• Mossad’s role fighting coronavirus in Israel is not as it seems -Middle East Eye
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu violated Israel’s standard rules of secrecy last month by announcing that he ordered the Mossad, his country’s famed and feared espionage agency, to procure medical equipment and health supplies urgently needed for the fight against the coronavirus.
    #Covid19#Israel#Politique#MOSSAD#santé#migrant#réfugiés#migration
    https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/coronavirus-israel-netanyahu-mossad-boost-standing-not-fight

  • Tous surveillés - 7 milliards de suspects | ARTE
    https://www.arte.tv/fr/videos/083310-000-A/tous-surveilles-7-milliards-de-suspects

    Des caméras de Nice à la répression chinoise des Ouïghours, cette enquête dresse le panorama mondial de l’obsession sécuritaire, avec un constat glaçant : le totalitarisme numérique est pour demain. Aujourd’hui, plus de 500 millions de caméras sur la planète offrent aux autorités la capacité de nous surveiller, à peu près partout et à chaque instant. Sous couvert de lutte contre le terrorisme ou la criminalité, les grandes puissances se sont lancées dans une dangereuse course aux technologies de (...)

    #police #militaire #génétique #smartphone #reconnaissance #SmartCity #Rekognition #vidéo-surveillance #CCTV #vidéo #anti-terrorisme #Mossad #surveillance #mouvement #facial #QRcode #biométrie #Amazon #algorithme #Islam (...)

    ##firme
    https://api-cdn.arte.tv/api/mami/v1/program/fr/083310-000-A/940x530

  • ’Netanyahu’s actions more dangerous than coronavirus’
    https://jewishbusinessnews.com/2020/04/15/netanyahus-actions-more-dangerous-than-coronavirus

    In an exclusive interview, Edward Snowden, the man who bared the secrets of American intelligence, says he is surprised that Israelis are not furious over the use of Shin Bet anti-terrorism measures to track people infected with the virus, which he calls ’intolerable’ Edward Snowden can’t understand why the Israelis are not furious, about the use of the Shin Bet’s mass surveillance database to track people infected by the coronavirus. The man who sparked an international tempest by exposing (...)

    #COVID-19 #surveillance #smartphone #géolocalisation #anti-terrorisme #santé #Mossad #algorithme #CIA #NSA #PRISM #ShinBet #BigData #métadonnées (...)

    ##santé ##biopolitique

  • ’Netanyahu’s actions more dangerous than coronavirus’
    https://www.ynetnews.com/magazine/article/HyBAsXfuI

    In an exclusive interview, Edward Snowden, the man who bared the secrets of American intelligence, says he is surprised that Israelis are not furious over the use of Shin Bet anti-terrorism measures to track people infected with the virus, which he calls ’intolerable’ Edward Snowden can’t understand why the Israelis are not furious, about the use of the Shin Bet’s mass surveillance database to track people infected by the coronavirus. The man who sparked an international tempest by exposing (...)

    #COVID-19 #surveillance #smartphone #géolocalisation #anti-terrorisme #santé #Mossad #algorithme #CIA #NSA #PRISM #ShinBet #BigData #métadonnées (...)

    ##santé ##biopolitique

  • Israel’s Not-So-Secret Weapon in Coronavirus Fight : The Spies of Mossad - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/12/world/middleeast/coronavirus-israel-mossad.html

    TEL AVIV, Israel — When Israel’s health minister was found to be infected with the coronavirus early this month, all high-level officials in close contact with him were quarantined, including one who stood out : the director of the Mossad, the storied Israeli spy service. Mossad officers, primarily associated with covert operations abroad in the name of protecting Israel, are not normally in the business of public health. So Israelis were immediately intrigued. Why would the Mossad (...)

    #santé #lutte #COVID-19 #militaire #Mossad

    ##santé

  • Boycottez AnyVision : société israélienne de surveillance par une reconnaissance visuelle « testée sur le terrain »
    Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), le 30 août 2019
    https://www.aurdip.org/boycottez-anyvision-societe.html

    AnyVision tire profit des violations, par Israël, des droits humains des Palestiniens et elle exporte sa technologie de surveillance répressive dans le monde entier.

    (...)

    Telefónica, société transnationale espagnole de télécommunications, et G4S, utilisent également la technologie d’AnyVision. La ville de #Nice, en #France, surveille les citoyens avec AnyVision et l’été dernier, l’entrée du stade de Londres était surveillée par AnyVision.

