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Israeli Murdered in Brussels Worked for Mossad

emanuel and miriam riva

Miriam and Emanuel Riva, murdered in Brussels by an unknown gunman

An Israeli source confirms a rumor that has circulated in Israeli media circles, that one of the Israelis murdered at the Jewish museum in Brussels worked for the Mossad.  Emanuel and Miriam Riva were both accountants.  He worked for an Israeli government agency called Nativ.  It works among Jews from the eastern bloc and encourages them to make aliyah.  During the Cold War, when Israel worked clandestinely to bring Jews from the Soviet Union to Israel, Nativ had a direct pipeline to Israeli intelligence.  Miriam Riva worked for the Mossad.  As far as my source knows, neither of them was an agent.  So it appears that they were not targeted because of her involvement with the Mossad (though that still remains a possibility).

Channel 10 news earlier reported that they worked in government service in Germany for six years.  The phrase “government service” in Hebrew can sometimes be a euphemism for spy work.  In her case, the phrase fits, but only in the sense that she most likely worked for Israel’s overseas spy service in a capacity.

There is no news yet about the identity of the attacker.  Neither neo-Nazis or Islamists have taken responsibility.  Though clearly that has not stopped Bibi Netanyahu from getting on his high horse and blaming European Israel-haters for the crime.  Bibi’s response is typically nasty, mean-spirited and ideologically-motivated, when it should be thoughtful and out-reaching:

Mr Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, seized on the arrival of Pope Francis in the Holy Land to criticise European reaction as too muted – while blaming the incident on “constant incitement” against Israel by “elements in the Middle East and Europe”.

Speaking on his arrival in Israel, the Pope referred to the attack as “this criminal act of anti-Semitic hatred.”

…”There are elements in Europe that rush to condemn the construction of a flat in Jerusalem but do not rush to condemn – or offer only weak condemnations of – the murder of Jews here or in Europe itself and, even worse, welcome unity with a terrorist element such as Hamas, which calls for the destruction of the State of Israel. We oppose such hypocrisy, we protest against it.”

…”I am very disturbed by the growing anti-Semitism in Europe. There must be zero tolerance for anti-Semitism toward Jews and their state.”

In a typical conflation of anti-Semitism with anti-Israelism, he makes those who condemn Israel’s illegal policies of Occupation and land theft into accessories to Jew-murder.  We must not let him get away with such nonsense.

The truth is that (and I say this without knowing the particulars of the killings) there are people out there who are just deranged enough and just outraged enough to perpetrate murder as a response to Israel’s bloodletting in the Middle East.  Killings of Diaspora Jews (or even Israeli Jewish civilians) are no more justified than Israel’s killings.  But hatred breeds hatred and killing breeds killing.  No matter what any Israel supporter may say about this, Bibi clearly hates Arabs (as his father did before him) and his policies led to the deaths of several thousand Palestinian civilians.  All the killings have to stop, not just those of Jews.

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{ 60 comments… add one }
  • John Salisbury May 26, 2014, 3:00 AM

    Agree with your sentiments Richard.Any suggestion that the loss of Jewish lives ONLY is worth condemning is totally repugnant

  • Eric Fux May 26, 2014, 3:49 AM

    After killing the Israeli couple, the gunman went inside the Museum to murder the Museum receptionist and a Museum volunteer, no doubt also Mossad agents?

    • Elisabeth May 26, 2014, 4:34 AM

      Richard concluded that there was no reason to link the murders with their involvement with Mossad. Read the article.

      • Father DeWalt May 26, 2014, 7:57 AM

        So why does the murder of a civilian Mossadnik and her husband merit more attention than the deaths of the other two victims?

        I’m clueless

        • Richard Silverstein May 26, 2014, 1:49 PM

          @ Padre DeWalt

          I’m clueless

          You are indeed, though I don’t think you meant to use that term. “Speechless,” perhaps. Don’t they teach English language skills at Hasbara University?

          So why does the murder of a civilian Mossadnik and her husband merit more attention than the deaths of the other two victims?

          Uh, maybe because they (or at least she for sure) worked for Israeli intelligence agencies & several militant groups and intelligence agencies of several ME countries may be interested in finding Israeli military-intelligence targets to hit. Oh, I don’t know…but perhaps that might be the reason.

      • Emma May 26, 2014, 2:01 PM

        Journalists in Belgium and all around just report the information emphasized by it’s headline without any shades.
        If there’s no link, what’s the purpose of such an article.
        It costs nothing to the writer to jump at the opportunity that this could be a political murder.

    • Shapiro Shukuro May 26, 2014, 12:56 PM

      Are you really that ignorant or just wanting to stir up emotions?

    • Richard Silverstein May 26, 2014, 1:37 PM

      @ Eric Fux: You know no more than the rest of us what happened and in what order victims were shot. There are many possible scenarios here & it’s inflammatory to jump to conclusions that aren’t strictly facts, which is what I’ve tried to do in reporting that one of the victims worked for the Mossad, but wasn’t a spy (as far as we can tell at this point).

