By Jenni Frazer
January 5, 2011
This story is so delicious that it bears re-telling: the fact that the Saudis have arrested a vulture, because it came from Israel.
That's right, an actual vulture, not a cyber-bird, but a real, live (well, it was when it left Israel) predator and scavenger, fitted with a tag saying "Tel Aviv University", which quite obviously means the thing is secretly a Mossad spy.
Our avian friend, say the Israelis, was part of a migration project - for birds, presumably, rather than anyone who was vaguely toying with the idea of moving to Saudi - but the Saudi authorities thought differently and bagged the beaked one.
What intrigues me is how they broke it to the vulture that it was in enemy territory. And given that vultures are more likely to be administering the odd bit of torture rather than receiving it, what did the Saudis do next? Interrogate the bird? Waterboard it?
Really, in the long history of daft stories about the Middle East, I gave the Saudis more credit for sense. Get a grip, someone.