    Réaction à :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/687604
    https://seenthis.net/messages/745558
    https://seenthis.net/messages/761518
    https://seenthis.net/messages/792939
    https://seenthis.net/messages/793050
    https://seenthis.net/messages/793759
    https://seenthis.net/messages/796013
    https://seenthis.net/messages/798296
    https://seenthis.net/messages/798560

    #Anyvision #Anyvision_Interactive_Technologies #Microsoft #Qualcomm #Identité #Biométrie #Face-recognition #facial #vidéo-surveillance #sécuritaire #surveillance #Palestine #israel #Mossad #Armée #Cisjordanie #Occupation #BDS #Boycott #DropAnyVision

  • Microsoft Slammed For Investment In Israeli Facial Recognition ‘Spying On Palestinians’
    Thomas Brewster, Forbes, le 1er août 2019
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2019/08/01/microsoft-slammed-for-investing-in-israeli-facial-recognition-spying-on-palestinians/#3747d10c6cec

    It’s unclear whether investors were aware of AnyVision’s business in regions with tainted human rights records. The Israeli company is trying to grow its business in Hong Kong, where protesters this week used lasers in an attempt to stop facial recognition profiling them. In a job post for a sales position in Hong Kong, AnyVision discloses it has customers and partnerships not only in that country but also Macau, the so-called Las Vegas of Asia. In Russia, a country heavily criticized for its human rights record, the AnyVision’s tools are deployed at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport, according to a post on the company’s website.

    Shankar Narayan, the director of the Technology and Liberty Project at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), told Forbes that he’d held meetings with Microsoft in Seattle last year in which the tech giant appeared receptive to ideas on holding back the spread of facial recognition. But the company has not followed through with any action, Narayan claimed.

    Human Rights Groups Slam Microsoft for Investing in Israeli Face-recognition Company
    Amitai Ziv, Haaretz, le 4 août 2019
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/business/.premium-human-rights-groups-slam-microsoft-for-investing-in-israeli-face-r

    Amos Toh, a senior researcher on artificial intelligence at Human Rights Watch, told Forbes that the use of such technology “in a very fraught political context, could be problematic,” referring to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

    Suite de:
    https://seenthis.net/messages/792939
    https://seenthis.net/messages/793759

    #Anyvision #Anyvision_Interactive_Technologies #Microsoft #Qualcomm #Identité #Biométrie #Face-recognition #facial #vidéo-surveillance #sécuritaire #surveillance #Palestine #israel #Mossad #Armée #Cisjordanie #Occupation #Human_Rights_Watch #ACLU #Russie #Hong-Kong #Macao

  • This Israeli Face-recognition Startup Is Secretly Tracking Palestinians
    https://www.aurdip.org/this-israeli-face-recognition.html

    Anyvision Interactive Technologies is one of Israel’s most curious startups. It has shown extraordinary growth, and its technology is being used by the army to monitor West Bank Palestinians at checkpoints on the way into Israel — while using a network of cameras deep inside the West Bank. The company’s co-founder and chief executive, Eylon Etshtein, told TheMarker that his company is sensitive to racial and gender bias and only sells to democracies. Anyvision is Israel’s most high-profile (...)

    #Anyvision #Bosch #Microsoft #Mossad #Qualcomm #Amazon #algorithme #CCTV #smartphone #Identité #biométrie #facial #vidéo-surveillance #sécuritaire #surveillance #consommation #frontières #voyageurs (...)

    ##Identité ##voyageurs
    ##ACLU

  • L’aéroport, ce nid d’espions
    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/130719/l-aeroport-ce-nid-d-espions

    Sous couvert d’empêcher des attentats, les alliés les plus proches de la France dans la lutte antiterroriste – États-Unis et Israël en tête – détournent certaines mesures de sécurité dans les aéroports pour se livrer à de l’espionnage industriel. Révélations sur cette guerre secrète qui se livre dans les salles d’embarquement.

    #Terrorisme #Mossad,Airbus,_ESTA,_Etat_islamique,_Al-Qaïda_dans_la_péninsule_Arabique_AQPA,_DGSI,_Thomas_Enders,_Eurostar,_ANSSI,_Samir_Nouad,_El_Al,_commissariat_à_l’énergie_atomique,_aéroport_de_Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle,_aéroport_d’Orly,_Air_France,_Qosmos

  • palestinian journeys | ghassan kanafani
    https://www.paljourneys.org/en/biography/6566/ghassan-kanafani

    #Kanafani was assassinated in Beirut on 8 July 1972. The Israeli #Mossad had placed an explosive charge in his car, which killed him and his niece, Lamis, who happened to be with him. He was buried in Beirut.

    Ghassan Kanafani was a political activist who was deeply committed to the cause of #Palestine; a man of letters; an accomplished artist; and one of the most prominent Arab novelists and modernist playwrights of the second half of the twentieth century. In his early literary writings Palestine was depicted as a cause in and of itself. Later on he came to see in Palestine a total human symbol whereby his stories and novels dealt not merely with the Palestinians and their problems but also, and through the figure of the Palestinian, the human predicament of agony and deprivation.

    #crimes #sionisme

  • Cette semaine, le journal israélien Haaretz a confirmé une chose dont l’Electronic Intifada fait état depuis des années...

    Confirmation du rôle du Mossad dans la guerre d’Israël contre BDS
    Asa Winstanley, Electronic Intifada, le 14 juin 2019
    http://www.agencemediapalestine.fr/blog/2019/06/15/confirmation-du-role-du-mossad-dans-la-guerre-disrael-contre-bd

    En privé les forces israéliennes anti-BDS admettent que leur campagne ne marche pas malgré les dizaines de millions de dollars lancés dans cette guerre contre des militants de la société civile œuvrant pour la justice et l’égalité. Un rapport secret de 2017 émanant d’un think tank lié au ministère, admet avec candeur l’échec d’Israël à stopper « une croissance impressionnante » et des « succès significatifs » de BDS. Le rapport qu’a obtenu l’Electronic Intifada, établit qu’en dépit de la multiplication par 20 des dépenses anti BDS, « les résultats restent hors d’atteinte ».

