same thing and even less(iran)

    makes perfect since, seem like the way a democracy is suppose to act, disregard the law and apply it when they choose than cry bloody murder when someone does the same thing.

    thanks, jeffe.

  • jeffe

    Well I’m not sure sanctions would work. Just as I don’t see how they would work against Iran.

    I do think the aid should be cut back, a lot.
    I mean we can use that money here. The aid seems to me to left over from the cold war when Israel was the only pro western ally in the region besides the Saudis. We have to remember that Egypt, Syria, Iraq, were all allies of the former USSR.

    The real problem here is both Israel and the Palestinians are governed by radicals. The right in Israel is on control. You also have to realize that within Israel there are huge divides. The settlers and the Orthodox are splitting the country apart from the inside. We don’t here much about this, but this problem is there. I know a young Israeli who lives here and he thinks that unless Israel comes to some kind of peaceful agreement control the extremist from within that the country will not survive.

  • Michael


    I agreed, I much prefer the U.S. address radicals on both sides, address foreign aid that could be going to helping our poor and sick in the U.S., instead of looking the other way when a friendly/puppet nation to the U.S. does something unethical.illegal, Onpoint did not even cover the goldstone report, i think it was given a minute in the news, NPR buried the story, because of this it gives the radical no incentives to reform.

    Like in the U.S. our U.S. Media refused to cover or deal with the radicals,leaving them to paint the new But i take you points.

  • peter nelson

    Israel withdrew from Gaza and south Lebanon and in no time Palestinian terrorists were using those as launching bases to send missiles into Israel.

    So given that history, if I were Israel I certainly wouldn’t see any sense or logic in any further withdrawals.

    Israel’s more recent attacks into Gaza, while brutal, occurred only after relentless missile attacks into Israel from Gaza.

    Opponents of Israel here complain that Israel is held up to a double standard, shielded by the United States from legitimate criticism (true), but how many other countries in the world would be expected to tolerate missile attacks from surrounding countries without a massive retaliation? Name even one.

    And even within the last month month rockets are still being sporadically launched from Gaza, even as Gaza and the world community demand that Israel loosen its grip there. It’s insane to demand that someone treat you more nicely while you are shooting at them.

  • Michael

    For one, Kosovo, check out the north of it, and the town within its boarders who had to deal with sniper fire(which Israel still does), and attacks, The Seb response was similar and reasoning were close to Israel response to gazans, another follow the history of gaza, both Israel and the U.S. pushed for elections, hamas won the government and Fatah won the head, I understand you like to read so you can read about what happen next, Fatah denounced hamas elected officials backed by the U.S. and Israel who refused to recognize the results pushed for Fatah to take complete control, and we all know how that went down,

    Name a country that allows it people to be caged in, air raided, all boarders’ control, and expanding on there land and not fight back? Go head, Go even further name a country that allows it land to be taken, while being denied to go back at the same time giving anyone of the occupiers faith to come and move onto that same land?? Name a country that when attacked it does not allow the civilians to flee?

    Judging by the actions of Israel towards Fatah and the West Bank, Gaza one could only hope the U.N. saves them from the fate of the native Americans, actually even worst since there be walled in and caged, well justification to kill them cause all all within that area are deem terrorist or terrorist supporters for living there, of course hamas can say since all Israelis have to be in the military or have served then like Israel claims are supporters of a terrorist state and government as well..
    Also I’m sure you follow the news (maybe) can you tell us the groups that are firing rockets? You do know there are more than one right or do you believe there all from Hamas? Also can you provide why Muslim churches are being burnt down in the west bank, Pallies attacked by more orthodox’s jews, run off there land, of course the P.A. should take control of this right? much more if you need proof, or are the separate from the rest of Israelis and should not be lumped into the whole of Israel? Or does this only apply to Pallies when lumping groups in together

  • peter nelson

    Name a country that allows it people to be caged in, air raided, all boarders’ control, and expanding on there land and not fight back?

    After Israel withdrew from Gaza conditions for the Palestinians there were better than they had ever been before. Their economy was starting to grow; people were starting businesses, international aid and investment was coming in. This only changed when the Gazan’s started firing missiles at Israel.

    And to suggest that somehow Hamas couldn’t control or stop the rockets is ridiculous. Look at Gaza on a map – it’s tiny. A Qassam 3 is almost 7 feet long and it weighs 200 pounds. When it’s fired it leaves a prominent smoke trail – here’s a picture from Wikipedia – http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a1/A_rocket_fired_from_a_civilian_area_in_Gaza_towards_civilian_areas_in_Southern_Israel.jpg

    And since it only has a range of 6.5 miles all of them have to be fired from a small area bordering Israel,
    So if Hamas is claiming that it’s some rogue group and they have no way of knowing about it, that makes no sense.

    Go even further name a country that allows it land to be taken, while being denied to go back at the same time giving anyone of the occupiers faith to come and move onto that same land??

