The Day of the Locust

Israel’s latest weapon, it appears, is the Animal Kingdom.

Back in July 2007, Iranian intelligence services detained fourteen squirrels on grounds of carrying out espionage for the West, alleging that the perfidious rodents were equipped with “spy gear of foreign agencies.” Before we dismiss this disturbing revelation as an instance of mental instability, we should note that no less a figure than Iranian police commander, Esmaili Ahmadi-Moqadam, confirmed the report, which surely inspires confidence. Although Israel is not mentioned by name, there can be no question that the Mossad is the primary suspect.

The Egyptians, too, seem to be privy to the ostensible machinations of the Mossad. When a shark killed a German tourist in the waters off a Red Sea resort, the governor of South Sinai, Mohamed Abdel Fadil Shousha, speculated that it was not “out of the question” that Israel could have planned the attacks on tourists to harm the local economy. Again, we should not assume that the Egyptians are prone to jumping the shark for, as many authorities on Middle East affairs will attest, the Egyptians are paragons of veracity. There is, nonetheless, the dilemma that Israeli tourists frequent these Red Sea resorts in great numbers, but then, a Jewish shark might be expected to be selective.

Not to be left behind, the Saudis have recently flaunted their state-of-the-art deterrent capabilities, arresting a vulture presumably dispatched by the Mossad to reconnoiter and test the desert kingdom’s defensive readiness. According to reports, “The global positioning transmitter and a leg bracelet marked ‘R65 - Tel Aviv University’ were perceived by the Saudis as sophisticated espionage equipment to allow the bird to send intelligence back to Israel. The Saudi newspaper al-Weeam said residents of the area in which the bird was caught called the tracking paraphernalia evidence of a Zionist plot.” The explanation that the poor bird was part of an Israeli research program studying migration patterns is greeted as just another instance of Zionist disinformation meant to distract attention from its covert operations.

We recall that Sudan has accused Israel of releasing a spy pelican over its territory and Libya has suspected Israel of infecting mosquitoes with HIV. And who can forget one of the most dastardly of bruited Israeli plots, as reported in two Palestinian newspapers, Al-Ayyam and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, on July 17 and 18, 2008, respectively. It appears that the Mossad loosed a pack of giant rats into the streets of Jerusalem in order to “turn the residents’ life into a living hell, forcing them to leave” (Al-Ayyam). How the rats were able to distinguish between Arab and Jew is an enigma which must await further elucidation—unless, of course, these were Jewish rats fed on matzah and instructed in the subtleties of the Talmud.

Such claims and accusations may seem to some observers rather over the top. Even those who are convinced that Israel is evil to the bone might boggle at the improbability of these theriomorphic hijinks. Can it be that the Israelis are truly responsible for so intricate and massive a bio-ops project? The time, energy, funding, expertise and resources required to co-opt the animal, marine and insectal kingdoms and direct their activities must give us pause.

However, there may be another explanation for these disruptive events. Might it not be that the Lord remains on the side of the Israelites? After all, did not the Lord in the time of the Egyptian captivity unleash a plague of locusts that, as the Book of Exodus tells us, “went up over all the land of Egypt…so that the land was darkened…and there remained not any green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the field, through all the land of Egypt”? May not the Hebrew God be, once again, delegating His creatures—squirrels, sharks, pelicans, mosquitoes, rats, vultures, which are only the locusts du jour—to manifest His will and discomfit His people’s enemies?

It’s difficult to say. But since, on the one hand, even the Israelis cannot reasonably be expected to infiltrate the Creation with the prowess of King Solomon and, on the other hand, the accuracy of Arab and Iranian newspapers is accepted by many as beyond even a shred of suspicion or misgiving, how else account for such preternatural interventions carried out by these swarms of surrogate locusts?

And yet, it must be admitted, there is a serious problem with this attempt at construal, provoked by the Israelis themselves, who are resolutely anti-locust. Scientists at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Interdisciplinary Center for Neural Computation have been working industriously to avert the scourge of such infestations. They have discovered that locusts are actuated by polarization vision which enables them to distinguish between land and sea; the application of this knowledge will lead to techniques of locustrian diversion, an inestimable boon not only to Israel but to the whole Middle East. Why, then, would the Israelis seek to frustrate the will of the Lord Himself? What are we to make of so obvious a contradiction?

Perhaps in the end we are left with the tentative hypothesis that the Arabs and Iranians are completely unhinged and that Israel has been unfairly libeled. I realize this is hard to believe, but every possibility must be taken into account.