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Brussels Terror Attack and Mossad Connection

tzipi livni mossad spy

Tzipi Livini was once a Mossad spy in Europe

Yesterday, I broke the story that the Rivas, an Israeli couple murdered in the Brussels Jewish museum terror attack, worked for agencies with connections to Israeli intelligence.  Miriam worked for the Mossad and Emanuel for Nativ, a unit that encourages aliyah from Eastern European countries (including Russia).  Thanks to reader Bluebird, who discovered that the Israeli embassy website in Germany lists Miriam Riva as an “attache” who worked there since 2007.  My Israeli source informed me that they were both accountants.

Though I don’t know how diplomatic postings and cover works, I do wonder why an accountant would be classified as an attache.  Admittedly, you’d want to protect anyone working for the Mossad by giving them some sort of diplomatic protection.  So it might be a pro forma status.  Or it could mean that her job as an accountant was yet another form of “cover.”

If we parse the thinking of whoever targeted the Rivas (presuming they were targeted, which isn’t certain), they might’ve noted their listing on the website and also discovered Miriam worked for the Mossad.  From there, she would become a potentially high-value target.  They needn’t even have known she was only an accountant and not an agent.  Or alternatively, merely listing her name on the website as an Israeli diplomat could’ve made her a target for an enemy who wasn’t interested in distinguishing between Israel miltiary-intelligence and purely diplomatic status.

Amir Oren has also written an interesting column (Hebrew and English) in Haaretz discussing possible motives for the attack.  He speculates that the killing of the Rivas could’ve been merely coincidental (wrong place, wrong time).  He notes that Brussels is a center of European intrigue, filled with diplomats and politicians along with a major intelligence presence.  At the same time, it is an “Arab-European” city filled with poor Arab residents who might serve as a refuge or operational base for terrorists. He also declares that based on the video footage and other factors the attack appears to have been a “professional” job rather than a disgruntled lone gunman.

His final suggestive theory is that like the Mossad assassination in Lillehammer, which was based on misidentification of the victim with the leader of Black September, the killing of the Rivas may’ve been based on such a faulty judgment.  Either the killers mistook them for high-value diplomatic or intelligence targets (for example, Ephraim Halevy had a Brussels posting before he became Mossad chief and Tzipi Livni served in Europe as a Mossad agent), or they believed after discovering she worked for the Mossad, that she was an agent.

Finally, if it turns out that the the Rivas were targeted because someone believed they were Israeli government officials or even Mossad agents, no matter how heinous such murder is (and it is), in a sense Israel has only itself to blame.  It is the country that sends its Kidon assassins around the world to murder Israel’s purported enemies, whether they be Hamas operatives like Mahmoud al-Mabouh, Hezbollah leaders like Imad Mugniyeh or Iranian nuclear scientists.  In that sense, these killings might be “blowback” from these earlier Israeli operations.  I have written this here many times before: Israel can’t expect that it will project force so far outside its borders, killing with relative impunity, and no one will take notice and attempt to return the favor.  We no longer live in a time when Israeli power reigns supreme and it acts whenever and wherever it wishes.

Contrary to what some pro-Israel readers might say, this is not a justification for terror.  It is a recognition that some in the Middle East believe in the principle of blood for blood (Israel certainly does).  If one side sheds blood, then the other will do the same.  This is a principle that, unfortunately, seems programmed into the region’s DNA.  It will only stop when Israel drops the idea that it can get what it wants without paying a price; when Israel understands that it must reach a peace agreement with its neighbors and that to do so it will have to give up things that it may hold sacred (as will the other side).

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{ 41 comments… add one }
  • Noname May 26, 2014, 5:34 PM

    U said : “the Israeli embassy website in Germany lists Miriam Riva”

    But : “www.israel-entdecken.de” is not the “Israeli embassy website”.

    ;p

    • Richard Silverstein May 27, 2014, 12:55 AM

      @ Noname: Instead of smirking triumphantly at the error, could you actually provide some useful information about what the website is for those who want to know what you know?

    • Felix May 27, 2014, 2:46 PM

      That did not take long to purge the site. Just a few hours ago it was clearly identified as part of the Israeli Embassy to promote tourism.

