To have a dozen of your agents identified in police tapes after an extrajudicial killing is embarrassing. To have almost 30 operatives left with their covers blown — as appears to have happened after Dubai police released fresh details of the Hamas assassination last month — might be considered reckless.
On the official website of Mossad, Israel’s spy agency, is the biblical verse from Prophets, 11:14 — “where no counsel is, the people fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety”.
Unfortunately, so many of its “counselors” seem to have been caught on CCTV, wearing wigs and other disguises, that it was as if an early Purim carnival was being held in Dubai’s hotels and airports.
On top of the diplomatic fallout — Australia was the latest country to chastise Israel, the lead suspect in the murder of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh — is the growing question of how Mossad, the famously surgical scalpel of Israel’s covert defenses, could have allowed so many of its people to blunder into full view of security cameras and have their faces flashed around the world in weekly installments presented by Dubai’s police chief.