“The Temple Mount crisis was relatively small potatoes, but still expensive to engineer,” confessed a Jordanian official.
Tel Aviv, July 30 – Rulers of Arab and Muslim states in the Middle East and beyond voiced frustration today at the increasing costs of engaging Israel’s secret intelligence service to manufacture crises for purposes of diverting Arab populations’ attention from the oppression, abuse, and denial of rights their governments perpetrate against them.
Sources in the Jordanian, Egyptian, Saudi, and Qatari governments, among others, told reporters this week that producing distraction in today’s sophisticated media environment requires greater and greater expertise, and while the Mossad can provide solutions, the schemes it must implement demand much greater expense than analogous operations in decades past. Flat oil prices have hampered the outlays the governments of those countries can afford, and challenge them to maintain the illusion of an Israel so sinister that it can be invoked to stoke emotions strong enough to divert focus from the lack of democracy, freedom of expression, and other indicators of liberty in the Arab-Muslim world.
“The Temple Mount crisis was relatively small potatoes, but still expensive to engineer,” confessed a Jordanian official. “Fomenting unrest, adding to it the complicating factor of killings at the Israeli embassy in Amman, and involving the king in visible efforts to defuse the situation cost so much more than it would have a mere ten years ago, even accounting for inflation. The Mossad is still the best at what it does, and no one else even comes close, so it’s worth it, but is becoming less so.”
“We may have brought this on ourselves,” surmised an Egyptian official. “The Arab Spring seemed like a great idea at the time – undermining certain uncooperative regimes while granting hoi polloi the illusion that their actions have some effect. The election of Morsi and his subsequent deposing were a masterstroke – kudos to the Mossad for that arc. But it costs quite a bit. Gone are the days when hoi polloi could be manipulated on the cheap.”
He cited the example of the 1991 Gulf War. “It literally took about six phone calls to set up the whole thing,” recalled the former ambassador. “From the time the first Iraqi tanks rolled into Kuwait until the last Iraqi prisoner of war returned home, the Mossad had to do about four hours’ work. But the Arab public is even more cynical and jaded two-and-a-half decades later. To accomplish something even remotely comparable today, it would require weeks and weeks of continuous operation. Of course it’s going to cost more.”
“Eventually, Arabs might even stop falling for the whole ‘solidarity with the Palestinians’ thing,” he added. “But there’s still some life in that, at least for a couple more years.”
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