    L’article en question de Haaretz :

    Mossad Involved in Anti-boycott Activity, Israeli Minister’s Datebooks Reveal
    Noa Landau, Haaretz, le 12 juin 2019
    https://seenthis.net/messages/786777

    #Palestine #BDS #mossad

  • Former #Mossad boss Efraim Halevy joins Black Cube board — Quartz
    https://qz.com/1459696/former-mossad-boss-efraim-halevy-joins-black-cube-board

    Efraim Halevy, the former head of Israeli spy agency Mossad, has joined the board of Black Cube, the private intelligence company that was hired to find dirt on Harvey Weinstein’s #MeToo accusers and former members of the Obama administration.

  • The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب: Zionist war on freedom of expression
    http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2018/04/zionist-war-on-freedom-of-expression.html

    Something is going on. I have been receiving from #Google messages that I have violated their rules here on my blog. And today I received this warning from #Facebook that I used “abusive material” in a post. I looked below and found a post about the assassination of a Palestinian academic in Malaysia and a reference to the Mossad. Basically, I hurt the feelings of the #Mossad in the post. It is clear that the political sphere of expression for Arabs on social media is increasingly controlled and limited by the Israeli government.

    #censure #Israel

  • Six past directors of Israel’s spying agency, Mossad, Call for Diplomacy with the Palestinians

    http://peacenow.org/entry.php?id=27356

    In 2003, four former heads of Israel’s secret counter-terrorism service, Shin-Bet, were interviewed by the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth. Their criticism of then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s inaction to advance a diplomatic resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict caused an uproar and deeply influenced Sharon. The interview later triggered the award-winning documentary film The Gatekeepers, featuring six past Shin-Bet directors who criticized the political status-quo.

    Now, Yedioth Ahronoth is publishing a similar interview with all surviving six past directors of Israel’s spying agency, Mossad: Zvi Zamir (93), Nahum Admoni (88), Shabtai Shavit (78), Danny Yatom (73), Efraim Halevy (83) and Tamir Pardo (65).

    #israël #mossad #palestine

  • Ex-Mossad agent who helped capture Eichmann backs far-right German party with Nazi past as ’great hope’ - Israel News - Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-ex-mossad-agent-who-captured-eichmann-backs-far-right-germany-part

    Former cabinet member and #Mossad agent Rafi Eitan has expressed support for the far-right Alternative for Germany party, saying he hopes its ideology expands to the rest of #Europe.

    In honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day last month, Eitan praised the controversial German party (known as #AfD) for coming out against anti-Semitism and supporting Jewish life in Germany. In his video message to the party, published on his Facebook page Saturday, Eitan said: “If you work wisely, powerfully and, most importantly, realistically confronting a situation and deciding to act according to given circumstances, I’m sure that instead of an alternative to Germany, you’ll become an alternative to Europe.”

    #sionisme #extrême_droite

    • Le sionisme c’est très bien entendu avec le nazisme jusqu’a conclure un accord dit “l’accord de la haavara” permettant a des juifs allemands de partir en Palestine avec beaucoup d’argent afin de construire l’état d’Israel .
      .je mets en lien les commentaires de Haaretz : "
      “Not surprising
      It’s not really surprising that a man who has spent his life demonizing Arabs should express hatred towards Muslims. The dehumanization of the Arab population of Israel was pretty much a prerequisite to taking their land; the continuing rationalization of Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians requires this, too. Why is it shocking that an agent of the Israeli state should be expressing such views? Indeed, the common links between the ethnic nationalism of Israel and the ethnic nationalism of Germany that Eitan is encouraging so strongly should be hard to miss” suite :
      “to the surprise of... nobody

      This should surprise no one. Rafi long ago compared Palestinians to cockroaches and parasites, as if stealing the phrase from the mouths of Nazis talking about Jews. The break between the Israeli right and Fascists wasn’t over general outlook, it was over anti-Semitism. Early LEHI and Herut styled uniforms and writings after fascists. Perhaps if the Nazis had confined themselves to murdering communists, gays, and Gypsies Rafi would have been kidnapping Eichman for advice. Perhaps it is a cruel irony that Israel and neo-Nazis are coalescing, but history is full of irony” et
      “Rafi Titan and the AFD

      I fully and entirely agree with the words of the Israeli Ambassador. Unfortunately Eitan is not the only Israeli right wing politician on friendly terms with neo fascists parties/groups, mostly in Europe, for the sole reason of the common hatred and fear of Muslims. The awful mistake they are all making is that such parties as the AFD, the Front National in France and others like them in Europe, are pure racialists. At present their racialism is directed mostly at Muslims, tomorrow it may, and probably will be, redirected at others, including Jews. in the US is the best example of such a trend.”"
      Vous me direz comment des juifs européens, instruits, éduqués ayant souffert des nazis, peuvent accumuler autant de haine envers les Palestiniens, arabes, ou musulmans au point de leur faire subir la même chose qu’ils ont/auraient subi sous les nazis ?? et bien les victimes peuvent devenir des bourreaux et inversement je le crois.

