The Untold Story Behind Israel’s Capture of Adolf Eichmann

Contrary to a widely held perception, the Mossad was not engaged in a global manhunt for ex-Nazis during the 1950s and 60s; the spy agency had bigger fish to fry: protecting Israel from the hostile nations that surrounded it. Andrew Nagorski, in an excerpt from his new book The Nazi Hunters, tells the story of how Eichmann came to the attention of Israeli intelligence:

On September 19, 1957, Fritz Bauer, who . . . was then attorney general of the West German state of Hesse, arranged a meeting with Felix Shinar, the head of Israel’s reparations mission in the Federal Republic of Germany. To make sure it was as hush-hush as possible, the two men met at an inn just off the Cologne-Frankfurt highway.

According to Isser Harel, the Mossad director [at the time], Bauer came straight to the point. “Eichmann has been traced,” he told Shinar.

When the Israeli queried whether he really meant Adolf Eichmann, Bauer responded: “Yes, Adolf Eichmann. He is in Argentina.”

“And what do you intend to do?” asked Shinar.

“I’ll be perfectly frank with you, I don’t know if we can altogether rely on the German judiciary here, let alone on the German embassy staff in Buenos Aires,” Bauer responded, leaving no doubt that he distrusted many of his country’s public servants and was worried that someone would tip off Eichmann if they learned he was in danger of arrest. “I see no other way but to talk to you,” Bauer continued. “You are known to be efficient people, and nobody could be more interested than you in the capture of Eichmann.” Then he threw in a word of caution: “Obviously I wish to maintain contact with you in connection with this matter, but only provided that strict secrecy is kept.”

Read more at Daily Beast

More about: Adolf Eichmann, Argentina, Germany, History & Ideas, Holocaust, Mossad

If Iran Goes Nuclear, the U.S. Will Be Forced Out of the Middle East

The International Atomic Energy Agency reported in May that Iran has, or is close to having, enough highly enriched uranium to build multiple atomic bombs, while, according to other sources, it is taking steps toward acquiring the technology to assemble such weapons. Considering the effects on Israel, the Middle East, and American foreign policy of a nuclear-armed Iran, Eli Diamond writes:

The basic picture is that the Middle East would become inhospitable to the U.S. and its allies when Iran goes nuclear. Israel would find itself isolated, with fewer options for deterring Iran or confronting its proxies. The Saudis and Emiratis would be forced into uncomfortable compromises.

Any course reversal has to start by recognizing that the United States has entered the early stages of a global conflict in which the Middle East is set to be a main attraction, not a sideshow.

Directly or not, the U.S. is engaged in this conflict and has a significant stake in its outcome. In Europe, American and Western arms are the only things standing between Ukraine and its defeat at the hands of Russia. In the Middle East, American arms remain indispensable to Israel’s survival as it wages a defensive, multifront war against Iran and its proxies Hamas and Hizballah. In the Indo-Pacific, China has embarked on the greatest military buildup since World War II, its eyes set on Taiwan but ultimately U.S. primacy.

While Iran is the smallest of these three powers, China and Russia rely on it greatly for oil and weapons, respectively. Both rely on it as a tool to degrade America’s position in the region. Constraining Iran and preventing its nuclear breakout would keep waterways open for Western shipping and undermine a key node in the supply chain for China and Russia.

Diamond offers a series of concrete suggestions for how the U.S. could push back hard against Iran, among them expanding the Abraham Accords into a military and diplomatic alliance that would include Saudi Arabia. But such a plan depends on Washington recognizing that its interests in Eastern Europe, in the Pacific, and in the Middle East are all connected.

Read more at National Review

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Middle East, U.S. Foreign policy