      • Emma May 26, 2014, 2:09 PM

        Richard, stop acting as you were yourself a spy.
        It seems you don’t have the clues. Unfortunately photo appeared on some papers and a blured video was published by the police. It is very clear that the couple was murdered first, outside the building in front of the entrance. They were looking at leaflets. Then, employees were shot inside the building.

      • Eric Fux May 27, 2014, 11:46 AM

        You are right, I do not know any more than the rest of us, and certainly didn’t mean to suggest the two Museum employees were actually linked to Mossad. Quite the opposite.

    • Felix May 27, 2014, 10:28 AM

      The receptionist and or he made visual contact with the assassin. He was a professional killer and snuffed out the two who saw him.

  • Aaron May 26, 2014, 5:02 AM

    I can proffer the following tentative explanation (we won’t know the facts for a while): a man who identifies with Palestinians see the video of the cold blood murder of two Palestinian teens in Beitunia a week ago. He decides to “revenge” (of course this is not a revenge but a murder of innocents) by shooting anybody that he associates with the state of Israel. Two stories of cold blooded murders, apparently unrelated.

    But here is the difference: while Belgium’s and EU’s entire leadership were quick to condemn the killings, fortify security of Jewish establishments and order a man hunt for the killer, the killer of the Palestinian teens will never face trial, the investigation will be whitewashed and even if they are convicted it’s going to be a minor slap on the wrists. Needless to mention, no Israeli politician condemned the murder of the Palestinian teens, offered an apology or provided extra security for Palestinians. Just a story of two murders, one of the murderers wears uniform, the other doesn’t.

    • Deïr Yassin May 27, 2014, 2:33 AM

      Aaron, you’re right, I thought about that link too.
      As long as Israel claims to be the State of the Jews (all the Jews), as long as local ‘Jewish’ organizations act merely as extensions of the Israeli Embassy and Foreign Ministry, as long as the most loudscreaming part of the local Jewish communities stands by Israel no matter what that State does, these kind of actions are just a ‘logical’ consequence.

      Just the latest example: (information on the website of Union Juive Française pour la Paix [French Jewish Union for Peace]: “The Ambassador of Israel would like to inform the Jewish community about the arrival of a representative of Tsahal in Paris. The meeting will be at the Grande Synagogue, [address], on May 26th 18.30-20.00. Private meeting for engagement is possible”.
      http://www.ujfp.org/spip.php?article3240&lang=fr
      French citizens in the Israeli army is a taboo here while French citizens joining the rebels in Syria is widely covered by the media and of course condemned by all politicians

  • zur shefi May 26, 2014, 5:44 AM

    the only person blamed here in the context of the murder is Bibi. It si not surprising, coming from you.

    • Richard Silverstein May 26, 2014, 1:42 PM

      @ Zur Shefi: That’s not only an inaccurate statement, it’s gratuitous. The only thing I blame Bibi for is being a shameless political opportunist willing to use dead Israelis to advance his pro-settler political agenda. As for the murderers, I hope they’re caught, tried and convicted (hopefully before the Mossad appoints its own “judge” to do the job). My post clearly indicated that was my view. Only someone acting in bad faith such as you would claim otherwise.

      Bad faith is a definite black mark for you. I’ll be watching future comments of yours.

      • zur shefi May 27, 2014, 5:39 AM

        ooooh I’m scared, you’ll be watching me big brother, all in the name of democracy, pluralism and freedom of speech huh? you should represent north korea.

  • Abraham Tsinman May 26, 2014, 6:02 AM

    RICHARD SILVERSTEIN wrote: Bibi’s response is typically nasty.
    Is Nativ nasty? Is killing 4 people nasty?
    Why is it nasty?

    • Richard Silverstein May 26, 2014, 1:43 PM

      @ Abraham Tsinman: Blaming Europeans for the killings & doing so in a crude, incendiary way is indeed “nasty.” When your country suffers such a loss you can gain much in international standing by coming across in a dignified way, rather than the crude way in which he’s come across.

      • Moshe ben-Jacob May 26, 2014, 5:20 PM

        Wrong, Richard Silverstein. Europeans ARE to blame. All non-Jews are to blame. Netanyahu does not go far enough in condemning this. Pressure must be brought to bear to make it illegal to criticize Israel, which is just a cover for rampant anti-semitism and the desire to finish what Hitler started.

        • Richard Silverstein May 27, 2014, 12:57 AM

          @ Moshe ben-Jacob:

          to make it illegal to criticize Israel

          It’s not even illegal to criticize Israel in Israel. So you want to criminalize speech that isn’t (yet) criminal in Israel? You want Europe to corrupt its democracy for Israel’s sake? Sorry. You’ll find no takers for that.