      However, when reading the legal identifiers, it comes out as under the jurisdiction of the Israeli Embassy:

      c) Texte und Bilder Ministry of Tourism Israel, Botschaft des Staates Israel und Wikipedia sowie Saniexpress Israelreisen 2012 / The Israel Company

      Text and photos under the copyright of the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, the Israeli Embassy, Wikipedia including Saniexpress Israelitravel 2012/The Israeli Company.

      When looking for the domain ownership, no names or contacts are given, but only a company in Schweinfurt called Sani Consult. The commercial register of Schweinfurt does not show such a company.

      Whatever…..the site is run by the Israeli Embassy.

      • Shraga Elam May 27, 2014, 10:29 PM

        The site is obviously not run by the Israeli embassy. It belongs to a company called “Saniexpress Israelreisen” which is a travel agency with destinations only in Israel. Just the same the information on the site in this case is official: a list of employees of the Israeli embassy in Germany.

        • Oui May 28, 2014, 12:04 AM

          Saniexpress Israelreisen Reisevermittlung ist ein vom Tourismus Ministerium in Jerusalem zertifiziertes Fachreisebüro für Israel Reisen. Online, 24 Stunden täglich und 365 Tage im Jahr werden die Gäste ausschließlich über die Internetplattform beraten und betreut. Kundenfreundlichkeit, attraktive Preise und Service stehen für den Erfolg und Wachstum des Unternehmens. Der Geschäftsführer des Unternehmens Richard Krauß ist Hotelbetriebswirt.

          The new website/twitter account – The Israel Company.

          • Richard Silverstein May 28, 2014, 12:59 AM

            @ Oui: That sounds pretty official to me. So not an embassy website, but a Ministry of Tourism website. Note also there is a Ministry logo on the site’s main page. Thanks for clearing up yet another mystery Kim couldn’t parse correctly.

          • Shraga Elam May 28, 2014, 3:14 AM

            This isn’t an official website, but of a company authorized by the Israeli ministry of Tourism. Just the same the information seems to be official.

  • Oui May 26, 2014, 5:50 PM

    Leaders of the Jewish community in Germany had expressed alarm over the reports that Nativ, formed in the 1950s as an intelligence agency to build contacts with Jewish activists in the Soviet Union, planned to persuade Jews to leave Germany. The Nativ project called Operation Germany is Avigdor Lieberman’s initiative, from link of The Guardian and Haaretz. Visiting the Jewish Museum in Brussels could have been part of their job as Nativ representatives.

    As Nativ is focused on Russian Jews, the possible link to Ukraine and the division between Jewish oligarchs should not be overlooked. However, first of all it needs to be established the Israeli couple were indeed the intended target of the shooting which was performed in a professional manner.

    “Emmanuel and Miriam Riva, who lived in Tel Aviv and raised two teen girls, returned to Israel two years ago from a four-year stint in Berlin, where Emmanuel was vice-consul, Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot reported.”

    Even if it was a targeted assassination, a mistaken identity could always play a role. From bluebird’s link, in the Israeli embassy were stationed Eyal and Miriam Ben Zion, militay attaché and former Commanding Officer Dolphin submarine in Navy. He is also listed as an author about Unmanned Vehicles (UV) and taking part in German DWT forums. The UV is a hot topic in Europe and a recent decision by Airbus consortium to build Zephyr 8 UAVs.

    Still too few facts and too much speculation.

  • Father DeWalt May 26, 2014, 9:13 PM

    ‘ My Israeli source informed me that they were both accountants.’

    Than why not accept his information and move on?
    Your ‘source’ is reliable, no?

  • DavidL May 26, 2014, 10:02 PM

    Please follow your own comment rules.

    You’ve now posted two speculative and unproven posts about a couple tragically murdered in cold blood. What are you trying to imply, why are you dishonoring their death by trying show their connection to where-ever they worked? As you yourself said:

    “I have a sacrosanct comment rule. When people die, you respect the dead. If you can’t do that then you won’t comment here.”

    You dishonor their death by making sensational unsubstantiated and frankly irrelevant headlines to the fact that they were murdered in cold blood. Whatever the reason will not bring any comfort to their two orphaned daughters.

