Is Israel Losing Another Ally Because of Dubai Hit?

Poland feels caught between Germany and Israel as it considers whether to extradite an alleged Mossad spy arrested in Warsaw earlier this month.

The Israeli government is pressuring Poland to not extradite alleged Mossad spy Uri Brodsky to Germany. If he is sent to Germany, Brodsky could be tried in court or even extradited to Dubai for his suspected role in the assassination of Hamas agent Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in January.

A Polish source told Haaretz that no decision had been made on an extradition. The source also declined to say where Brodsky was being held. Brodsky, who says he is a businessman and has no connection to the events, was arrested based on information provided by the Dubai and United Arab Emirates police and on an international arrest warrant issued in Germany via Interpol.

An image grab from a video released by Dubai police in February allegedly showing two suspects

A German spokesman said the final decision was solely up to the Polish government.

Germany and Poland have an extradition agreement, both bilateral and through European treaties. The extradition matter, however, is complex and could prove long and drawn out. The Polish source added that Poland feels embarrassed and trapped between two countries it views as friends.

Poland is considered one of Israel's greatest friends anywhere in the world, let alone the European Union. They have close ties including economic agreements, arms deals, cultural relations and support by Poland for Israel in international forums, especially the United Nations. According to foreign reports, Israel and Poland also also have covert ties through their intelligence communities.

Evidence of those ties can be seen in the fact that the arrest was kept under wraps in Poland; the news was broken by a German media outlet. Even after the story broke, the Polish media played it down on Saturday, basing their reporting on the Der Spiegel report.

Germany is also considered one of Israel's best friends, including decades-long ties between the Mossad and the German foreign intelligence service. It may be assumed that if Brodsky is extradited to Germany it will be on suspicion of belonging to a foreign organization and not on the suspicions of which Dubai is accusing him. One can also assume that Germany would decline to extradite Brodsky to Dubai.

The fact that this is the first arrest of an Israeli suspected of being a Mossad agent involved in the Dubai assassination indicates that the matter refuses to fade away.

The Dubai hit may have been a success operationally, but it has severely damaged Israel diplomatically. Britain has expelled the Mossad representative in the Israeli embassy in London, followed by Australia's expulsion of the Mossad representative in Canberra. Ireland is also considering various actions, including expelling the IDF military attache.

The political damage to Israel comes as a series of actions – or lack of actions – indicate that the world is sick of Israel's deeds and sees Israel as a neighborhood bully that disregards and violates international norms. Israel's good friends, like Australia, Germany and France are finding it difficult to defend Israel and to justify their support of Israel to their publics.