A bizarre and disturbing story earlier this month shed a tiny sliver of light on the under-reported and murky role of Israel in the increasingly complex Syrian civil war.
Agence France Presse reported the story of several Syrian Jews who were taken out of the country by rebel fighters hired by Israeli-American businessman (and former mercenary) Moti Kahana.
But a close reading of the text of the story quickly reveals that the headline about a “rescue” of Jews from Syria is highly misleading.
In fact, the report states, “the family did not want to leave” and Kahana even claimed that “it was ‘necessary’ to scare them into getting in a minibus,” according to AFP’s Joe Dyke. In the Jewish Chronicle piece (which apparently was first to break the story) Kahana noted that because the family did not want to leave, the only way he could compel them to do so was to “scare the shit out of them.”
That sounds far more like a kidnapping than a “rescue.” The family were, in the process of this forcible “rescue,” lied to and told they would be allowed to go to New York, but Kahana then ended up sending them to Israel.