How Israel’s secret services built the most robust assassination machine in history

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/how-israels-secret-services-built-the-most-robust-assassination-machine-in-history/2018/01/26/c7053b34-f7ce-11e7-beb6-c8d48830c54d_story.html?utm_term=.694dd5acf89d

‘In times of war,” declared the Roman orator Cicero, “the laws fall silent.” When faced with an existential threat to their survival, he was suggesting, even the most democratic of states are entitled to use violence without legal restraint. But at what point does violence in the name of self-defense become an end in itself, so addictive to its practitioners, who in time become so adept at its use, that it undermines the very values it is meant to preserve?

This question is the underlying theme of Ronen Bergman’s authoritative and exhaustive history of Israel’s targeted killings of its enemies, which he calls “the most robust streamlined assassination machine in history.”

Since World War II, Bergman calculates, the Jewish state and its pre-state paramilitary organizations have assassinated more people than any other country in the Western world — some 2,300 “targeted killing operations,” most of them against Palestinians, but also aimed at Egyptians, Syrians, Iranians and others. And other Western countries have followed its bloodstained example: President Barack Obama authorized 353 drone strikes against individuals during his eight years in office.

The threat Israel has faced is all too real. Since before the founding of the state, Arab terror gangs and suicide bombers have aimed at civilian targets — schools, cafes, supermarkets, passenger buses, commercial airliners, even a Passover dinner attended by dozens of elderly Jews have all been singled out by gunmen and bombers looking to inflict the maximum amount of pain on the most innocent of people. Imagine how swiftly and brutally the United States would respond if a gang of terrorists from Canada laid waste to a kindergarten or two in Detroit. Actually, there’s no need to imagine: After the 9/11 attacks, the United States threw out the human rights handbook and embarked on a spate of targeted killings, abductions, torture and indefinite imprisonment without trial that was as much about vengeance as prevention of future attacks.

Israel’s leaders have developed a reputation for ruthless efficiency, honoring the Talmudic mandate, “If someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first.” Clandestine, behind-enemy-lines operations, Bergman writes, became “the core principle of Israel’s security doctrine.”

In the name of state security, Israeli officials didn’t just walk the line of legality, they trampled it. “Summary executions of suspects who posed no immediate threat, violations of the laws of Israel and the rules of war — were not renegade acts by rogue operatives,” Bergman writes in “Rise and Kill First.” “They were officially sanctioned extrajudicial killings.”

The chief defense correspondent for Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel’s largest daily newspaper, Bergman has a reputation as an indefatigable journalist who has developed hundreds of informed sources in the defense establishment over the past two decades. He is in a privileged position — defense correspondents get regular briefings from high officials but must submit their reports to the military censor’s office, which often excises much of the juiciest stuff. But Bergman has a secret weapon: the chatty, introspective men (yes, except for the late Golda Meir, they’re all men) he writes about. He clearly has excellent sources in all three components of the secret killing machinery: the Directorate of Military Intelligence, the Mossad spy agency and the Shin Bet internal security service. “On the one hand, nearly everything in the country related to intelligence and national security is classified as ‘top secret,’ ” he writes. “On the other hand, everyone wants to speak about what they’ve done.”

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read it..and read it again..

“In times of war,” declared the Roman orator Cicero, “the laws fall silent.”

so a permanent state of war means you can break laws all the time..which they do..

“Israel’s leaders have developed a reputation for ruthless efficiency, honoring the Talmudic mandate, “If someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first.” Clandestine, behind-enemy-lines operations, Bergman writes, became “the core principle of Israel’s security doctrine.”

no shit..

401

~ by seeker401 on February 13, 2018.

One Response to “How Israel’s secret services built the most robust assassination machine in history”

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preemptive_war
    from wiki, “an attempt to repel or defeat a perceived imminent offensive or invasion, or to gain a strategic advantage in an impending (allegedly unavoidable) war shortly before that attack materializes.”

    “perceived”

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