Having started watching the remarkable film released by the Dubai police showing the comings and goings of Mohamed Mabhouh and his assassins on CCTVs, I quickly became bored. The problem: no sound from all these cameras. If I'm going to sit down and watch 27 minutes of surveillance footage, I need a soundtrack. But what to choose?
Let's face it, the Mabhouh assassination was almost certainly carried out by our cousins the Israelis. And what are they known for, apart from assassinations, the Dahiyeh Doctrine and its mass targeting of civilians, and of course their traditional foods like hummus and falafel?
The answer: execrable, schmaltzy pop music (remember Dana International?)
So I grabbed the Mabhouh footage and added as a soundtrack the well-known (well, in Israel) singer Eyal Golan's 1999 album, Soldier of Love. Watch the results below — it grows on you.
I think beyond the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and spy scandals, this video really shows to what extent to which all of our comings and goings are increasingly monitored. It's a little bit creepy — not just because this may be the world's first extensively taped assassination operation, but also because it leaves you with the sense that you are always being watched.
It's interesting that this assassination has gotten so much attention. Some of it, notably over the forgery of passports and identity theft, is entirely warranted. I hope the countries concerned will act strongly. But over the larger question of its impact on the conflict, we're still not sure what Mahbouh's death means. Was he an indispensable contact with the Iranians? What secrets died with him? What does it mean for Hamas, especially if reports that it was infiltrated are true? And what does it mean for its relations with Fatah if reports that former Fatah security men were involved are true? Beyond the pseudo-glamour of all this cloak-and-dagger stuff (and if you watch the tape, in fact it's hardly glamorous and the hit team looks like they're on a corporate team-building exercise), there are a lot of unanswered questions here. Not to mention, of course, what mega hit job is being planned to avenge both Mabhouh's and (for Hizbullah) Imad Mughnieyh's death...
Now for some Mabhouh-related links:
- Chances of al Mabhouh's killers being caught are ‘zero to nil’ - The National Newspaper | According to Bruce Riedel and common sense.
- The top QC, his vanished sister and the mystery of Mossad's first British hitwoman | Mail Online | Alluring story, but no, it's not the same woman.
- The truth about the Mossad | World news | The Guardian | Ian Black on past Mossad gaffes and the reaction in Israel.
- Meir Dagan: the mastermind behind Mossad's secret war - Times Online | Man al-Ahram recently described as "superman" could lose his job.
- Brazen hardliners and ardent critics: the Israel I have seen | World news | The Observer | Rory McCarthy, the Guardian's excellent Israel/Palestine correspondent, on the squashing of dissent in Israel.
- Hamas official accused of helping Mossad hit squad | World news | guardian.co.uk | The plot thickens.
- Ex-Fatah members 'may have led Mossad assassins to their victim' - Times Online | Palestinians extradited to Dubai could severely embarrass Fatah.
- Report: PM approved Dubai assassination in early January - Haaretz - Israel News | Bibi's role.