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.”

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Read more at Daily Beast

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

Why the Leader of Hamas Went to Russia

Sept. 30 2022

Earlier this month, the Hamas chairman Ismail Haniyeh and several of his colleagues visited Moscow, where they met with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other Russian officials. According to Arabic-language media, Haniyeh came seeking “new ideas” about how to wage war against the Jewish state. The terrorist group has had good relations with the Kremlin for several years, and even maintains an office in Moscow. John Hardie and Ivana Stradner comment on the timing of the visit:

For Moscow, the visit likely reflects a continuation of its efforts to leverage the Palestinians and other issues to pressure Israel over its stance on Russia’s war in Ukraine. Russia and Israel built friendly relations in the decades following the Soviet Union’s dissolution. After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Jerusalem condemned the war, but made sure to tread carefully in order to preserve working ties with Moscow, lest Russian military forces in Syria disrupt Israel’s strategically important air operations there.

Nevertheless, bilateral tensions spiked in April after Yair Lapid, then serving as Israel’s foreign minister, joined the chorus of voices worldwide accusing Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine. Jerusalem later provided Kyiv with some non-lethal military aid and a field hospital. In response, Moscow hardened its rhetoric about Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories.

The Palestinian issue isn’t the only way that Russia has sought to pressure Israel. Moscow is also threatening, on seemingly spurious grounds, to shutter the Russian branch of the Jewish Agency.

Moscow likely has little appetite for outright conflict with Israel, particularly when the bulk of Russia’s military is floundering in Ukraine. But there are plenty of other ways that Russia, which maintains an active intelligence presence in the Jewish state, could damage Israel’s interests. As Moscow cozies up with Hamas, Iran, and other enemies of Israel, Jerusalem—and its American allies—would do well to keep a watchful eye.

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Read more at Algemeiner

More about: Hamas, Israeli Security, Russia