    PLEASE respect the death of this poor couple and their grieving two children and save your speculations for your own bathroom reading until a responsible journalist presents some substantial news.

    • Richard Silverstein May 27, 2014, 12:45 AM

      @ DavidL: First, don’t tell me how to write my own blog. Second, the Mossad connection to the Brussels story is only “speculative” to those who don’t know who my source is; &/or don’t trust my source. But those who’ve read & appreciated the scores of breaking stories & scoops he’s offered here don’t share your claim on the authenticity or accuracy of the story. Not to mention that Amir Oren (as you’d know if you’d read his article) has all but said that Riva worked for Mossad. Third, my writing on this has been quite careful about what I know and don’t know. I’ve never made a claim I wasn’t sure of. Fourth, I’m in no way dishonoring the dead as you falsely claim. I’m reporting the news as a journalist does. I’ve clearly said that their murder was unjustified.

      save your speculations for your own bathroom reading until a responsible journalist presents some substantial news.

      You know you’ve just about ticked me off for the last time. In fact, I can’t understand why you’d waste your time visiting this blog & commenting here if you considered it “bathroom reading & journalism that isn’t “responsible.” I’m going to do you a favor since you think so poorly of this blog. Since you can’t seem to dissociate yourself from it, I’m going to help you along by banning you (you were moderated quite some time ago). Since you’ve commented here for a long time I’m going to allow you to request being reinstated. But that will only happen if you can commit to lose the snark. Even if you do make such a request and commitment, I will have a very short fuse for any future snark like this.

      • Nonsense May 27, 2014, 4:06 PM

        “Second, the Mossad connection to the Brussels story is only “speculative” to those who don’t know who my source is”

        I’m confused, didn’t your source stated that: ” My Israeli source informed me that they were both accountants.” ?
        So now they are accountants working for the mossad ? Or was the accountants just part of their cover story ?
        Is your Israeli source misleading you?

  • Oui May 27, 2014, 4:04 AM

    Brussels is a center of European intrigue, filled with diplomats and politicians along with a major intelligence presence. At the same time, it is an “Arab-European” city filled with poor Arab residents who might serve as a refuge or operational base for terrorists.

    All true, on the other hand there were no violent attacks on the Jewish community in the last three decades in Belgium. There are Al Qaeda linked cells as was seen with the assassination of Ahmad Shah Massoud in Afghanistan, the Lion of Pansjhir, on the eve of the 9/11 attacks.

    There is an active Muslim community and an extremist group which manifests itself in the media called Sharia4Belgium, it’s a front for more violent militant activity.

    In the past, the Israeli Mossad assassinated Gerald Bull in Brussels.

  • Kim May 27, 2014, 11:10 AM

    OK, richard the German page you have linked to is a tourism themed homepage. It’s rather obvious that this can’t be the Israeli Embassy homepage because those URLs end in “gov.il”. for an Israeli governmental body.

    He also declares that based on the video footage and other factors the attack appears to have been a “professional” job rather than a disgruntled lone gunman.
    thereby directly contradicting the Belgian police which said that the perpetuator acted alone. [http://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2014/05/25/belgische-justitie-dader-brussel-handelde-alleen/]

    In your previous post you said that Eric Fux couldn’t know in which order the victims were shot. He of course had the very realistic chance to know it because it was covered in the media. [http://www.demorgen.be/dm/nl/989/Binnenland/article/detail/1898663/2014/05/26/Is-moordenaar-Joods-Museum-een-copycat-van-terrorist-Mohammed-Merah.dhtml]
    The israelis wre shot first and then the other two after the perpetuator moved in the room to the right where the non-Israeli victims were located and then shot the two.

    Yesterday, I broke the story that the Rivas
    So the Belgian media which also covered these rumours yesterday at 16.50 local time [http://www.demorgen.be/dm/nl/30966/Schietpartij-aan-Joods-Museum-in-Brussel/article/detail/1899346/2014/05/26/Federaal-parket-gaat-uit-van-terreuraanslag.dhtml] got the information from your blog? Given the time difference Seattle (that is where you’re located, right?) and Belgium you must have posted it at least a couple fo minutes before 16.50 Belgian time or 7.50 seattle time. By 7.50am Seattle time I am only referring to the time frame that’s required for the De Morgen journalsit to read your piece. However De Morgen stated in the linked article that other Belgian media had covered it before them. Which means that you must have been evern earlier than 7.50am Seattle time for other Belgian newsoutlets to read it before reporting it.
    Honest question: when did you publish yesterday’s blog post? Was it really before the Belgians covered it?

