The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Follow-up on Sudan air strike

About two weeks have elapsed, a bunch of fanciful reports have come out, but we still don't know much more about the airstrike in North Sudan that Israel, or possible the United States, allegedly carried out. As I wrote before, this story should be treated with extreme caution as, as it currently stands, it smacks of manipulation and disinformation. Gideon Levy at Haaretz, unlike most Israeli journalists who are happy to report what the Arab press has published or what Mossad is leaking them, comes right out and labels the story as propaganda:

Nobody knows for sure what was bombed, how much and why. Sudan, after all, is far away. But we can rely on our fine young men in the Mossad and air force to know what they're doing. We were right, it worked again. All our forces returned safely, leaving only dust and ashes from the dangerous convoy. The muttering of Sudan's government about innocent fishing boats that were bombed is irrelevant. Fishermen or terrorists, a la guerre comme a la guerre.

The military commentators and the entire Israeli nation in their footsteps were beside themselves with admiration. The Israeli James Bond is still here. An army that hasn't fought against another army for decades finds its glory in such operations. So does the political leadership. What did Olmert say with a wink after the Sudan incident? "There is no place where Israel cannot operate." Hooray. With a quarter of that imagination and daring we could have achieved peace already, but let's not go into such trivia.

Also read the Economist's take, which focuses on the ties between Sudan and Iran but could have been more cautious about the claims surrounding the attack.