    • @elihanah je ne crois pas que ce vieux poncif antisémite (1er paragraphe de ta réponse) puisse être d’une quelconque utilité pour le peuple palestinien. En tout cas il n’est pas un argument recevable. Merci de réfléchir à le retirer.

  • L’usine à trolls et à fake news dont tu ne dois pas t’inquiéter : Meet the spies injecting Israeli propaganda into your news feed
    https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/asa-winstanley/meet-spies-injecting-israeli-propaganda-your-news-feed

    “I want to create a community of fighters,” Vaknin-Gil said soon after her appointment to the strategic affairs ministry.

    She said she planned to “flood the internet” with Israeli propaganda that would be publicly distanced from the government.

  • Lebanese president blames Israeli Mossad for assassinating businessman in Angola
    Lebanon’s president reportedly says Israel’s intelligence agency is behind the murder of Amine Bakri in Angola’s capital.
    Jack Khoury Jan 04, 2017 3:19 PM
    http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.763005

    Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun reportedly blamed Israel’s Mossad on Wednesday for the assassination of a Lebanese businessman in Angola.

    According to Hezbollah’s Al-Manar channel, Aoun opened his weekly government meeting by saying Israel’s intelligence agency was behind the shooting of Amine Bakri in the Angolan capital of Luanda on Monday, but gave no further details.

    Bakri, a prominent Lebanese businessman from Nabatieh in south Lebanon, was shot dead by armed gunmen while traveling on a dirt road not far from a furniture factory that he owned, which he had just visited.

    According to recent reports in Lebanon, the 37-year-old businessman was targeted by three gunmen who were waiting for him. He was reportedly shot from point-blank range and taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. Local reports labeled the incident as a car-jacking that ended in murder and attributed it to local gangs.

    Bakri left Lebanon for Africa at a young age and began to develop a number of businesses, most prominently a furniture business.

    Last month, Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi said that his government suspected the Mossad was behind the assassination of aviation engineer Mohammed Zawahri.

    Zawahri was shot to death outside his home in Sfax, Tunisia, on December 15. According to a statement by Hamas two days after the attack, Zawahri was a member of the organization’s military wing and one of the leaders of its drone program.

    #Liban #Mossad

    • Le Hamas accuse le Mossad du meurtre en Tunisie de l’un de ses cadres
      http://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2016/12/18/le-hamas-accuse-le-mossad-de-l-assassinat-en-tunisie-de-l-un-de-ses-cadres_5

      Si l’implication du Mossad dans l’assassinat de Mohamed Zouari devait s’avérer exacte, elle ne marquerait pas la première implication d’Israël en Tunisie. Le 16 avril 1988, Khalil Al Wazir, plus connu sous le nom d’Abou Jihad, alors numéro deux de l’Organisation de libération de la Palestine (OLP) , était assassiné dans sa résidence de Sidi Bousaïd, au nord de Tunis, où il avait trouvé refuge. Deux ans et demi plus tôt, le 1er octobre 1985, c’est une intervention militaire d’une toute autre nature qui avait détruit dans la banlieue de Tunis l’état-major de l’OLP, qui s’y était exilé après avoir dû évacuer Beyrouth en 1982. Baptisé par les Israéliens « Jambe de bois », le raid aérien avait coûté la vie, selon les autorités de Tunis, à 68 personnes (50 Palestiniens et 18 Tunisiens).

  • Édifiant. Quand un nazi devient un tueur du Mossad

    The Strange Case of a Nazi Who Became an Israeli Hitman
    Otto Skorzeny, one of the Mossad’s most valuable assets, was a former lieutenant colonel in Nazi Germany’s Waffen-SS and one of Adolf Hitler’s favorites.

    http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.711115

    On September 11, 1962, a German scientist vanished. The basic facts were simple: Heinz Krug had been at his office, and he never came home.

    The only other salient detail known to police in Munich was that Krug commuted to Cairo frequently. He was one of dozens of Nazi rocket experts who had been hired by Egypt to develop advanced weapons for that country.

    HaBoker, a now defunct Israeli newspaper, surprisingly claimed to have the explanation: The Egyptians kidnapped Krug to prevent him from doing business with Israel.

    But that somewhat clumsy leak was an attempt by Israel to divert investigators from digging too deeply into the case — not that they ever would have found the 49-year-old scientist.

