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Thread: The Tel Aviv Contractor.

  1. #31
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    The force of a good story often is in the details, I think. I recon this is the best and most complete story I have read from you so far, Manichaean.
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

  2. #32
    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    Thank you for the kind words buddy. Glad you are enjoying it.

  3. #33
    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    Chapter 12.

    It was all a bit of a blur after that. Aaron remembered getting back to his room, but whatever it was they had slipped into his drink on the yacht was now kicking in. He started feeling; first light headed, then unsteady on his feet. He made it to the divan steadying himself on the armrest. Floaters came across his vision and before he passed out, he saw figures at the door so recently closed behind him.

    He had in fact passed out in the Radisson and regained a semblance of consciousness in the hotel that had previously turned him away as being fully booked; the Inter-Continental Phonecia.

    Still 5 stars; but this time, tied naked to a bed, with room service comprising his own reincarnation of the Greek goddess Rhamnousia, there to enact retribution for succumbing so unwittingly to personal hubris.

    Her voice was soft as she leaned over him.

    “You know of course, I could have killed you there in Tyre?”

    No mockery in the tone, just realistic.

    “And you a nice Jewish boy,” she murmured lifting his circumcised penis with one finger.

    If one defines being hubristic as a combination of; pride, arrogance, and overconfidence, then Arron knew starkly he was guilty of the last quality. Age had on that first day since crossing the border, laid over him a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of his own competence and past exploits.

    “Let me take you back” she said “to 1982 when the Israel Defence Forces, or IDF, of which you were part, invaded southern Lebanon.”

    “If you recall this military operation was launched after gunmen from the Abu Nidal's organization attempted to assassinate Shlomo Argov, Israel's ambassador to the United Kingdom. Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin blamed Abu Nidal's enemy, the PLO, for the incident, and used the incident as a cause for the invasion.”

    “I can see you are with me so far.”

    Aaron remained silent.

    “After attacking the PLO the Israeli military, in cooperation with their Maronite allies, occupied southern Lebanon, eventually surrounding the PLO and elements of the Syrian Army.”

    “By expelling the PLO led by Yasser Arafat, removing Syrian influence over Lebanon, and installing a pro-Israeli Christian government led by President Bachir Gemayel, Israel had hoped to sign a treaty which Menachem Begin promised would give Israel peace.”

    “However, following the assassination of Gemayel, Israel's position in Beirut became untenable and the signing of a peace treaty became increasingly unlikely.”

    “We then come to the connection that brings us together today: namely the IDF's role in the Sabra and Shatila massacre of Palestinians and Lebanese Shias on the 16th September in West Beirut.”

    “Between 460 and 3,500 civilians, mostly Palestinians and Lebanese Shiites, were massacred over two days by a militia close to the Phalange, a predominantly Christian Lebanese right-wing party, in the Sabra neighbourhood and the adjacent Shatila refugee camp in Beirut.”

    “Carried out by the militia in plain sight of the Israeli Defence Forces, the Phalanges were ordered to clear out PLO fighters. No attempt was made to prevent or stop the massacre.”

    “A subsequent international commission deemed Israel indirectly responsible, and that Ariel Sharon, then Defence Minister, bore personal responsibility, which forced him to resign.”

    Aaron looked at her, the soft facial features that belied such determination.

    “And I’m presuming,” speaking for the first time, “that you lost friends in that conflict?”

    “Oh yes,” she said in a voice formed and constrained by years of inner grief.

    “My entire family.”

    “Which might explain why a surgical demise of yourself in Tyre would have been inadequate.”

  4. #34
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Interesting chapter, where one learns what it is all about. But I must say that the lady is always several steps in front of that absent-minded Aaron.
    (4 log ins to be able to post that comment)
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

  5. #35
    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    Chapter 13.

    The next few days were both surprising and a little unnerving for Aaron. There was no rough treatment and no attempt to coerce information. He was given his clothes and guarded by two men who looked like they moved fast and played for keeps. He had the freedom to watch TV in the living room during the day and at night he was locked in his room handcuffed to the bed.

    The woman was not to be seen, which was strange. Obviously busy he thought, checking out aspects of the events that had so recently unfolded.

