Babylon & Beyond

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ISRAEL: Through the eyes of a spy: the latest fashion trend among the James Bond set

February 18, 2010 | 12:08 am
Who knew Tina Fey glasses had become the eyewear of choice for the espionage elite?

There are a lot of similarities between the apparently innocent Israelis whose identities were used in the high-intrigue assassination of a Hamas militant in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, last month.

They all have dual-citizenship in European countries and later moved to Israel. They have Western-sounding names, like Steve and John.

Perhaps the most striking thing is how nonstriking their faces are. The photos used on the 11 bogus passports (which were not of the identity-theft victims) are so ordinary and anonymous that just about everyone here took a second look to make sure it wasn’t a neighbor or coworker. Let’s face it: They’re a nerdy-looking bunch, the kind of people you wouldn’t want to be stuck talking to at the same wedding-banquet table.

But one feature, above all, is spurring interest: those slim, rectangular-framed glasses that, apparently, eight out of 11 international spies prefer.

Israeli cartoonists Thursday mocked the latest trend in the cloak-and-dagger set by suggesting there must have been a sale at the local optometry outlet.

An education writer for the newspaper Haaretz poked fun at his resemblance to one of the alleged assassins, running both pictures side by side.

At first blush, the bespectacled men do look similar. But then you realize it’s just an illusion and that other than the fact that both are bald, they really don’t look the same.

It’s those damn glasses.

(Sarah Palin could not be reached for comment.)

-- Edmund Sanders in Jerusalem

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