    But Israel unilaterally withdraw from Gaza and South Lebanon, so this was a start to progress so it would have led to further progress if Hamas and Hezbollah didn’t immediately start using those two places to shoot missiles at Israel. If the goal is to get Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories then why attack them when they do it? That’s insane. Tell us how Hamas has helped the cause of their people or of peace by doing this.

  • Michael

    Seems when posing a question to you, your provide alt information, I ask you to name a country you did not, so its hardly a answer, I asked you to name the groups firing such rockets you did not, as well you failed to responds to the behavior of Israel and the U.S. after the elections leading to the hamas firing rockets, targeted shops, business and vines Israel destroyed,


    of course with a area so small this would not have happen right?

    ” Gaza Strip to target militant groups and their infrastructure, including smuggling tunnels in the Philadelphi Corridor.[2] On the first day of the conflict, Israel also bombed the only electrical power plant in the Gaza Strip.[6]”

    Why would hamas fire rockets, even know it is wrong,
    Israeli Torture,
    Israeli Bulldozers
    Israeli block medical care
    Israeli Snipers
    Israeli settlers occupy
    Israeli humanitarian blockade
    israeli blockade food
    israel collective punishment

    Plus this is the country we value as a democracy,

    Of course if Israel stops building on illegal land and doing the above I bet that would help as well, treated gazans and people on the west bank as humans would help too. can you post the wika of land israel had in say 2006 to 2010 amazing enough its is bigger how is that? and this is the less violent part where such is happening (the west bank)


    This is not even talking about the treatment of the pallies on the west bank not firing rockets. Until you do more than a blanket statement and list the people or groups firing rockets you really got nothing to your comment, since your lumping I all gazans as the same and jusifting killing any cause of a few.

    since my response will most likely be met with the a orange is orange when talking about what the cow says type of logic ill leave it at that

  • peter nelson

    Seems when posing a question to you, your provide alt information, I ask you to name a country you did not, so its hardly a answer, I asked you to name the groups firing such rockets you did not

    That’s because your English is so bad I can’t parse your questions/comments.

    WRT who fired the rockets, they are Palestinian terrorists is Gaza. What else is relevant? In such a small, crowded place they either ARE Hamas, or they are known to Hamas. You cannot build, smuggle, and launch a weapon that big without everyone knowing about it. One of the reasons Israel destroyed the electricity is because the Qassam’s are being assembled in underground factories that need electricity.

    Why would hamas fire rockets, even know it is wrong,
    Israeli Torture,
    Israeli Bulldozers
    Israeli block medical care
    Israeli Snipers
    Israeli settlers occupy
    Israeli humanitarian blockade
    israeli blockade food
    israel collective punishment

    How does firing rockets help with these? As I said, real progress was being made, economic conditions were improving, and the Israelis has already withdrawn from Gaza and South Lebanon when the Palestinians started attacking Israel with rockets. It was a completely irrational action that set back their goals and the progress of their people for years.

  • peter nelson

    Go even further name a country that allows it land to be taken, while being denied to go back at the same time giving anyone of the occupiers faith to come and move onto that same land??

    You don’t see the Scots launching rockets at the English; you don’t see Native Americans launching rockets at whites; you don’t see Tibet launching rockets at China; you don’t see Mexico launching rockets at California or Texas. Rockets don’t fly across the middle of Schleswig between Germany and Denmark. People in Joensuu and Lappeenranta and Vyborg and Sortavala (towns along the Russian-Finnish border established in 1947) sleep peacefully at night without worrying about rocket attacks from either side. History is filled with examples of places that lost territory in wars or other actions and then got on with their affairs. The list is endless.

    Israel is not going to disappear – no useful purpose is served and the Palestinians only prolong their misery by continuing to attack Israel.

  • PJ

    This Dubai story is still not available on the usual podcast.

    It has been two days now! What’s happening?

    Lets hope that Tom Ashbrook is not next on the Mosad assassination list!

  • Henry

    Pls post the Dubai story on the Podcast.

  • Elliott

    This doesn’t need to be published as a comment, but I can’t find any other way to contact you. THe podcast I just downloaded labeled “Assassination in Dubai” is actually the “Literary Monster Mash”. The latter appears to have been published twice.

    Also — and this is not terribly important — the 3/1/10 show is titled “Create new podcast” when downloaded.

  • Matthew Hayes

    Please repost the itunes podcast of the Assassination in Dubai. I am keen to listen to your program on this topic.

  • Michael

    In response to Peter,

    Funny you comment on my bad English even know it still does not disprove israel has broken International Laws, Human Rights Abuses,and what i said above, Since your writing skills are quite excellent and you “Still” make simpleminded and naive statements.