    We can now report — based on interviews with former Mossad officers and with Israelis who have access to the Mossad’s archived secrets from half a century ago — that Krug was murdered as part of an Israeli espionage plot to intimidate the German scientists working for Egypt.
    Moreover, the most astounding revelation is the Mossad agent who fired the fatal gunshots: Otto Skorzeny, one of the Israeli spy agency’s most valuable assets, was a former lieutenant colonel in Nazi Germany’s Waffen-SS and one of Adolf Hitler’s personal favorites among the party’s commando leaders. The Führer, in fact, awarded Skorzeny the army’s most prestigious medal, the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross, for leading the rescue operation that plucked his friend Benito Mussolini out from the hands of his captors.
    But that was then. By 1962, according to our sources — who spoke only on the promise that they not be identified — Skorzeny had a different employer. The story of how that came to be is one of the most important untold tales in the archives of the Mossad, the agency whose full name, translated from Hebrew, is “The Institute for Intelligence and Special Missions.”
    Key to understanding the story is that the Mossad had made stopping German scientists then working on Egypt’s rocket program one of its top priorities. For several months before his death, in fact, Krug, along with other Germans who were working in Egypt’s rocket-building industry, had received threatening messages. When in Germany, they got phone calls in the middle of the night, telling them to quit the Egyptian program. When in Egypt, some were sent letter bombs — and several people were injured by the explosions.

    Krug, as it happens, was near the top of the Mossad’s target list.

    During the war that ended 17 years earlier, Krug was part of a team of superstars at Peenemünde, the military test range on the coast of the Baltic Sea, where top German scientists toiled in the service of Hitler and the Third Reich. The team, led by Wernher von Braun, was proud to have engineered the rockets for the Blitz that nearly defeated England. Its wider ambitions included missiles that could fly a lot farther, with greater accuracy and more destructive power.

    According to Mossad research, a decade after the war ended, von Braun invited Krug and other former colleagues to join him in America. Von Braun, his war record practically expunged, was leading a missile development program for the United States. He even became one of the fathers of the NASA space exploration program. Krug opted for another, seemingly more lucrative option: joining other scientists from the Peenemünde group — led by the German professor Wolfgang Pilz, whom he greatly admired — in Egypt. They would set up a secret strategic missile program for that Arab country.

    In the Israelis’ view, Krug had to know that Israel, the country where so many Holocaust survivors had found refuge, was the intended target of his new masters’ military capabilities. A committed Nazi would see this as an opportunity to continue the ghastly mission of exterminating the Jewish people.

    The threatening notes and phone calls, however, were driving Krug crazy. He and his colleagues knew that the threats were from Israelis. It was obvious. In 1960, Israeli agents had kidnapped Adolf Eichmann, one of the chief administrators of the Holocaust, in far-off Argentina. The Israelis astonishingly smuggled the Nazi to Jerusalem, where he was put on trial. Eichmann was hanged on May 31, 1962.

    It was reasonable for Krug to feel that a Mossad noose might be tightening around his neck, too. That was why he summoned help: a Nazi hero who was considered the best of the best in Hitler’s heyday.
    On the day he vanished, according to our new information from reliable sources, Krug left his office to meet Skorzeny, the man he felt would be his savior.

    Skorzeny, then 54 years old, was quite simply a legend. A dashing, innovative military man who grew up in Austria — famous for a long scar on the left side of his face, the result of his overly exuberant swordplay while fencing as a youth— he rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel in Nazi Germany’s Waffen-SS. Thanks to Skorzeny’s exploits as a guerrilla commander, Hitler recognized that he had a man who would go above and beyond, and stop at nothing, to complete a mission.

    The colonel’s feats during the war inspired Germans and the grudging respect of Germany’s enemies. American and British military intelligence labeled Skorzeny “the most dangerous man in Europe.”

    Krug contacted Skorzeny in the hope that the great hero — then living in Spain — could create a strategy to keep the scientists safe.

    The two men were in Krug’s white Mercedes, driving north out of Munich, and Skorzeny said that as a first step he had arranged for three bodyguards. He said they were in a car directly behind and would accompany them to a safe place in a forest for a chat. Krug was murdered, then and there, without so much as a formal indictment or death sentence. The man who pulled the trigger was none other than the famous Nazi war hero. Israel’s espionage agency had managed to turn Otto Skorzeny into a secret agent for the Jewish state.

    After Krug was shot, the three Israelis poured acid on his body, waited awhile and then buried what was left in a hole they had dug beforehand. They covered the makeshift grave with lime, so that search dogs — and wild animals — would never pick up the scent of human remains.

    The troika that coordinated this extrajudicial execution was led by a future prime minister of Israel, Yitzhak Shamir, who was then head of the Mossad’s special operations unit. One of the others was Zvi “Peter” Malkin, who had tackled Eichmann in Argentina and in later life would enter the art world as a New York-based painter. Supervising from a distance was Yosef “Joe” Raanan, who was the secret agency’s senior officer in Germany. All three had lost large numbers of family members among the 6 million Jews murdered by the cruel, continent-wide genocide that Eichmann had managed.
    Israel’s motivation in working with a man such as Skorzeny was clear: to get as close as possible to Nazis who were helping Egypt plot a new Holocaust.

    The Mossad’s playbook for protecting Israel and the Jewish people has no preordained rules or limits. The agency’s spies have evaded the legal systems in a host of countries for the purpose of liquidating Israel’s enemies: Palestinian terrorists, Iranian scientists, and even a Canadian arms inventor named Gerald Bull, who worked for Saddam Hussein until bullets ended his career in Brussels in 1990. Mossad agents in Lillehammer, Norway, even killed a Moroccan waiter in the mistaken belief that he was the mastermind behind the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre of 11 Israeli athletes by the terrorist group known as Black September. Ahmed Bouchikhi was shot down in 1973 as he left a movie theatre with his pregnant wife. The Israeli government later paid compensation to her without officially admitting wrongdoing. The botched mission delayed further Mossad assassinations, but it did not end them.

