It's surely ironic that the country that complains loudest about terrorism has assassination squads travelling the world in search of prey. The murder of Hamas commander Mahmoud Al Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel room last month is believed to have been carried out by members of the Mossad allegedly using Irish passports. And the fact that the Israeli government has declined to comment other than to falsely claim that Al Mabhouh was in the emirate to meet with Iranian officials speaks volumes.
Dubai's Police Chief Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim has warned that an international arrest warrant will be issued in the Israeli Prime Minister's name if it is proved that the crime was perpetrated by an Israeli hit squad. That would certainly be a logical course of action but it's easier said than done.
Government-sponsored Israeli murderers are professional and have decades of experience. It's highly unlikely that they would leave behind them a trail of hard evidence that would stand up in an international court of law.
Moreover, even if Benjamin Netanyahu's name were to appear on an international arrest warrant there would be very few countries, if any, willing to face Washington's wrath by putting him behind bars.
Let's be realistic. It's just not going to happen! Britain, for instance, regularly tips off Israelis who are wanted for war crimes and is attempting to change its own laws to ensure Israelis are no longer vulnerable.
It's outrageous that in all probability Israel will once again be allowed to get away with committing murder on foreign soil while the world stays silent. The reaction or rather non-reaction of the international community is unprincipled. It isn't hard to imagine what an orchestrated outcry there would be if assassins backed by Arab governments were targeting prominent Israelis abroad. Every western television network would have rolling news and commentary centering on ‘Arab terrorists', while US and European leaders would be issuing warnings and sending condolences.
There will be those who will say ‘good riddance' upon hearing of the demise of a top Hamas lieutenant but I believe that anyone who takes that stance needs to check their moral compass. Whatever we feel about the victim should be neither here nor there.
Countries that equip assassins with foreign passports — usually acquired using devious means — to violate the sovereignty of a third nation should be censured in the United Nations and isolated. When a nation's leaders behave like the Sopranos it deserves to be branded a rogue state.
Over the decades, the Mossad, the Shin Bet and the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) have carried out dozens of targeted assassinations. Several leaders of Hamas, Fatah, Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and Hezbollah have been killed along with the Egyptian nuclear scientist Yahya Al Mashad, who was murdered in a Paris hotel room in June 1980. By some estimates, the Mossad is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of nuclear scientists and is believed to have been behind the killing of Canadian ballistics expert Gerald Bull shot outside his Brussels apartment in March 1990 while working for Iraq.
The Mossad may be a well-honed killing machine but there are times when it makes mistakes. In 1973, Mossad agents using fake Canadian passports murdered a Moroccan waiter in Norway, whom they mistook for a Black September leader, and were arrested.
In 1997, Canada withdrew its ambassador from Israel after Israeli assassins were caught with Canadian passports in Jordan after a failed attempt on the life of Hamas leader Khalid Mesha'al. Then, in 2004, there was a diplomatic contretemps between Israel and New Zealand when Israelis working for Israeli intelligence fraudulently tried to obtain New Zealand passports.
Al Mabhouh's killing may be stamped with the Mossad's trademark but, in the end, the case is likely to be filed away marked ‘unsolved'. The slayers who flew out of Dubai within hours of doing the deed will be given new identities, new passports and new assignments.
Israel's propagandists will attempt to pin the blame on Arab intelligence agencies and the rest of us will simply yawn and turn the page… until the next time this government-licensed hydra-headed monster strikes. The question is who will be next?
Linda S. Heard is a specialist writer on Middle East affairs. She can be contacted at email@example.com Some of the comments may be considered for publication.