    Why is it relevant who fires rockets you ask? Si

    well,Before the Operation C. under the ceasefire rockets were reduced dramatically by hamas as well as curved rocket from other groups in gaza,Yet Israel reneged on there part, came in killed a few hamas leaders, in response rockets at israel,than the news reported the second part but not the first,the same could be said in 2006 assassination of democratically elected officials in response came rockets(I’m sure a highly educated person like yourself would be aware of this :) )

    As for Lebanon good faith gesture by Israel you point to, I recall them dropping 30k plus clusters bombs in the last 32hours before it was agreed to be sign,if your not aware of the effects and/or danger of them exploding i be happy to link it to you,nor the 2000k man, women and children rounded up and killed, helping the Pro-western groups in Lebanon,

    As for Gaza again Israel refused to honor the election results, instead thought killing elected leaders were a better plan. Also don’t forget the 5k pallies sitting in prison without trial, or due process. On top of this collectively punishing groups of people for the actions of a few is “Guess What”? A War Crime(of course your aware of this)

    If you believe Israel has made good faith efforts all one needs to do is look at the WEST BANK and see, that violence is down, protesters are still beaten and assaulted, plus the fact that since Fatah has been working with Israel the land that was supposed to be used for the pally state has been getting smaller and smaller each year settlement are still being built.

    The below is the loss of land to the Palestinian, and this is again from the West Bank.


  • Michael

    As to your use of the Indians not shooting rockets at Americans is probably one the dumbest thing i ever heard on this website ever, From someone who prides himself on his vast knowledge on events and assuming history as well, he had to believe you make such a statement, Since,

    1. I wouldn’t have seen Indians shooting rockets because rockets did not exist,(more like arrows)this was a few 100 years before my time sorry bud :), if i recall there were many Indian wars in the U.S.(correct me if i’m wrong), and the ones who were peaceful, along with the losers were forced on a march. Know what was that called? oh yea The Trail of Tears, and in today’s standard what the Americans did to the Indians would be genocide.

    2. Mexico/U.S. war another the Cow says QUACK statement, I’m sure if U.S. decided moving its boarders, while at the same time caging in the Mexicans who protest, i bet there be issues.

    3. England/Scotland, odd you left out Ireland,(most be your old age) if i recall The British had to recolicle with the IRA to keep the peace.

    4. the others are just too dumb and below you for me to respond.

    Notice Jews in Iran aren’t launching rockets at the Iranians or trapped in open air prisons, or forced to use separate roads, but i’m sure they would most likely turn to what they could if they would given the treatment the Pallies face in both Gaza and the West Bank, along with the all the rest of your Cow say quack foolish comparisons.

    But hey generalizations(often unrelated) work much better for you, maybe the U.S. can follow in Israeli lead in Afghanistan,hey maybe surround each village,build walls around them,create check points takings hours to move from one place to the other, slow down food and aid after bombing whole village when the inevitable attack occurs, of course this will work, than have elections and if our side losses we can start assassinating the winners of the election.

    Of course when people complain about it just call the whole village terrorist and it’s fair game….. Your logic is amazing

  • Michael

    Actually Pete,

    The U.S/Indians War is exactly what is going on today government offers land for people to settle, as more and more settle they start to displace the natives, of course when violence’s occurs they bring in the army to kill,beat down, and in time forcing them into smaller and smaller areas of land by slowly taking the reminding land, the government invites more settlers land, until they squeezes the natives off the land or makes it so bad they leave on there own. Also in the process of taking land,dehumanize the natives, destroy there cultures history, and way of living,rewrite history to say there was noone on the land in the first place.

    Sounds like the Israeli are just a few hundred years to late to do what the Americans did to the Native Americans,but i’ll bet there will try.

    Don’t believe or agree just look at Israel’s Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman statements

    Just the tip,of some of the more nastier things he said

  • ranndino

    Not so easy to be a spy these days. Damn video cameras everywhere!

  • Mike D.

    Yes, the U.S. does this as well. But it makes no pretense otherwise. If Israel would like to try to conduct itself in as open a way — if it thinks it can make that work for them — it should try it. Otherwise, its supporters should leave off complaining about the double standard when due to its own incompetence it is caught in its attempts to pursue the strategy covertly.

Aug 27, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, shakes hands with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, right, as Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, center, looks at them, prior to their talks after after posing for a photo in Minsk, Belarus, Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. (AP)

Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s leader meet. We’ll look at Russia and the high voltage chess game over Ukraine. Plus, we look at potential US military strikes in Syria and Iraq.

Aug 27, 2014
The cast of the new ABC comedy, "Black-ish." (Courtesy ABC)

This week the Emmys celebrate the best in television. We’ll look at what’s ahead for the Fall TV season.

Aug 26, 2014
Matthew Triska, 13, center, helps Alex Fester, 10, to build code using an iPad at a youth workshop at the Apple store on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, in Stanford, Calif.  (AP)

Educational apps are all over these days. How are they working for the education of our children? Plus: why our kids need more sleep.

Aug 26, 2014
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, right, speaks with Ady Barkan of the Center for Popular Democracy as she arrives for a dinner during the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium at the Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park near Jackson, Wyo. Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014.  (AP)

Multi-millionaire Nick Hanauer says he and his fellow super-rich are killing the goose–the American middle class — that lays the golden eggs.

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