    To get to unexpected places on these improbable missions, the Mossad has sometimes found itself working with unsavory partners. When short-term alliances could help, the Israelis were willing to dance with the proverbial devil, if that is what seemed necessary.

    But why did Skorzeny work with the Mossad?

    He was born in Vienna in June 1908, to a middle-class family proud of its military service for the Austro-Hungarian Empire. From an early age he seemed fearless, bold and talented at weaving false, complex tales that deceived people in myriad ways. These were essential requirements for a commando officer at war, and certainly valuable qualities for the Mossad.

    He joined Austria’s branch of the Nazi Party in 1931, when he was 23, served in its armed militia, the SA, and enthusiastically worshipped Hitler. The führer was elected chancellor of Germany in 1933 and then seized Austria in 1938. When Hitler invaded Poland in 1939 and World War II broke out, Skorzeny left his construction firm and volunteered — not for the regular army, the Wehrmacht, but for the Leibstandarte SS Panzer division that served as Hitler’s personal bodyguard force.

    Skorzeny, in a memoir written after the war was over, told of his years of SS service as though they were almost bloodless travels in occupied Poland, Holland and France. His activities could not have been as innocuous as his book made them seem. He took part in battles in Russia and Poland, and certainly the Israelis believed it was very likely that he was involved in exterminating Jews. The Waffen-SS, after all, was not the regular army; it was the military arm of the Nazi Party and its genocidal plan.
    His most famous and daring mission was in September 1943: leading commandos who flew engineless gliders to reach an Italian mountaintop resort to rescue Hitler’s friend and ally, the recently ousted Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini and spirit him away under harrowing conditions.

    This was the escapade that earned Skorzeny his promotion to lieutenant colonel — and operational control of Hitler’s SS Special Forces. Hitler also rewarded him with several hours of face-to-face conversation, along with the coveted Knight’s Cross. But it was far from his only coup.

    In September 1944, when Hungary’s dictator, Admiral Miklos Horthy, a Nazi ally, was on the verge of suing for peace with Russia as Axis fortunes plunged, Skorzeny led a contingent of Special Forces into Budapest to kidnap Horthy and replace his government with the more hard-line Fascist Arrow Cross regime. That regime, in turn, went on to kill or to deport to concentration camps tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews who had managed to survive the war up to that point.

    Also in 1944, Skorzeny handpicked 150 soldiers, including some who spoke fair to excellent English in a bold plan to fend off the Allies after they landed in Normandy on D-Day in June. With the Allies advancing through France, Skorzeny dressed his men in captured U.S. uniforms, and procured captured American tanks for them to use in attacking and confusing Allied troops from behind their own lines.

    The bold deception — including the act of stealing U.S. soldiers’ property — plunged Skorzeny into two years of interrogation, imprisonment and trial after the war ended. Eventually, Allied military judges acquitted him in 1947. Once again, the world’s newspapers headlined him as Europe’s most dangerous man. He enjoyed the fame, and published his memoirs in various editions and many languages, including the 1957 book “Skorzeny’s Special Missions: The Autobiography of Hitler’s Commando Ace,” published by Greenhill Books. He spun some tall-tale hyperbole in the books, and definitely downplayed his contacts with the most bloodthirsty Nazi leaders. When telling of his many conversations with Hitler, he described the dictator as a caring and attentive military strategist.

    There was much that Skorzeny did not reveal, including how he escaped from the American military authorities who held him for a third year after his acquittal. Prosecutors were considering more charges against him in the Nuremberg tribunals, but during one transfer he was able to escape — reputedly with the help of former SS soldiers wearing American military police uniforms.

    Skorzeny’s escape was also rumored to have been assisted by the CIA’s predecessor agency, the Office of Special Services, for which he did some work after the war. It is certainly notable that he was allowed to settle in Spain — a paradise for Nazi war veterans, with protection from the pro-Western Fascist, Generalissimo Francisco Franco. In the years that followed he did some advisory work for President Juan Peron in Argentina and for Egypt’s government. It was during this period that Skorzeny became friendly with the Egyptian officers who were running the missile program and employing German experts.
    In Israel, a Mossad planning team started to work on where it could be best to find and kill Skorzeny. But the head of the agency, Isser Harel, had a bolder plan: Instead of killing him, snare him.

    Mossad officials had known for some time that to target the German scientists, they needed an inside man in the target group. In effect, the Mossad needed a Nazi.

    The Israelis would never find a Nazi they could trust, but they saw a Nazi they could count on: someone thorough and determined, with a record of success in executing innovative plans, and skilled at keeping secrets. The seemingly bizarre decision to recruit Skorzeny came with some personal pain, because the task was entrusted to Raanan, who was also born in Vienna and had barely escaped the Holocaust. As an Austrian Jew, his name was originally Kurt Weisman. After the Nazis took over in 1938, he was sent — at age 16 — to British-ruled Palestine. His mother and younger brother stayed in Europe and perished.

