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Posted at 12:10 PM ET, 01/ 5/2011

Israel's Spying Vulture -- and Killer Shark

By Jackson Diehl

This just in: Saudi Arabia has arrested a bird on charges of spying for Israel. According to the newspaper Al Weeam, the alleged Mossad agent is a vulture that was captured in a rural area of the country. It was discovered to have a transmitter and a leg bracelet marked "Tel Aviv University."

Some might be tempted to believe Israel's story, which is that the bird was part of a scientific study tracking the movements of vultures in the region. But not the Saudi press, or any number of Arab websites that were quick to jump on the story. The vulture, said al Weeam, was most likely part of "a Zionist plot."

This is hardly the first time that Arab media -- or governments, for that matter -- have jumped to conclusions about the Mossad's technological prowess. Two other birds tagged by Tel Aviv university, a vulture and a pelican, were accused of being spies when they were captured in Sudan. And just last month the governor of Egypt's Sinai peninsula claimed that a shark that killed a tourist near the resort of Sharm al-Sheikh was a Mossad plant.

A few years ago the Egyptian press was full of reports about an alleged Mossad plot to distribute chewing gum that would cause young women to become sexually promiscuous. Though it heavily censors its press, the government did nothing to discourage the story.

The Wall Street Journal's Bret Stephens pointed to the Mossad shark and other Arab conspiracy theories as an example of "the debasement of the Arab mind.". But there is a more benign explanation, as well: Israel's real technological prowess and its real covert operations. As Max Boot points out, Mossad's most recent suspected exploits are almost as fantastic as the fantasies. Israel is widely believed responsible for the Stuxnet computer worm, which appears to have done serious damage to Iran's centrifuges and its Busheir nuclear plant. And Mossad is the leading suspect in the high-tech bomb attacks on two leading Iranian nuclear scientists last month. One was killed and the other seriously injured when passing motorcyclists slapped adhesive bombs onto their cars.

So Arab media and officials who rave about spying vultures and Mossad sharks deserve to be mocked. On the other hand, they can cite the paranoid's defense -- just because they believe the Mossad is staging wild covert operations against them doesn't mean it's not true.

By Jackson Diehl  | January 5, 2011; 12:10 PM ET
Categories:  Diehl  | Tags:  Jackson Diehl  
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Comments

I get your point Diehl, but given Israel's history with espionage and assasination teams....
And, now they want Pollard released.

Posted by: jckdoors | January 5, 2011 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Jackson Diehl is brought to you weekly by AIPAC - America's Pro-Israel Lobby.

Posted by: areyousaying | January 5, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Israel has one of the best secret services in the world , wait when the Arabs meet Shin Beth the military secret service , what Mossad is doing will look like child's play ,

What I admire about the Jews , is that they excel in almost everything they undertake

Don't fool around with the IDF

Posted by: michel1835 | January 5, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Well, we knew allready that most Arabs are idiots, but Usama is not such a fool. Still courious who killed the Copts.

Posted by: uzs106 | January 5, 2011 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Heh, I understand the Iraqis and Taliban have a superstitious fear of American "magical powers" as well.

I'm glad our enemies are such dullards.

.

Posted by: ZZim | January 5, 2011 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Well, we knew allready that most Arabs are idiots, but Usama is not such a fool. Still courious who killed the Copts.

Posted by: uzs106

==================

Egyptian Police Brutality against Copts in Cairo, January 3, 2011

Not for the sqeemish

http://english.freecopts.net/english//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1189&Itemid=1

Posted by: johnnyboston | January 5, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I hear they have a remote control Yeti they are ready to use incase hello freezes over.

Posted by: rexreddy | January 5, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

No worse than the loonies in the US who believe in all of the 9/11 conspiracies, etc.

Posted by: ozpunk | January 5, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I gotta get me some of that gum...

Posted by: GomerGross | January 5, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

.
Israeli scientists are conducting basic research on the movements of various forms of wildlife. That's all.

It's not like the Egyptians caught the Israelis red-handed in an attempt to broadcast plague or avian flu vectors across the Arab world, is it ?
Is it ?
.