    Both your blog posts appear to be more guess work and you completely ignored the information released by Belgian authorities or you simply didn’t care about information provided by the authorities. You may not have the chance to understand the news released by te police because it’s in Dutch & French but if you can’t follow local media and/or news releases by the authorities you could be ill-equipped to cover the events.
    But this rings especially true for someone like you who has criticised people more than once for their choice of Englsih words (see under your last post about the Brussels shooting the debate about “clueless” and speechless”). If you take such an issue with someone using a wrong word once and then pondering whether he hasn’t learned English (properly) you really should refrain from covering matters where you’d need a language you don’t speak.

    Yes, I am the person who published the blog post at Israelly Cool (I assume you don’t wish to have the URL here) about your coverage about the events which excluded any information provided by the police. I find it astonishing that you have such a chutzpah to feel competent about covering events and not once wondering what the local police was saying.

    • Richard Silverstein May 27, 2014, 12:25 PM

      @ Kim: I don’t know what the site is, but it contains entirely accurate information about the staffing of Israel’s Berlin embassy with names, jobs and date of arrival. I’ve never read a “tourist site” that contained a full listing of the Israeli diplomatic corps in Berlin. So I’m relatively certain your claim is wrong. But it hardly matters whether it’s a government site or a site devoted to mahjong. It’s got the goods.

      As to when and who reported the story first, I think you’ve completely misunderstood my claim. I wasn’t the first to report the attack. But I was the first to explicitly report that Miriam Riva worked for Mossad and her husband worked for Nativ, another agency with close intelligence connections. As for what time of day we each published, I have absolutely no interest in counting minutes & it’s irrelevant.

      you could be ill-equipped to cover the events.

      And you could be ill-equpped to render a fair judgment on my reporting. I report what I know based on my source and Israeli media. What I don’t know I either don’t report or report carefully specifying that it’s speculation.

      you really should refrain from covering matters

      I need your critique of my journalistic choices like I need a hole in the head. One of my comment rules is to stick closely to issues and substance. My choices of subject or what or how I should report are mine alone. You may comment on the ideas I’ve raised and argue based on politics or other related subjects. Your comment should be based on facts, not on opinion. Don’t give me advice. I don’t need any.

      As for critiquing commenters use of the English language, I’m usually pretty loose about that. Many times those I agree or disagree with, make errors and it’s not necessary to point it out, so I don’t. But when someone is deliberately needling, supercilious or just plain nasty and seeks to point out my alleged errors, then they’ll get exactly what they’ve given. The problem is you don’t like my politics, so when I point out errors of those you agree with, it bothers you. Too bad.

      I myself make errors of various sorts which are pointed out to me by readers. I accept corrections graciously (unless they’re offered with a virtual slap in the face).

      I was so pleased to read JLP, a Belgian national, and his appreciation of my reporting. You might want to take a hint from him and lose the negative attitude, though it’s your choice.

      • Kim May 27, 2014, 2:47 PM

        So I’m relatively certain your claim is wrong.
        I’ve never seen an embassy homepage that had tickets for a flight to Tel Aviv on offer (top right corner) and had tag clouds with tags like “car hire” or “budget flights to Israel”.
        But maybe mebassies representing other countries could have those kind of tags.

        How good is your German that you can figure out my claim is wrong?

        But it hardly matters whether it’s a government site or a site devoted to mahjong. It’s got the goods
        true. But the claim matters once you describe it as something that it isn’t.

        I wasn’t the first to report the attack.
        no, I was NOT claiming that.

        But I was the first to explicitly report that Miriam Riva worked for Mossad and her husband worked for Nativ, another agency with close intelligence connections.
        Quatation from the article I linked:

        Israëlische inlichtingendienst?
        Een aantal Israëlische en Belgische media melden intussen dat het koppel Israëlische toeristen dat het leven verloor bij de aanslag, voor de Israëlische inlichtingendiensten zou gewerkt hebben, en zien daarin een mogelijk motief voor de aanslag.

        the claim of invovlement with government agencies is right in the last paragraph (as quoted above).