    On the fourth day, which was a Friday, the call to prayer was heard across Beirut. Shortly after noon he was joined by both the woman and Zaynab, the Iranian from the yacht.

    They sat opposite him.

    Zaynab led the conversation.

    “Let me put something to you,” he began.

    His skin was even more parchment like than when they had first met and his sombre eyes probed in an impersonal manner.

    “We know who you are and what your objective was in Lebanon.”

    “Fortuitously we discreetly check all arrivals from Israel and despite your credible cover, your past came up from when you were in the IDF during the invasion here. Hence our subsequent ability to check you on every stage of your journey.”

    He spoke carefully and solemnly, as if that was as important as anything he would have to do that day.

    Aaron listened, hands folded across his lap.

    “But I must confess we were confused at first,” Zaynab continued, “as we were surprised by the manner of the operation.”

    “Traditional Israeli assassination techniques, as planned on our colleague here, would normally involve techniques we are familiar with: motor bike drive by shootings, letter bombs, drone strikes etc.”

    “But then we asked ourselves, was there a difference because the target was still a bit of a mystery, inclusive her exact whereabouts?”

    “What was more confusing was the lone wolf plan.”

    “Believe you me, we are well versed on the processes and hallmarks of murders by Mossad.”

    “Firstly, there is the identifying of a target for by Israeli intelligence which in itself usually runs through several institutional and organizational steps within; Mossad, the broader Israeli intelligence community and the political leadership.”

    “And we know, of relevance to this case in particular, that Hamas communications between Gaza, and Beirut are tightly monitored by Israeli intelligence networks.”

    “Then of course, there is the assassination process itself; namely once identified as a target, and evaluation of available intelligence, to decide whether the kill should be executed, what the benefits of killing are and the best way to do it.”

    “Once the Mossad finishes its file on the target, it takes its findings to the heads of Intelligences Services Committee, which comprises the chiefs of Israeli intelligence organizations known by its Hebrew acronym, VARASH, or Vaadan Rashei Ha-sherutim.”

    “However, this entity does not have the legal authority to approve an operation. Only the prime minister of Israel has the authority to approve, and they typically prefer not to take that decision by themselves for political reasons.”

    “Oftentimes the prime minister would involve one or two other ministers in the decision, which invariably includes the Minister of Defense,”

    “Once obtained, the operation then moves back to Mossad for planning and execution, usually through the Caesarea branch and ultimately through the Kidon unit.”

    “Needless to say, that in Mossad, the legality of any assassination is much more liberal than in many countries and does not usually involve legal constraints. It is part of their national policy.”

    “So where does that leave us?” Aaron finally interjected.

    Zaynab took a sip from what Aaron presumed was water on the side table. Running his tongue across his lips, he seemed to be almost in an internal convulsive struggle to reach the conclusion of the monologue undertaken so far.

    “We think,” he began hesitantly, “that someone on your side is, as they say in English, playing both ends against the middle.”

    “There are none of the hallmarks of a typical Mossad operation, and there is more than meets the eye in the reasoning behind the operation.”

    “Let me be open with you. We are both old men with little time left” he continued.

    “Adversaries yes, but I believe both possessing integrity in protecting our own.”

    “For that reason, we are sending you back. You will know what to do and how to do it. Killing you here would be a short-term expedient and a long-term waste.”

    “After all, in human beings, especially in human society, all death is but a death-birth.”

  6. #36
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    That´s getting more and more interesting!
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

  7. #37
    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    End in sight now, but I was sweating blood about the conclusion.

    I really must not embark on these voyages away from sight of land, without a map or compass.

    Stay safe my friend.

  8. #38
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    I am no expert in espionage tales not even as a reader, but I believe it isn´t easy to get all those details right.
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

  9. #39
    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    Chapter 14.

    There was, what turned out to be, a farewell dinner the next evening with Aaron and Zaynab. The venue surprisingly was not the yacht in the Zaitunay Bay Harbour, but the Babel Restaurant on the promenade that Aaron was already acquainted with.

