Sunday, August 21, 2016

Ashraf Marwan: the story as told by Israel

I have written a lengthy critique in Arabic in Al-Akhbar of the new book by Uri Bar-Joseph, The Angel: The Egyptian Spy Who Saved Israel".  Typical of Israeli academics (hence the need for BDS), the author comes from a military-intelligence background in the Israeli occupation army, and he only got his PhD in 1990, although before that date (when he was still in Israeli military intelligence--assuming he isn't anymore) he was writing books as "expert" in the US.  He is author with the fanatic, Amos Perlmutter, "Two Minutes Over Baghdad", which is an Israeli propaganda book which claims that Saddam was about to equip missiles with nuclear warheads and whose writings is always about the skill and talent of Israeli occupation killers.  This book is no exception.  It does have less mistakes than you would find in most Israeli books on the Middle East (although there are still mistakes: Saud was NOT crown prince in Saudi Arabia back in 1974 (p. 247), and his transliteration of Arabic is consistently flawed but that is standard in Israeli Orientalism).  The book, like all Israeli books which pass through the rigid Israeli censors when dealing with intelligence matters should be read with a very critical eye.  It also has typical Israeli justifications of war crimes: he refers to the Israeli bombing in war of attrition as bombing into "deep Egyptian territory" (p. 56) when those bombing included an elementary school and a factory, among other civilian targets.  But the book totally debunks the thesis of the 60 minutes program on Ashraf Marwan (which hired by the account of the book people from Israeli military intelligence as consultants) especially the claim that Marwan during Nasser's era was a high ranking official. He never was. This book makes it clear: that Nasser was incorruptible and that he would not tolerate any use or abuse of power by his children and their husbands or wives, and that the motive of Marwan may have been that he was snubbed by Nasser, who argued with his daughter, Mona, to divorce the sleazy corrupt Marwan after he received cash payments from Kuwaiti Prince, Abdullah Mubarak As-Sabah (this Sabah also gave cash to Sadat and his wife from the mid-1960s and was known for his payments to Lebanese press).  Marwan was so hurt by Nasser contempt for him, that he volunteered for the Mossad.  But the spying only occurred during Sadat era when he rose through the hierarchy of Egyptian political and intelligence power.  I don't believe that Marwan was a double-agent as Egyptian regime claimed: they never provided any evidence for that while this book provides material about his spying for Israel. But like all spies and agents of Israel (including King Husayn) they all did that for money and not for ideology. Even Jonathan Pollard: as much as he tried to give ideological justifications for his spying, he was doing it for the money and the jewelry for his wife.  Did Marwan save Israel in 1973, no, this is an exaggerated claim and I believe that the book is intended to bring up a past issue in order to try to salvage the sagging fortune and reputation of the Mossad, which totally lost its "aura" among Arabs and non-Arabs alike.  I am happy to live to a time when Mossad agents were universally mocked with their cheap disguises in Dubai during the Mabhuh assassination.  So Mossad will be digging into their files to try to obtain some Western "respect", just like Rodney Dangerfield. The book also suggests that US intelligence may have been instrumental in the rise of Marwan during the Sadat counter-attack against the Nasserists in May 1971.  Is there one spy for Israel who is not a creep and who is not involved in prostitution (Elie Cohen opened a brothel in Damascus for all intents and purposes) and dirty games?

PS Also, in every Israeli propaganda book, they manage to tell you about the wife and children of the Israeli killer, and how his wife was waiting for him at night, etc.  To humanize killers. A classic Israeli method of propaganda:  Humanize the killers and demonize the innocent.