        I have absolutely no interest in counting minutes & it’s irrelevant.
        it’s more like counting hours.

        And you could be ill-equpped to render a fair judgment on my reporting.
        but then I can at least compare it to Belgian & Dutch reporting on the matter given that I both understand English & Dutch.

        Your comment should be based on facts, not on opinion.
        it is. Fact 1: You didn’t bother checking the news (eg statements from authorities) on this issue.

        I was so pleased to read JLP, a Belgian national, and his appreciation of my reporting.
        he was agreeing with your sentiment (he explicitly said so in the comment you linked) and he did NOT affirm that you got the facts about the order of the shooting right or with the fact that you compeltely disregarded any news released by authorities.
        You might want to take a hint from him and lose the negative attitude, though it’s your choice.
        I don’t have a negative attitude, I disagree with your opinion and take issue over your reporting on this matter. And you don’t like it. Too bad.

        The problem is you don’t like my politics, so when I point out errors of those you agree with, it bothers you. Too bad.
        I disagree with your opinion. So what?
        What bothers me is that you start splitting hairs over an Englsih word but then you yourself fail to undestand that in an article there’s an entire paragraph about how Belgian media had already covered the couples’ employment with Israeli authorities and then you claim that I had said that you were the first person breaking the story. I didn’t.

        are you gonna delight your readers with some breaking news about the arrested suspect? – I’m NOT claiming that you’ll break the news about the arrest because that has already happened. People are just looking for more details as authorities didn’t give any details so far. Preferrably before it is released by others.

        • Richard Silverstein May 27, 2014, 7:37 PM

          @ Kim:

          But the claim matters once you describe it as something that it isn’t.

          No it doesn’t. The only thing important about the site is that it listed accurately the Rivas jobs, position & date of employment. Whether the site was the embassy or the local casino hardly mattered at all as long as the information was correct, which it was.

          the claim of invovlement with government agencies

          There are thousands of Israeli govt agencies. There is only one Mossad. I was the first to identify her specific employer. You will have to acknowledge your error in your next comment or I will moderate you.

          I don’t have a negative attitude

          You certainly do. YOu have a chip on your shoulder as large as a boulder. Lose it pronto.

    • Oui May 27, 2014, 2:46 PM

      Who are you kidding? The content in the nrc article does not provide substance to the titel: “Perpetrator acted alone.”

      “De Belgische autoriteiten vermoeden dat één verdachte achter de aanval bij het Joods Museum in Brussel zat. Dat meldt persbureau AP.”

      In such an early stage, there are no facts and no evidence about the shooter and whether he acted alone or not. Early reports stated the shooter arrived in an Audi and was dropped off with two bags, implying someone had driven him to the Jewish Museum and parked in a zone prohibited for cars to stop. Later reports stated the shooter left on foot.

      The nrc in English:
      “The Belgian authorities presume that one suspect was behind the attack at the Jewish Museum in Brussels. As reported by Associated Press.”

      No one can give information or even speculate whether it was a lone wolf operation, a professional hit, an assassination or a terror attack. It took the Belgian authorities more than one day to hand over the police investigation to federal authorities and now consider the killings a terror attack.

      As to media coverage, when is a breaking news article an accurate source? Your De Morgen article is pure speculation the Brussels shooting was a copy-cat of French terror shooting by Mohammed Merah. Another contradiction in the media as Merah did not act alone but had an accomplish, a different motivation as in the first two attacks he killed four French paratroopers.

      For the most part your comment is a farce as you lack comprehensive reading ability of the article by Richard Silverstein.

      • Kim May 27, 2014, 3:02 PM

        The content in the nrc article does not provide substance to the titel: “Perpetrator acted alone.”
        it only refers that the content is derived from information by authorities. Whether authorities elaborate on this or not or whether the article goes into more details is not relevant as I’ve only claimed that the police had claimed (as mentioned in the article/its headlines) that the perpetator was acted alone. This is in dire contrast to what both Silvertein and the Ha’aretz columnist claimed.

        In such an early stage, there are no facts and no evidence about the shooter and whether he acted alone or not.
        and you know how much or little evidence the police had when making such a statement?