Posted by: BrianX9 | January 5, 2011 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Let's stay focused on actual Israeli misdeeds. WikiLeaks just released evidence that Israel's genocidal policy toward Gaza was to keep its inhabitants virtually at starvation level.

Posted by: Sion1 | January 5, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

And the point of a "Man Bites Dog" story in anything other than the National Enquirere is?

WaPo sinks further in to the mire with journalists like this.

HoHum.

Posted by: walker1 | January 5, 2011 2:30 PM | Report abuse

No lets focus on clearly insane or at least extremely dishonest attempts by Arab Governments to slander Israel, or perhaps they are just insane, or making fun of their own people.

Note if they stop shooting rockets out of Gaza, then Israel should lift the blockades of everything non-military. Note Israel has repeatedly offered food aid to Gaza and been refused, because that way they could be sure no weapons were being smuggled.

Posted by: Muddy_Buddy_2000 | January 5, 2011 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Let's stay focused on actual Israeli misdeeds. WikiLeaks just released evidence that Israel's genocidal policy toward Gaza was to keep its inhabitants virtually at starvation level.

Posted by: Sion1
=================

Wrong.

“The plan is to keep the Gaza economy in the function at the lowest possible level without getting a humanitarian crisis.”

Israel is of course well within its rights in trying to destroy a terrorist political/religious entity bent on the destroying the Jewish state. The big news here is, is that the Israelis, early on, were concerned about not creating a real humanitarian situation inside the Gaza Strip, and these cables prove that to have been the case.

http://tundratabloids.com/

Posted by: johnnyboston | January 5, 2011 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the permission to mock the debasement of the Arab mind.

Posted by: shewholives | January 5, 2011 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Iran has an attack worm named Ahmadinejad, so why not vultures and sharks. Far less lethal.

Posted by: pjohn2 | January 5, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

the israelis have cross bred pigs with lambs to taint the food supply of the muslim world. is this on wikileaks? nothing is beyond belief of the scumlims BS

Posted by: pofinpa | January 5, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

This is definitely the winner of my Giggle of the Day award! Thanks for the humor, Arab press and WaPo!

Posted by: 1toughlady | January 5, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Exactly three years ago, on May 22, 2007, an Egyptian scholar was disciplined by Al Azhar University, one of Islam's most prestigious institutions, after he issued a fatwa calling upon women to breastfeed their male colleagues. Dr. Izzat Attiyah said that his fatwa offered a way around mixing of the sexes in the work place since breast-feeding established a maternal relation even if the beneficiary was not the woman's biological son or daughter.

Now, a high-ranking Saudi, Sheikh Abdul Mohsin al-Abaican, a consultant at Saudi Arabia's royal court, has issued a fatwa asserting that

women could give their milk to men to establish a degree of maternal relations and get around a strict religious ban on mixing between unrelated men and women. [Because] a man who often entered a house and came in contact with the womenfolk there should be made symbolically related to the women by drinking milk from one of the women. Under the fatwa, the act would preclude any sexual relations between the man and the donor woman and her relatives.

Posted by: shewholives | January 5, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Do we know anything about the tagging program by the university? Also see remote control cochroaches in December 2010 SciAm for a tinge of plausibility. Still, funniest story of the day.

Posted by: era231 | January 5, 2011 4:19 PM | Report abuse

There was an interesting article in yesterday's WST on the "imbecilic politics" of the Arab world, to which I'd add Asian, viz a viz Israel.

As we all know, the Pakistanis originally "hypothesized" that their terrorists were Mossad agents. Then, we had the interesting case of the shark attack a few weeks ago, in Egypt, similarly blamed on Mossad. The Egyptian Muslims are blaming Israel for the latest attack against the Copts (LOL), and now we have the Vulture.

Morons is morons, I guess. On the other hand, this strategy of our friends, this tactic of holding Israel and Jews accountable for their various social woes does keep the people blinder and more stupid than they would otherwise be. Keeps them from examining the real causes of their plight and, confronting the need for change.


