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

 

Will Costco Go to Israel?

Social-media users have mocked this week new Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich for a poorly translated letter. But far more interesting than the finance minister’s use of Google Translate (or some such technology) is what the letter reveals about the Jewish state. In it, Smotrich asks none other than Costco to consider opening stores in Israel.

Why?

Israel, reports Sharon Wrobel, has one of the highest costs of living of any country in the 38-member Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

This

has been generally attributed to a lack of competition among local importers and manufacturers. The top three local supermarket chains account for over half of the food retail market, limiting competition and putting upward pressure on prices. Meanwhile, import tariffs, value-added tax costs and kosher restrictions have been keeping out international retail chains.

Is the move likely to happen?

“We do see a recent trend of international retailers entering the Israeli market as some barriers to food imports from abroad have been eased,” Chen Herzog, chief economist at BDO Israel accounting firm, told The Times of Israel. “The purchasing power and technology used by big global retailers for logistics and in the area of online sales where Israel has been lagging behind could lead to a potential shift in the market and more competitive prices.”

Still, the same economist noted that in Israel “the cost of real estate and other costs such as the VAT on fruit and vegetables means that big retailers such as Costco may not be able to offer the same competitive prices than in other places.”

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Costco, Israel & Zionism