        In such an early stage, there are no facts and no evidence about the shooter and whether he acted alone or not. Early reports stated the shooter arrived in an Audi and was dropped off with two bags, implying someone had driven him to the Jewish Museum and parked in a zone prohibited for cars to stop. Later reports stated the shooter left on foot.
        yes.

        No one can give information or even speculate whether it was a lone wolf operation, a professional hit, an assassination or a terror attack
        yes, this is exactly what the police is doing but they additionally try to find evidence for their specualtions. But it’s evident that the police made speculations.

        It took the Belgian authorities more than one day to hand over the police investigation to federal authorities and now consider the killings a terror attack.
        the local police possibly speculated about motivs, examined the first evidence and then handed it over to federal authorities. As I don’t know what they’ve been doing or had to do during the first day I can’t tell you whether or not the time used as appropriate.

        For the most part your comment is a farce as you lack comprehensive reading ability of the article by Richard Silverstein.
        But you do agree with me then said Silverstein got it wrong in his comment when he claimed that no one knew the order in which the victims were shot?

        My comment broken down:
        authorities said that it was a single guman. Silverstein specualted it was more than one person.
        my critique: you didn’t consider statements made by authorities.
        true or false?

        Other calim: Silverstein was wrong that he broke the story that the two israeli victims wre employed by governmental organisation.
        My critique: it was mentioned in other press articles earlier.
        true or false?

        claim: the linked homepage is the embassy homepage.
        My critique: it isn’t the embassy homepage.
        true or false?

        • Richard Silverstein May 27, 2014, 7:29 PM

          @ Kim:

          the perpetator was acted alone.

          No newspaper could or should speculate on whether the shooter acted alone or not. Belgian authorities do not know enough about the attack to say this with any certainty. My guess is that he did not act alone and that this was a planned attack with a professional support network. But it’s too early to say this with any certainty.

          you know how much or little evidence the police had when making such a statement?

          Because I’ve been writing on this subject & covering ME terror attacks for ten years and because responsible, knowledgeable journalists have, based on their sources, contradicted the Belgian police. This is the same police force that couldn’t apprehend a child porn ring that preyed on Belgian children for years. Pardon me, but I’ll reserve judgment on whether the local police can handle this attack competently.

          Silverstein was wrong that he broke the story that the two israeli victims wre employed by governmental organisation.

          Now, you’ve gone beyond being annoying to arguing in bad faith, which is a comment rule violation. I did not say they worked for a governmental organization. I said one worked for the Mossad. That is far different and NO media outlet anywhere in the world reported this whether in Belgium or elsewhere until after I did.

          If you write another comment using the tone or approach of this one you will be moderated. ALso, I’m invoking the 3 comment a day rule for you. No more than this number is any 24 hour period. And make your comments short and to the point.

          Consider this is a first warning.

          • Oui May 28, 2014, 1:20 PM

            All options are open in joint Belgian-Israeli investigation of killings.

            Analysis: Hezbollah or al-Qaida behind Brussels terror attack?

            But for Belgian experts the crime is more reminiscent of what happened 25 years ago to Dr. Joseph Wybran. On October 3, 1989, Wybran, a Belgian immunologist and recently elected chairman of the Belgium Jewish Coordination Committee (C.C.O.J.B.), was shot to death in the parking lot of the Erasmus Hospital of the Free University of Brussels, where he worked. At the time, an obscure Beirut-based organization, called Soldiers of the Right, claimed responsibility for the murder, but in 2008, a Moroccan-Belgian terrorist named Abdelkadder Belliraj purportedly confessed to it and a number of other political killings.

    • Oui May 27, 2014, 2:46 PM

      One of the earliest reports …

      Fusillade au Musée Juif à Bruxelles: le suspect arrêté passe sous le statut de témoin

      The evidence about the shooting sequence became available when cctv images were released.

    • Felix May 27, 2014, 2:57 PM

      No Kim, it is not. The site has been purged today and no longer identifies itself as associated with the
      embassy. Just a few hours ago it listed all diplomats and an attaché or two. The site proudly stated it was an official arm of the Embassy. Now that is hidden and implied only in the legalese of the site.

