Peace talks no laughing matter for Mossad man

IT was only when his children told him that Yossi Alpher discovered he had been duped by Sacha Baron Cohen.

The Israeli and his Palestinian friend, Ghassan Khatib, thought they were being interviewed by gay Austrian journalist Brüno — but it was actually Baron Cohen, in character, filming the 2009 movie Brüno.

“Once we began, we quickly sensed something was amiss, so we played it with a sense of humour,” writer and author Yossi told me from his home in Ramat HaSharon.

“I related what happened to my kids and they showed me who Brüno was.

“The clip was part of the film, but it was harmless, so unlike many of the interviews Sacha Baron Cohen does, there was no harm done.

“We were actually also able to use it to publicise Bitter Lemons, the Israeli-Palestinian online dialogue Ghassan and myself founded.”

The 79-year-old chuckles, but we move on to talk about more serious matters.

For the former Mossad operative is thinking back 20 years, to when a Hamas terrorist, Abd al-Basset Oudeh, struck at a Netanya hotel.

The attack — during a Pesach seder hosted by the Park Hotel on March 27, 2002 — killed 30 Israelis, injured 40 and was the deadliest Palestinian terrorist atrocity of the Second Intifada.

To read more on this story, subscribe to our new e-edition. Go to

If you have a story or an issue you want us to cover, let us know - in complete confidence - by contacting, 0161-741 2631 or via Facebook / Twitter

© 2022 Jewish Telegraph