    Like many Jews in Palestine, Kurt Weisman joined the British military looking for a chance to strike back at Germany. He served in the Royal Air Force. After the creation of Israel in 1948, he followed the trend of taking on a Hebrew name, and as Joe Raanan he was among the first pilots in the new nation’s tiny air force. The young man rapidly became an airbase commander and later the air force’s intelligence chief.

    Raanan’s unique résumé, including some work he did for the RAF in psychological warfare, attracted the attention of Harel, who signed him up for the Mossad in 1957. A few years later, Raanan was sent to Germany to direct the secret agency’s operations there — with a special focus on the German scientists in Egypt. Thus it was Raanan who had to devise and command an operation to establish contact with Skorzeny, the famous Nazi commando.

    The Israeli spy found it difficult to get over his reluctance, but when ordered, he assembled a team that traveled to Spain for “pre-action intelligence.” Its members observed Skorzeny, his home, his workplace and his daily routines. The team included a German woman in her late 20s who was not a trained, full-time Mossad agent but a “helper.” Known by the Hebrew label “saayanit” (or “saayan” if a male), this team member was like an extra in a grandly theatrical movie, playing whatever role might be required. A saayanit would often pose as the girlfriend of an undercover Mossad combatant.

    Internal Mossad reports later gave her name as Anke and described her as pretty, vivacious and truly flirtatious. That would be perfect for the job at hand — a couples game.

    One evening in the early months of 1962, the affluent and ruggedly handsome — though scarred — Skorzeny was in a luxurious bar in Madrid with his significantly younger wife, Ilse von Finckenstein. Her own Nazi credentials were impeccable; she was the niece of Hjalmar Schacht, Hitler’s talented finance minister.

    They had a few cocktails and were relaxing, when the bartender introduced them to a German-speaking couple he had been serving. The woman was pretty and in her late 20s, and her escort was a well-dressed man of around 40. They were German tourists, they said, but they also told a distressing story: that they had just survived a harrowing street robbery.

    They spoke perfect German, of course, the man with a bit of an Austrian accent, like Skorzeny’s. They gave their false names, but in reality they were, respectively, a Mossad agent whose name must still be kept secret and his “helper,” Anke.

    There were more drinks, then somewhat flamboyant flirting, and soon Skorzeny’s wife invited the young couple, who had lost everything — money, passports and luggage — to stay the night at their sumptuous villa. There was just something irresistible about the newcomers. A sense of sexual intimacy between the two couples was in the air. After the four entered the house, however, at a crucial moment when the playful flirting reached the point where it seemed time to pair off, Skorzeny — the charming host — pulled a gun on the young couple and declared: “I know who you are, and I know why you’re here. You are Mossad, and you’ve come to kill me.”

    The young couple did not even flinch. The man said: “You are half-right. We are from Mossad, but if we had come to kill you, you would have been dead weeks ago.”

    “Or maybe,” Skorzeny said, “I would rather just kill you.”

    Anke spoke up. “If you kill us, the ones who come next won’t bother to have a drink with you, You won’t even see their faces before they blow out your brains. Our offer to you is just for you to help us.”

    After a long minute that felt like an hour, Skorzeny did not lower his gun, but he asked: “What kind of help? You need something done?” The Mossad officer — who even now is not being named by colleagues — told Skorzeny that Israel needed information and would pay him handsomely.

    Hitler’s favorite commando paused for a few moments to think, and then surprised the Israeli by saying: “Money doesn’t interest me. I have enough.”

    The Mossad man was further surprised to hear Skorzeny name something that he did want: “I need for Wiesenthal to remove my name from his list.” Simon Wiesenthal, the famous Vienna-based Nazi-hunter, had Skorzeny listed as a war criminal, but now the accused was insisting he had not committed any crimes.

    The Israeli did not believe any senior Nazi officer’s claim of innocence, but recruiting an agent for an espionage mission calls for well-timed lies and deception. “Okay,” he said, “that will be done. We’ll take care of that.”

    Skorzeny finally lowered his weapon, and the two men shook hands. The Mossad man concealed his disgust.

    “I knew that the whole story about you being robbed was bogus,” Skorzeny said, with the boastful smile of a fellow intelligence professional. “Just a cover story.”

    The next step to draw him in was to bring him to Israel. His Mossad handler, Raanan, secretly arranged a flight to Tel Aviv, where Skorzeny was introduced to Harel. The Nazi was questioned and also received more specific instructions and guidelines. During this visit, Skorzeny was taken to Yad Vashem, the museum in Jerusalem dedicated to the memory of the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. The Nazi was silent and seemed respectful. There was a strange moment there when a war survivor pointed to Skorzeny and singled him out by name as “a war criminal.”

    Raanan, as skilled an actor as any spy must be, smiled at the Jewish man and softly said: “No, you’re mistaken. He’s a relative of mine and himself is a Holocaust survivor.”

    Naturally, many in Israeli intelligence wondered if the famous soldier for Germany had genuinely — and so easily — been recruited. Did he really care so much about his image that he demanded to be removed from a list of war criminals? Skorzeny indicated that being on the list meant he was a target for assassination. By cooperating with the Mossad, he was buying life insurance.

