I would start this post with a few disclaimers. First of all, re Mr Mugabe. This bloody dictator gets the same amount of sympathy on this blog as any other of his ilk - or any other of his friends, dead or living. Like Hugo Chaves, Mahmud Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong Il etc. By and large, any citizen, company or country entering commercial or other deals with the said Bob M., is adding an indelible and smelly stain to his/her/its reputation.
On the other hand, the mere idea of Mugabe as a sympathizer of Israel is so mind-bogglingly stupid that a brief glance at these two articles would reassure even the most bent mind of an average Israel-hater. Yes, dear, Bob M. is with you. Like for ever and ever.
On yet the other hand (three hands already, but that is enough for now), credit where credit is due. The so called Jewish Daily, Forward, doesn't require additional stains on its reputation as a staunch "critic" of the Zionist Entity. Publishing anti-Israeli material is a matter of routine for this media outlet, and not being too choosy in what they publish, the quality of the material is sometimes outstandingly atrocious. As in the story about NIP - Nikuv International Projects Ltd, penned by one Dave Goldiner and titled Robert Mugabe's Made-in-Israel 'Landslide'.
To summarize the article briefly: Bob Mugabe won the elections handily, rigging them from A to Z. Since Zimbabwe's ruling class used Israeli (and "shadowy" - read "Mossad") company to provide various election services - from preparation of voters' rolls to computing the results, and moreover, its CEO and second in command jetted to Zambia for a 90 minute pow-wow with Bob, it means that NIP (aka Mossad) rigged election in favor of Mugabe. Case closed.
I will not bother with both presumption of innocence and total lack of any tangible proof in Dave Goldiner's article. First - because I don't like NIP very much, for reasons specified in the beginning of the article. Second - because for anti-Israeli cohorts, lack of proof has never been a sufficient show-stopper, sorry to say. So I have to choose another angle. Thankfully, my personal experience in development and use of computer software for data processing (I hope 35 or so years will be considered sufficient), does equip me with enough computer savvy to interpret the story.
First of all, some commonplace wisdom. Computerization of a process by itself doesn't change its nature or its inherent faults. "Computerizing a bordello will result in a computerized bordello", as one of my mentors used to say. If you add to that the good old "garbage in - garbage out" saying, which means in short that the results of a computing system process are as good as the data provided, this will be enough computer knowledge for now.
Nikuv** International Projects Ltd, according to its site (linked above), provides the following range of software/hardware services:
- Voter Registration.
- Provinces and Ward demarcation.
- Creation and printing of voters roll by polling stations.
- Generation of supplementary voters roll after update of inspection data.
- Issuance of Voters’ Cards.
- Election Results.
- Election Central Information Center.
However, no service provider could do anything with intentional tampering of the input: entering fake lists of voters, not entering potential voters of opposition, limiting access to polling stations to some slices of population, destroying (or ignoring) the ballots of opposition and myriad other ways of rigging an election, all of which are without doubt known to Mr Mugabe and his henchmen only too well.
A typical example of "blame the Jews" statement appears in another Forward article on the subject - repeating material from a local newspaper:
The paper said Nikuv was a key player in Mugabe’s successful plan to win reeelection by stuffing ballot boxes, creating thousands of phony voter IDs and even creating polling places known only to supporters of his ZANU-PF party.Stuffing ballot boxes, creating thousands of phony IDs and creating secret polling places are exactly the kind of actions that no computer project company is able to perform. But people who use and feed the computers by fake information, connect the networks to the equipment provided by such company and monkey with the ballots are perfectly able to.
In short: Nikuv-NIP has been stained enough by being too greedy and ready to serve the dastardly regime. There is no need to invent additional blame and sinister motives. As for NIP getting ahead in this "operation", as the author predicted:
And that’s why Nikuv’s bosses will likely be flying back to Tel Aviv with a lucrative new contract in their pocket — signed, sealed and delivered.Nice prediction, but no cigar:
An Israeli company accused of helping rig Robert Mugabe’s reelection as Zimbabwe president reportedly hastily shut down its office in the capital of Harare as controversy swirls around its role in the tainted poll.Another argument I heard about this story is that it appears in many sources, so it must be true. Yes, it appears in many sources: repeated word for word in most cases, all of the accusations as unsupported as in the Forward articles linked at the beginning of this post. Does it strengthen the story? I doubt it, just the opposite: inability of these sources to add anything tangible and endless repeats only harm the "case".
Of course, the well known (in certain circles) Richard Silverstein, aka DoucheBlogger (TM Dave), had some piquant details to add to the same mix of confused non-proofs. Such as, for instance:
...my confidential Israeli source has confirmed that Nikuv is closely tied to Israel’s security interests. Not just that its personnel were former Mossad agents, but that the company continues to pursue the interests of the Mossad in its ventures and consulting work.One needs to be familiar with the DoucheBlogger's style to know that whenever the "confidential Israeli source" comes up, it means that DoucheBlogger's feet have already left the ground... and what can one say about this pearl:
While the picture presents a perfectly regular Israeli passport, one would ask for reasons of alleged cloning (without changing the name on the document)... oh well, there is no accounting for idiots.
And this is the way it rolls...
Afterword: Upon finishing the above, another curious link, about Mossad/Nikuv rigging the 2008 elections, came up. It has a smasher:
Next, opposition suspicions were heightened by the fact that the PDF conversion software also belonged to an Israeli IT company, Cogniview PL. Speaking in Harare on Thursday, Tendai Biti, Movement for Democratic Change’s secretary general, told journalists that Cogniview provided Mugabe with technical support to rig the elections.Indeed. Convert your PDF to elect Mugabe. Unbelievable, but true...
(*) Paskudnyak. As you can see, it is hard to define, but it's definitely something smallish. Like a roach.
(**) Nikuv, in its first incarnation, started as a humble data entry company, quite active in providing data entry (typists in simple language) services to various private and public organizations during the mass computerization drive in the seventies. Its name - Nikuv (ניקוב) means "perforate", from the original punch cards. The company has gradually branched out into other lines of business, such as accounting and other financial software for businesses, election solutions for various political and governmental projects etc. Nikuv has done a few internal elections of different kinds in Israel. As far as I know, its situation now is not so good. "Shadowy"? Begging your pardon, but spare the violins, please.