A new book uncovers shocking secret attacks launched on ships bearing Holocaust survivors en route to Israel. Andrew Roberts on the violent lengths to which post-war Britain went to appease oil-rich Arab states.Roberts writes that in the course of Operation Embarrass, Great Britain succeeded in blowing up one ship and damaging two others. Keep in mind that these were ships that were just bringing Jewish survivors of the Nazi death camps to safety in the land that would soon become Israel.
As Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, the pitiful remnants of History’s greatest crime, tried to make their way across an often hostile Europe at the end of the Second World War, toward at least a semblance of safety in the Holy Land, they had no shortage of problems with which to contend, including disease and malnutrition, Polish anti-Semitism, Soviet indifference, Allied bureaucracy, and Arab nationalism. Now we discover that they faced yet another peril in the shape of bombs planted on their transport ships by Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, better known as MI6.
A new book to be published next week entitled MI6: The History of the Secret Intelligence Service 1909-1949 [The Secret History of MI6], by the distinguished British historian Keith Jeffrey, reveals the existence of Operation Embarrass, a plan to try to prevent Jews getting into Palestine in 1946-'48 using disinformation and propaganda but also explosive devices placed on ships. Nor is this some speculative spy story that can be denied by the authorities: Dr. Jeffrey’s book is actually, in their own words: “Published with the permission of The Secret Intelligence Service and the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office.”
According to the review on Amazon.com:
MI6's early days were haphazard but it was quickly forged into an effective organization in the crucible of World War I. During these war years, MI6 also formed ties with the United States-harbingers of a relationship that would become vital to both countries' security as the century progressed. These early years also saw the development of techniques that would become plot devices in a thousand books and films-forgery, invisible ink, disguises, concealing mechanisms, and much more. The interwar years were nominally peaceful, but Britain perceived numerous threats, all of which MI6 was expected to keep tabs on. The outbreak of World War II once again caught MI6 off balance, and high-profile blunders (and the memoirs of MI6 operatives such as Graham Greene) created an impression of ineffectiveness. At the same time, however, the service was pioneering cryptography at Bletchley Park (where the Enigma code would be broken) and devising the very methods and equipment that would inspire Ian Fleming's novels.[emphasis added]Operation Embarrass will only reinforce that impression of ineffectiveness--a moral ineffectiveness that is only highlighted by British haughty criticisms of the measures that Israel takes to defend itself. Roberts himself points out the hypocrisy between what M16 did against real humanitarian flotillas and what Israel does to keep publicity hunting flotillas bringing outdated supplies from possibly bringing assets for Hamas terrorists.
Technorati Tag: Operation Embarrass.