      That it uses a .de instead of .ir means nothing. It’s purpose, after all, is to promote tourism to Israel from Germany.

      • Kim May 27, 2014, 3:06 PM

        @felix

        That it uses a .de instead of .ir means nothing
        Israaeli homepages certainly don’t use .ir.

        no longer identifies itself as associated with the
        embassy.

        so it’s NOT the embassy homepage, right?

        The site proudly stated it was an official arm of the Embassy. Now that is hidden and implied only in the legalese of the site.
        if it no longer identifies with the embassy why should that be implied?

      • Oui May 27, 2014, 3:29 PM
        • Nonsense May 27, 2014, 3:47 PM

          You are splitting hairs
          may i refer you to the definition of the word attaché in wiki:
          In diplomacy, an attaché is a person who is assigned (‘attached’) to the diplomatic or administrative staff of a higher placed person or another service or agency. Depending on custom, attaché may be modified to correspond to the gender (i.e., attachée).
          An attaché is normally an official, under the authority of an ambassador or other head of a diplomatic mission, who serves either as a diplomat or as a member of the support staff

          • Richard Silverstein May 27, 2014, 7:05 PM

            @ Nonsense: In this case, they were not support staff. They had formal diplomatic designation.

            As usual, you are confused. I did not say they both worked for Mossad. One worked for Mossad, one worked for Nativ. Both their professions were as accountants. I have asked my source whether their profession was a cover or whether this is what they were doing in Berlin. He would not go any farther than stating what he’d already said.

          • Nonsense May 28, 2014, 2:42 PM

            “In this case, they were not support staff. They had formal diplomatic designation.”

            Oh, then i’m sure you would be able to tell us what that designation was, wouldn’t you ?

            Just FYI from looking at the website Felix linked to, the attache was Miriam, her husband didn’t fulfill any formal capacity within the Embassy.

          • Oui May 28, 2014, 3:54 PM

            @Nonsense
            Israëli media state Emmanuel Ravi was vice-consul in Berlin. But What’s In A Name?

      • Nonsense May 27, 2014, 3:43 PM

        ” The site has been purged today”

        That’s the reason google invented google cached.
        When you google the name of the site aka http://www.israel-entdecken.de you can select to view the cached stored google page. which reflects the site situation in the previous week.
        Archive.org lets you select a date. the site was saved (cached) 132 times between 2006, to Feb 20 of this year. if you’ll bring up feb 20th, it looks exactly as it looks today.

        Your claim that the site was purges is nor true.

        The URL for the Embassy site is : http://embassies.gov.il/berlin/Pages/default.aspx

        • Felix May 30, 2014, 2:29 PM

          Better than “purged” would have been to state that the URL http://www.israel-entdecken.de was changed, or “updated.” It no longer clearly identified itself as associated with the Israeli Botschaft as it did earlier, and all the names of Embassy officials were no longer on the start page.

          It is now presenting itself as a sort of official travel organizer for the state of Israel.

          And today this page now states “Alles hat seine Zeit, so steht es schon im Buch der Bücher. Für uns war es an der Zeit, dem Thema Israel eine neue Platform und ein neues outfit zu verpassen.

          So finden Sie uns in Zukunft auf >>> http://www.the-israel-company.com . Selbstverständlich erreichen Sie uns auch weiterhin über diese Seite.
          Wir freuen uns, daß wir Sie auf unserer neuen Plattform begrüßen können. Shalom und baruch haba !”

          Translation:
          “Everything has it’s time as it states in the book of books. For us it is the time to give the theme Israel a new and fitting platform. You will find us in the future under http://www.the-israel-company.com. Of course you will still be able to reach us over this page. We are happy to greet you under the new Platform. Shalom und baruch haba !”

          So now the travel organizer for Israel, located in Germany, but with a “Stattlich” (State sponsored status) will have a .com URL.

          Yes, we know what the Embassy URL site is. No one ever said this was the site for the Israeli Embassy. But it is an Israeli government sponsored travel organizer for trips to Israel. Just as the site says it is.

