The former bodyguard of Tunisian ex-dictator Ben Ali has written scandalously on Facebook that the overthrown president and his mafia don of a wife Leila Trabelsi were supporters of Israel, but much more than that the latter was an agent of the Mossad and played a role in the assassination of PLO officials residing in Tunisia.
Such accusations have naturally raised eyebrows, but how credible are they? Pure bullshit. The first assertion that Ben Ali and Leila are pro-Israel is plausible, but not much of an assertion. Ben Ali was not hostile to Israel but nor did he establish official relations. Tunisia supports a two-state solution, thus Israel’s right to exist, but that hardly makes one a Zionist. Ben Ali did allow for Israeli Jews of Tunisian heritage to visit the nation with their Israeli passports, but this was more a cynical gambit designed to cater to Washington (Arab leaders believe, not without cause, that tilting toward Israel in any way will increase their leverage on Capital Hill) and not due to some love affair with Israel. Ben Ali and Leila probably never even thought of Israel, let alone being fans. So the first part is really stretching the reality.
The second – that Leila was a Mossad agent – is an utter fabrication. The PLO was in exile in Tunisia from 1982 (after being forced out of Lebanon) until the Oslo peace process when Israel allowed for most of them to go the occupied West Bank and Gaza in the form of the Palestinian Authority. During the Tunisian years, several PLO officials and leaders were assassination by Israeli agents directly or through letter bombs, i.e. terrorism which is many cases killed innocent Tunisians (including in one letter bomb addressed to a PLO official which killed Tunisian postal workers). In some cases, Israeli agents were able to recruit unscrupulous Tunisians to aid their effort. But these had to be Tunisians with standing. There is one ex-minister who now resides in Germany who offered assistance to Israelis. But it is absurd to say that Leila could have ever played a role. Leila did not marry Ben Ali until the 1990s and did not become a powerful force until years later. In the 1980s, she was still a tired hair dresser who was simply a mistress without any power or pull, and Ben Ali did not become president until the late 1980s. By the time when Leila could have offered services to the Israelis the PLO had already left and was now a negotiating partner with Israel.
So the timeline negates the silly accusation, which, incidentally, only serves Israeli propaganda by portraying a highly-skilled Mossad (which is actually a buffoonish organization) with eyes everywhere. For shame that an Arab would aid Israel’s PR crap.
Nothing to see here.