    The new agent seemed to prove his full reliability. As requested by the Israelis, he flew to Egypt and compiled a detailed list of German scientists and their addresses.

    Skorzeny also provided the names of many front companies in Europe that were procuring and shipping components for Egypt’s military projects. These included Heinz Krug’s company, Intra, in Munich.

    Raanan continued to be the project manager of the whole operation aimed against the German scientists. But he assigned the task of staying in contact with Skorzeny to two of his most effective operatives: Rafi Eitan and Avraham Ahituv.

    Eitan was one of the most amazing characters in Israeli intelligence. He earned the nickname “Mr. Kidnap” for his role in abducting Eichmann and other men wanted by Israeli security agencies. Eitan also helped Israel acquire materials for its secret nuclear program. He would go on to earn infamy in the 1980s by running Jonathan Pollard as an American Jewish spy in the United States government.

    Surprisingly flamboyant after a life in the shadows, in 2006, at age 79, Eitan became a Member of Parliament as head of a political party representing senior citizens.

    “Yes, I met and ran Skorzeny,” Eitan confirmed to us recently. Like other Mossad veterans, he refused to go on the record with more details.

    Ahituv, who was born in Germany in 1930, was similarly involved in a wide array of Israeli clandestine operations all around the globe. From 1974 to 1980 he was head of the domestic security service, Shin Bet, which also guarded many secrets and often conducted joint projects with the Mossad.

    The Mossad agents did try to persuade Wiesenthal to remove Skorzeny from his list of war criminals, but the Nazi hunter refused. The Mossad, with typical chutzpah, instead forged a letter — supposedly to Skorzeny from Wiesenthal— declaring that his name had been cleared.

    Skorzeny continued to surprise the Israelis with his level of cooperation. During a trip to Egypt, he even mailed exploding packages; one Israeli-made bomb killed five Egyptians in the military rocket site Factory 333, where German scientists worked.

    The campaign of intimidation was largely successful, with most of the Germans leaving Egypt. Israel stopped the violence and threats, however, when one team was arrested in Switzerland while putting verbal pressure on a scientist’s family. A Mossad man and an Austrian scientist who was working for Israel were put on trial. Luckily, the Swiss judge sympathized with Israel’s fear of Egypt’s rocket program. The two men were convicted of making threats, but they were immediately set free.

    Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, however, concluded that all of this being out in public was disastrous to Israel’s image — and specifically could upset a deal he had arranged with West Germany to sell weapons to Israel.

    Harel submitted a letter of resignation, and to his shock, Ben-Gurion accepted it. The new Mossad director, commander of military intelligence Gen. Meir Amit, moved the agency away from chasing or intimidating Nazis.

    Amit did activate Skorzeny at least once more, however. The spymaster wanted to explore the possibility of secret peace negotiations, so he asked Israel’s on-the-payroll Nazi to arrange a meeting with a senior Egyptian official. Nothing ever came of it.

    Skorzeny never explained his precise reasons for helping Israel. His autobiography does not contain the word “Israel,” or even “Jew.” It is true that he sought and got the life insurance. The Mossad did not assassinate him.

    He also had a very strong streak of adventurism, and the notion of doing secret work with fascinating spies — even if they were Jewish — must have been a magnet for the man whose innovative escapades had earned him the Iron Cross medal from Hitler. Skorzeny was the kind of man who would feel most youthful and alive through killing and fear.

    It is possible that regret and atonement also played a role. The Mossad’s psychological analysts doubted it, but Skorzeny may have genuinely felt sorry for his actions during World War II.

    He may have been motivated by a combination of all these factors, and perhaps even others. But Otto Skorzeny took this secret to his grave. He died of cancer, at age 67, in Madrid in July 1975.

    He had two funerals, one in a chapel in Spain’s capital and the other to bury his cremated remains in the Skorzeny family plot in Vienna. Both services were attended by dozens of German military veterans and wives, who did not hesitate to give the one-armed Nazi salute and sing some of Hitler’s favorite songs. Fourteen of Skorzeny’s medals, many featuring a boldly black swastika, were prominently paraded in the funeral processions.

    There was one man at the service in Madrid who was known to no one in the crowd, but out of habit he still made sure to hide his face as much as he could. That was Joe Raanan, who by then had become a successful businessman in Israel.

    The Mossad did not send Raanan to Skorzeny’s funeral; he decided to attend on his own, and at his own expense. This was a personal tribute from one Austrian-born warrior to another, and from an old spy handler to the best, but most loathsome, agent he ever ran.

    Dan Raviv, a CBS News correspondent based in Washington, and Israeli journalist Yossi Melman are co-authors of five books about Israel’s espionage and security agencies, including “Spies Against Armageddon: Inside Israel’s Secret Wars” (Levant Books, 2014). Contact them at feedback@forward.com

    For more stories, go to www.forward.com. Sign up for the Forward’s daily newsletter at http://forward.com/newsletter/signup

    The Forward

    Haaretz Contributor

    #Israel #Mossad #Nazi #Egypte #Histoire #Allemagne #Hitman