    “Bizarre” is the word that comes to mind; two elderly males, sworn technical enemies from either side of the political and religious divide, strolling into a high-class restaurant like two old school acquaintances. Zaynab walked with the aid of a stick to steady his gait, and Aaron forever the epitome of a retiree.

    The manager Adnan Mahdi, that Aaron had met previously, was poised to greet them at the entrance with that same professional smile and a discreet recognition of both of them.

    They were led to a quiet table away from the otherwise busy clientele.



    The food was ordered and served, starting with the raw fish marinated salmon starter.

    Zaynab, as was his custom, led whatever conversation there was between the two of them. One the talker, the other acutely receiving.

    They were not disturbed unnecessarily; likely already communicated aforehand.

    Zaynab drew his tongue across thin withered lips, akin the sealing of a letter. He appeared less tired and more animated than when they had met previously.

    “I thought that in the unlikely event that we would not meet again for operational reasons; not to mention my declining health, that I talk to you as a professional equal tonight.”

    Aaron listened politely, poising his fork.

    “Tomorrow you will have your car returned and cross back into Israel by the Rosh HaNikra Crossing.”

    “What action you take after that is for you to decide.”

    “I, as you have already likely discerned, am what you might call quite senior in the Hamas organization.”

    “Part of my responsibilities has been to control and direct our agent, Halima whom it was your mission to kill. By the way, I am not her biological father, more a father figure. She is Palestinian as I believe she told you.”

    “Killing is unfortunately a necessary expedient on both our sides. From your perspective it is one of national survival; on ours for what we see as a need in justice for the Arab world.”

    “But there is killing and killing,” he continued.

    “If you swat a fly, because it is unhealthy or an irritant, there is no feeling. It is an almost unconscious reaction”

    “But if you kill another of your own species, then certain qualities in the killer are I think requisite. Compassion must be subdued, conviction in the rationale must be predominant.”

    “Are you with me so far?”

    Aaron nodded in affirmation.

    At this juncture, the table was swiftly cleared and the ordered red mullet fish with fattoush salad was laid before them.

    Zaynab continued.

    “Which brings us to the question as to why we are sitting here tonight.”

    “Betrayal” is an ugly word. The Christians invariably refer to what they call as “the Judas kiss of their Christ.”

    “This is He. Take him and crucify Him.”

    “Yet in this case Aaron, we have both been betrayed.”

    Aaron held his gaze.

    “You, by those who sent you. Us in those we thought on our side.”

    Aaron found these last remarks both disturbing and questionable.”

    He had been nurtured long enough in the Middle East to recognize that strange, almost alien perceived virtue, that some Arabs have, for deception comprising both an art and an attribute of cunning and strength.

    And yet of more singular significance for Aaron, one could not underestimate the argument being made of a mole / sleeper, (call it what you will), in Israel intelligence itself.

  10. #40
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Enjoyed tha chapter. Not sure that this Zaynab is to be trusted.
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

  11. #41
    Registered User Steven Hunley's Avatar
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    "Add on the virus pandemic, economic collapse and political chaos and one could understand the closed banks and the vandalised ATM machines he passed; the reports of starvation in Tripoli and the hard, resigned, barely suppressed anger on the face of the inhabitants. Nothing but what Nature gives her wild children originally of the desert: ferocity and appetite; strength grounded on hunger."

    Oh, Jeez, this writing is definitely top-drawer. it's dense. (full of stuff with very few words)

  12. #42
    Registered User Steven Hunley's Avatar
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    This is top-drawer. "Nothing but what Nature gives her wild children originally of the desert: ferocity and appetite; strength grounded on hunger." One hell of a line.

  13. #43
    Registered User Steven Hunley's Avatar
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    This is top-drawer. "Nothing but what Nature gives her wild children originally of the desert: ferocity and appetite; strength grounded on hunger." One hell of a line. And chapter 11, just love these descriptions and plot-twists. 12 days to my second inoculation of Moderna, but who's counting?

  14. #44
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    You are a lucky guy! Counting the weeks for the first shot yet!
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

  15. #45
    Registered User Steven Hunley's Avatar
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    Stay safe in the meantime. Days are never more precious than these, no matter how hard they are.

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