Posted by: FarnazMansouri2 | January 5, 2011 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Do they have a Mossad Whisperer section?

Posted by: Loretta777 | January 5, 2011 5:17 PM | Report abuse

The Saudi case would be more plausible if the vulture had immediately retained counsel.

Posted by: vacohee | January 5, 2011 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Let's stay focused on actual Israeli misdeeds. WikiLeaks just released evidence that Israel's genocidal policy toward Gaza was to keep its inhabitants virtually at starvation level.

Posted by: Sion1 | January 5, 2011 2:07 PM
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

If you take a head count of all the spies in federal custody you'll find that Israel leads the pack by a large margin.
Our ally? Really?

Posted by: GEarlMoore | January 5, 2011 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Let's stay focused on actual Israeli misdeeds. WikiLeaks just released evidence that Israel's genocidal policy toward Gaza was to keep its inhabitants virtually at starvation level.

Posted by: Sion1 | January 5, 2011 2:07 PM
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

If you take a head count of all the spies in federal custody you'll find that Israel leads the pack by a large margin.
Our ally? Really?

Posted by: GEarlMoore | January 5, 2011 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of zionism, Rudy Giuliani and several Bush officials have recently been providing material support to a group that's been on the State Dept.'s terrorism list for over a decade:

http://gawker.com/5723432/rudy-giuliani-and-john-bolton-are-terrorists-now

But it's all okay, because they're neocons. Right Mr. Diehl?

Posted by: B2O2 | January 5, 2011 5:50 PM | Report abuse

A spying vulture and assassin sharks. What's next? A giant rabbit made of wood out of which Israeli knights will jump at night if they remember to hide in in the first place?

Or an Israeli killer rabbit so vicious that Egyptians will have to bring out their dead?

Posted by: Garak | January 5, 2011 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Love to start the comments on Lebanese houses blowing up since Iran-funded weapons are deposited there by Hezbollah, the better to blow up Israelis, etc.

Or, the endless persecution of Armenia's Roma citizens, etc.
---------------------------------
But for now, I'm wondering when we'll be hearing about the Mossad moths who eat the woolen coats of Taliban, along with Israeli tampering with hair dye, messing up Zardari's otherwise youthful appearance.

Then there is the Israeli chewing gum that causes women to lose their virginity. (That one is a current rumor.)

Morons is morons, I guess, as is confirmed by several posts on this thread.

Posted by: FarnazMansouri2 | January 5, 2011 7:44 PM | Report abuse


The problem is, Israel is universally detested, highjacks other nations' passports and murders wherever.
Gaza, the cluster bombs in Lebanon's civilian areas, 60 years of utterly vile wars and whinning.

Not much foul the world wouldn't believe about Israel...

Posted by: whistling | January 5, 2011 8:00 PM | Report abuse

From the July 20, 2008 Jerusalem Post: "The Palestinian Authority's official news agency Wafa says Israel is using rats to drive Arab families out of their homes in the Old City of Jerusalem."

Israel is also allegedly using remote controlled pigs to destroy the crops of Palestinian farmers.

Posted by: 6jpo | January 5, 2011 8:30 PM | Report abuse

So what's your point?
Your reporting is biased.
Do you have any problem being unethical and untrue to your profession? After all, a good reporter should not be a propagandist. Unfortunately, you are not good at either of the two.

Posted by: Kingofkings1 | January 5, 2011 8:35 PM | Report abuse

The reason that the arab press accuses Israel of everything under the sun is because arabs believe anything bad about Israel and people like Diehl agree by throwing in the perverbial, well maybe its true line. that simply serves to show his anti Israel bias. The accusation that Israel would send some bird as a spy to saudi arabia with the Univeristy of Tel Aviv written on it is as stupid as it gets. Lebanon said the same thing last week and their spy was a rock that conviently had hebrew letters on it. This is why Israel never reacts to the stupid claims that get thrown her way day after day .. if Israel did another jerk like Deihl will write, if they deny it , it must be true. The Washing Post readers deserve better than this garbage.

