Thursday, January 6, 2011

Alleged Israeli Mossad Animal Spy Use And How to Construct Successful Anti-Israel Blood Libels

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By Barry Rubin

PART ONE: Using animals as intelligence agents

As the proud owner of three cats (or vice-versa as it often seems), I have not yet deployed them for intelligence use. However, to read various Middle Eastern newspapers, you would think that Israel is the world leader in having animal espionage agents. This is my list so far but tell me if I'm missing anything:

Egypt: sharks and poison jellyfish (shark attacks in Red Sea blamed on Israeli effort to damage Egyptian tourism. Potential joke: What's next? Sending in lawyers?).

West Bank: snakes; wild boars (Israeli settlers allegedly release poison snakes and other animals to bite Palestinians. Potential joke: Still working on that one.).

Iran: squirrels and possibly bunnies (Mossad squirrels cross border to gather information. Potential joke: A good choice given the nuts running Iran's Islamist regime.)

Saudi Arabia: vultures (Vulture flies into Saudi airspace having been tagged in a migraiton study by Israel university. Potential joke: Maybe the vulture went to Saudi Arabia because he knows something about the Saudi monarchies future.).

East Jerusalem: poison-resistance rats allegedly to chase out Arab residents.

Iraq: I am pleased to report that Israel is not being blamed for introducing man-eating badgers (sort of like a beaver with a bad attitude, right?) into Iraq. No, that's being blamed on the British.

Syria: Jellyfish. 

Here's a study on the issue, including the llama and antelope forces.

Possible future phony animal stories:

Israel mobilizes large, antlered mammal and changes name of intelligence agency to the Moose-ad.

Israel organizes attacks my massive female felines thus allowing Arabic headline writers to warn of the Zionist-lioness conspiracy

My advice is, stick to really "credible" propaganda like having one unidentified witness claiming Israel massacred hundreds at Jenin or insisting that a woman was killed at a demonstration by inhaling tear gas even though she wasn't even there and tear gas doesn't kill people.

Here are some other guidelines:

PART TWO: How to make up successful anti-Israel blood libels. 

LESSON ONE: Use up-to-date, scientific-seeming falsehoods

Wrong way: Claim Israelis are passing out poison chewing gum.

Maybe: Claim Israelis are poisoning wells. Worked in Middle Ages but not so well when Suha Arafat said it to Hilary Clinton.

Right Way: Claim Israelis are firing phosphorus to burn up Gazans and putting phosphorus and poison into tear gas so that one woman far away is killed while demonstrators next to the tear gas are totally uninjured. Still nonsense but sounds more scientific.

Right Way: London Sunday Times reporting that Israel has developed a bomb that only kills Arabs.  (The reporter who wrote that is still employed by the newspaper.)

LESSON TWO: Avoid outdated obviously antisemitic references and use sympathy-getting ones.

Wrong way: Claim that Jews are killing little children to turn them into matzohs. (Still plays in Saudi Arabia but not elsewhere.)

Maybe: Claim that Israelis are killing little children to use their organs. (Works in Sweden, Iran, Syria, and Turkey but not so good for most of the West.)

Right Way: Claim that Israelis are killing little children even if the kid moves on the video after he is supposedly dead, there's no blood, and a dozen more contradictions. (Excellent! Most people still think Muhammad al-Dura was murdered by Israel even after a French court ruled the story is ridiculous.)

LESSON THREE: Know your audience and adjust the message appropriately.

Arab/Muslim audience: Israel carried out the September 11 attacks, heroic Muslims carried out the September 11 attacks as part of the war against Israel (no need to choose one). Israel is an American stooge; America is an Israeli stooge (no need to choose one).  Israel is the imperialistic state of evil Jews. Israel is blocking (choose one) a. The success of Arab nationalism creating a radical, anti-Western region. b. The success of revolutionary Islamism creating a radical, anti-Western, anti-Christian region. Israel should be wiped off the map.

European audience: Israel is an American stooge; Israel violates human rights.

Western mainstream audience: Israel violates human rights.

Western liberal/social democratic audience: Israel is right-wing.

American neo-fascist, antisemitic audience: America is an Israeli stooge.

Western Jewish audience: Israel is not perfect. (This is incredibly effective in many circles.)


See, you have to have some minimally credible story to get all the world's most respected newspapers to repeat your lies without any evidence at all. But don't worry, that level of minimal credibility is really, really low.  

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). The website of the GLORIA Center is at and of his blog, Rubin Reports,

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