Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tikun Olam: Israeli Intelligence Assets Aid African Dictators

Richard Silverstein
Africa has for decades been a playground for Israel: both in the literal sense as a spot for Israelis to play in the sun (Kenya, Sharm el-Sheikh); and in the figurative sense regarding Israeli diplomats and spies who’ve woven their webs of intrigue there.  In the days of Ben Gurion, he saw Africa as a weight to counter the hostile influence of the Arab world.  That’s why Israeli development and aid projects were so intensively pursued in the 1950s and 60s.
Later, Israel made common cause with apartheid era South Africa in developing its nuclear weapons program.  Israel also readily supplied arms to some of the worst insurgent movements in places like Angola on behalf of the Reagan administration and as a spoiler for Cuba in its intervention.  Today, Israeli billionaires like Lev Leviev and Dan Gertler work hand in glove with military regimes and corrupt politicians in Congo, Angola and elsewhere to pry blood diamonds from African soil, which glitter on the necks and bosoms of the 1% in fashion capitals throughout the world.  They reinforce the wealth and power of blood-sucking tyrants and the continuing degradation of the poor peasants who share none of this wealth.
Israel’s retrograde influence in southern Africa continues to this day.  Retired Israeli intelligence officers are plying their trade in countries like Zimbabwe, where they offer the ruling party their expertise in running elections.  They collect data, register voters, maintain voter rolls, conduct the elections and count the votes–all for a substantial fee of course.  On their websites they can boast about their role in furthering the budding of African democracy.  But in reality, they’re working hand in glove with the dictator, Robert Mugabe.

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