          • Shraga Elam May 30, 2014, 7:35 PM

            This company was/is certified by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism. Something that doesn’t give it a real official/governmental status.
            This isn’t very relevant. What is important, is the reliability of information it delivers.
            BTW, considering the fact that the Israel police ministry published an obituary declaring the couple as its employees, one should consider the püossibiliy that they were killed by an Israeli criminal.
            Haim Hatib draws attention to the strange fact that the killer used first a pistol and afterwards an AK47.
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XlW9dHSq68
            Haim points out at the fact that Mr. Riva was involved in a legal procedure against Nativ.
            Natib is a very strange organization and also the alleged Rabin killer, Yigal Amir, worked for it.

  • Oui June 1, 2014, 4:06 AM

    Syrian Blow-back: French Jihadi Arrested In Brussels’Jewish Museum Shooting

    29-year-old Mehdi Nemmouche arrested in possession of weapons of the same type used in attack that killed four; according to reports, he was active with jihadist elements in Syria in 2013.

  • eric June 1, 2014, 7:11 AM

    According to the Federal Prosecutor’s spokesman, Nemmouche seems to have recorded a message on his GoPro camera after the attack, taking credit for the killings while expressing disappointment the camera wasn’t functioning properly during the attack and failed to film any of it…

    • Ari Greenfield June 1, 2014, 8:12 AM

      So what do we make of his connection to Syrian jihadists & his decision to travel to Belgium to attack the Jewish Museum? Have they released any additional information about his motive?

      • Eric Fux June 1, 2014, 8:50 AM

        No, they haven’t. It appears Nemmouche has a history of previous criminal activity, having been sentenced seven times, five times to a prison term. French prosecutor claims he has been radicalized during his last stay in prison and left for Syria two months after his release. From the beginning, Belgian prosecutor has always dismissed the Israeli couple were a target, and today has said that ‘obviously the target was the Jewish one’

    • Richard Silverstein June 2, 2014, 12:09 AM

      @ eric: I’ll bet the police wish his video cam had worked as well. They’d have the goods on him (not that they don’t anyway).

  • Oui June 1, 2014, 3:16 PM

    Attack on Jewish museum highlights threat of Syria militants

    MARSEILLE, France (The National) – A French man believed by intelligence services to have fought with Islamists in Syria has been detained on suspicion of being the gunman who opened fire at a Jewish museum in Belgium nine days ago, killing four people.

    If prosecutors establish that Mehdi Nemmouche, 29, was the Brussels killer, it would be the first known case of a self-styled jihadist from the Syrian conflict carrying out an atrocity on European soil.

    Fears of such activity have driven western policy during the civil war, a clear distinction being drawn between moderate opposition forces and groups linked to Al Qaeda.

    The Paris public prosecutor, Francois Molins, said items found among Mr Nemmouche’s belongings included a recording on a memory stick in which his image does not appear but a voice resembling his admits responsibility for the Brussels killings.

    Mr Molins said the suspect had spent more than a year training in Syria and was carrying insignia in Arabic from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), an Islamist group active in Syria as well as Iraq.

    More info – Belgian Newspaper De Morgen

  • Daniel June 1, 2014, 10:16 PM

    Mr. Silverstein,

    You suggested the terror attack in Brussels was a targeted assassination of two Mossad agents. Now they have caught the perpetrator. Before things leak out, don’t you want to clarify where you stand on the issue?

    Daniel.

    • Richard Silverstein June 2, 2014, 12:01 AM

      @ Daniel: That’s not at all what I said. I said that Miriam Riva worked for Mossad and her husband worked for another Israeli intelligence agency. I said further that IF (do understand the meaning of the word?) it was a professional hit it might be the work of Hezbollah or other similar anti-Israel group or country. I did not say it was a targeted assassination. I said it might be.

      Stop trying to make me look bad. It only makes you look bad and like you’re acting in bad faith (which you are).

      My latest post will explain “where I stand” on the issues. Read it.

  • Richard Krauß July 11, 2014, 8:41 AM

    I am amazed at the things that are posted here. Please correct:
    We are a private travel agency in Germany. We have no official connection to the Israeli Embassy in Berlin. We deal exclusively with tourism. We are certified by the Israel Tourist Office as a qualified Israel travel agency. I would be happy if they publish this fix. This helps to prevent misunderstandings and speculation. Sincerely, Richard Krauss, Managing Director

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