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Posted Monday, July 26, 2004

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The one who stopped this brushing under the carpet was [New Zealand] Prime Minister Helen Clark.

Israel, Monday, July 26, 2004

Kiwi caper is worst of many Mossad blunders

By Ze'ev Schiff

The Israelis pleaded guilty but denied
they were Mossad agents

agentsTHE Mossad has been entangled overseas in messy affairs over the years involving the use of foreign passports, but the current New Zealand debacle has taken on unusual proportions because the New Zealand police claim that local Jews are involved.

This being so, it's impossible not to regard this as a clumsy blunder that has caused needless damage, both to Israel and to the local Jewish community.

It will take time and serious damage control to eradicate the legacy of this latest bungled Mossad caper. Of all countries in the world that Israel could become locked in a diplomatic mess, New Zealand should have been one of the last. It has always been considered a friendly country -- but such a consideration means nothing to intelligence officers who have no diplomatic instincts and who operate without adequate supervision.

As a result of past mess-ups, the intelligence service adopted a rule of avoiding as much as possible the use of local Jews in operations being carried out by Israeli agents. George Tenet, the recently resigned CIA head, would periodically remind Israeli officials of botched Mossad operations. The main question is why such bungling keeps repeating itself.

All sorts of excuses will emerge to account for the Kiwi caper -- none of them should be accepted. This mess has happened in a period when the Mossad has been taking on assignments that in the past were carried out by the IDF intelligence branch.

In the internal wars of the intelligence community, the Mossad has abrogated an agreement known to these clandestine officials as the "Magna Carta" -- an agreement that spells out a division of labor between the Mossad, IDF intelligence and the Shin Bet security service.

Kelman againIsrael's Foreign Ministry was not informed about the shenanigans in New Zealand and was brought into the picture only after the Mossad turned to New Zealand intelligence people and asked for help to clean up the mess.

The one who stopped this brushing under the carpet was Prime Minister Helen Clark. She refused to let the debris be cleared out of sight and insisted the two suspects be prosecuted on relatively stiff charges. This attitude fanned local and then foreign media interest in the affair.

Israel has also had passport affairs in Britain and Canada. In Britain, due to a technical foulup, blank passports were lost. The British responded assertively, but also stifled unhelpful media publicity. The affair hobbled Mossad work in Britain for many years and Israelis were declared personae non grata and expelled from Britain.

In Canada, it was a case of forged passports. The incident was connected to the ill-fated and botched attempt to assassinate Hamas leader Khaled Meshal in Jordan, when Benjamin Netanyahu was prime minister. Relations with Canada were damaged and Israel had to apologize..


Ottawa investigating: Mossad has history of using counterfeit Canadian documents
May 19, 2004: BBC reports that Lebanon smashes Mossad assassination ring
May 13, 2004: The 1979 Mossad Assassination attempt on Ambassador John Dean: Dean papers with full taste of Mossad's evil opened at Jimmy Carter's Presidential Library
2002: Fury at Mossad's continued use of Canadian Passports in Murder Operation | Sept 6, 1999: Probe of Mossad's use of Canadian ID halted | 1998: Israeli secret service still using Canadian passports
May 1, 2004: Crown Prince Abdullah says Zionists behind Terror attacks in Saudi Arabia
A history of Mossad's overseas bungling

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