Posted by: RealityCheck28 | January 5, 2011 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Israel is also using invisible chickenfeed that deflects Muslim men from killing their sisters for the crime of having been raped. Islamic scholars have officially protested.

Posted by: FarnazMansouri2 | January 5, 2011 8:36 PM | Report abuse

I hear that since he's been in custody, that vulture's been singing like a canary. Won't help him though. He'll be spending long years in the bird cage.

Posted by: Ashap44176 | January 5, 2011 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Well, the israelis continue playing the role of victims, in its best tradition, and at the same time they are making killings in Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Iran like enjoying a free ride; if there's any retaliation, then the usual "antisemitism outcry" appears in the Media to desinform the public opinion.Therefore I advise the arab nations and Iran to proceed according to their laws, no matter the outcry.

Posted by: sharfschutze1944 | January 6, 2011 12:49 AM | Report abuse

More important Question:

who BRAIN TAGGED Jackson Diehl to the Israeli Hasbara Campaign?

Posted by: telavivPEACEagent | January 6, 2011 3:48 AM | Report abuse

More important Question:

who BRAIN TAGGED Jackson Diehl to the Israeli Hasbara Campaign?

Posted by: telavivPEACEagent | January 6, 2011 3:48 AM
--------------------------
More importanti Question:

Who BRAIN TAGGED you as the Saudi Agent you are? And, btw., did you get your party yet for honor killing your raped sister? Or did the Mossad spy bird make you do it? Israeli Al Quaeda?

Moron, try spelling your name correctly. That would be I.s.l.a.m.i.c. M.o.r.o.n.

Gee, now someone will start screaming "Islamaphobia" (Moron).

Posted by: FarnazMansouri2 | January 6, 2011 5:05 AM | Report abuse

I did not try, yet succeed, to anger FarnazMansouri2... I guess the truth angers Right-Wing Zionists. But Franaz, we could meet somewhere in the center of Tel Aviv, over a cup of tea, after you apologize for your foul lsanguage... Will somewhere in Dizengoff St. suit you?

Posted by: telavivPEACEagent | January 6, 2011 5:17 AM | Report abuse

Paid Saudiwaragent, I would certainly meet you there, at a bus stop, perhaps? Yes, at a bus stop. Bring your suicide bomb.

Posted by: FarnazMansouri2 | January 6, 2011 6:25 AM | Report abuse

Maybe it's not so very paranoid. How well I remember the Navy's Vietnam War experiments with dolphins, trying to train them to do such things as kill enemy swimmers by poking them with "bang sticks" (metal prods loaded with 12-gauge shells). Does anyone doubt that training was successful?

It never saw more than cursory real-world implementation. Perhaps the dolphins, having learned the technique, applied it to their trainers?

Use of animals in war to fulfill the bloody desires of humankind has a long, contemptible history.

Simple folk everywhere fear these types of things precisely because humans have, in fact, previously tried them many times. The scurrilous statement about the "debasement of the Arab mind" would be aimed much more appropriately at the debasement of humankind when we stoop so low.

Posted by: laboo | January 6, 2011 7:45 AM | Report abuse

And furthermore, as I see from some of the immediately adjacent posts, some humans begin to behave less rationally than even the most rabid animals. Witness, here, humans trying to tear out their own jugulars with their own teeth.

Fortunately for them, they are toothless.

Posted by: laboo | January 6, 2011 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Before you say things like "most Arabs are idiots", remember this not so long ago gem

http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2007/05/07/tech-poppy-quarter.html

Posted by: kiosk | January 6, 2011 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Farnaz must have read George Orwell's [alias Eric Blair] "1984", and using NEWSPEAK he'd have you believe that - PEACE is WAR.

Posted by: telavivPEACEagent | January 6, 2011 11:12 AM | Report abuse

It really is interesting to note just how irrational the Arab states can be about Israel.

Posted by: werehawk | January 6, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

We pat down 80yr.old woman wheel chair.
Every passenger ,child or infirmed.Indian Ambasssador,or else is considered a suspect.

Posted by: mohammadakhan | January 6, 2011 5:02 PM | Report abuse

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