          • Deïr Yassin May 27, 2014, 2:41 AM

            @ Richard
            Haha, when I read comments like this one by Moshe Ben-Jacob, I always wonder whether they really mean what they write or whether it’s supposed to be a joke, imitating the worst hasbara. I find it difficult to believe someone really thinks what Moshe writes, but if so, he’s clearly a ‘case’ and need professional help.

          • Elisabeth May 27, 2014, 10:28 AM

            All non-Jews are to blame….Pressure must be brought to bear to make it illegal to criticize Israel…
            I can only think he was joking.

          • Richard Silverstein May 27, 2014, 12:26 PM

            @ Elisabeth: Would that it were so!

    • Andrew June 5, 2014, 1:12 AM

      What about the possibility of this all being faked?
      Remember it was one day before the belgian elections (and the european elections in other countries).
      The Minister of interior happened to be one of the first people who came to the scene. Got a lot of media attention along with other politicians and representatives of the jewish community.

  • Blake May 26, 2014, 6:07 AM

    Or a false flag.

    • Richard Silverstein May 26, 2014, 1:44 PM

      @ Blake: What? Israel killed its own citizens? Nice try, but really…

    • Marcos June 1, 2014, 12:57 PM

      You are a very insensitive person

  • bluebird May 26, 2014, 6:25 AM

    that link answers your question about their work in germany:

    attachee/diplomat at the israeli embassy in Berlin since 2007. we know very well that diplomats in an embassy often are covert secret service members.

    http://www.israel-entdecken.de/rundreiseisrael4/diplomatisches-korps-israelische-botschaft-berlin.php

    • Richard Silverstein May 26, 2014, 2:03 PM

      @ bluebird: My information says they were accountants. If their status was “attache/diplomat” that might indicate some other status than purely civilian. Interesting. Can a German speaker get me a translation of the passage that describes their employment status in Germany?

      • bluebird May 26, 2014, 2:26 PM

        due to that website copy from the israeli embassy in Berlin/Germany they were diplomats at the embassy with the status “attache”.

        there are military attachees, police attachees, financial attachees and culture attachees working at an embassy as diplomats. They were attachees starting from 2007 in the israeli embassy in berlin.

        We should mention that attachees at an embassy often are members of the secret service covered as diplomats. Also NATIV executives were always working as diplomats out of israeli embassies, that one in germany inclusive. They were always closely connected with ukrainian jews in the israeli embassy in berlin, too. Therefore i wouldnt exclude a possible ukrainian/russian mafia link with that murder in brussels, too.

        One more thing: Since european diplomats, politicians and military attachees are travelling to brussels quite regularly (NATO headquarters, EU headquarters, SWIFT), this would be the last place they would deliberately spend their holidays/vacation. I bet 99% that they had been in brussels on some kind of business/politics trip.

        • Felix May 27, 2014, 10:43 AM

          Interesting point bluebird. Brussels is not a tourist destination for those living in Berlin. Going from one administrative capital to another for tourism? Boring Brussels? No way.

          Italy, Austria, Spain, but not Brussels .

          • Marcos June 1, 2014, 12:54 PM

            Felix, so given the following two scenarios:
            1) An Israeli husband and wife who live in Berlin travel to Brussels and visit a Jewish museum are tourists.
            2) A shooting at the Jewish museum in Brussels which is the only Jewish institution without security is an anti-Semetic attack

            You are more likely to believe that both these statements are false than they are true

            Suuuuuure. I typically find that those who have such unfortunate theories are not very smart.

          • Richard Silverstein June 2, 2014, 12:06 AM

            @ Marcos: My comment rules, which you must read, say comments must be substantive and on topic. Commenting on whether another commenter is smart or not is not substantive esp since your meandering comment didn’t prove anything about Felix’s intelligence.

      • bluebird May 26, 2014, 3:01 PM

        Also consider the matter of fact that Israel sent two NATIV executives as “diplomats” to its Berlin embassy in 2007 starting a NATIV project in germany. As a matter of fact exactly in 2007 that couple began to work at the embassy in Berlin. Coincidence?

        Their job was to lure as many as possible russian and ukrainian jews (who were currently living in germany) to israel. The german jewish organisations were quite upset about the NATIV plans what had been the idea of Mr. Avigdor Lieberman.

        2 NATIV members had been sent by Lieberman as “diplomats” to the israeli embassy in berlin in 2007. Mr. and Mrs. Riva started to work in that embassy in 2007 !!!

        Their success in Germany was marginal and therefore they began to cooperate with the israeli embassy in Kiev/Ukraine. The rest you can read in current headlines.

      • bluebird May 26, 2014, 3:05 PM

        That link might link the german NATIV connection and the current ukrainian situation. After all what we know about the victims I wouldnt exclude a possible russian/ukrainian link with that killer. The AK47 is another hint towards russia/ukraine.

        http://wadeward.com/2014/01/mossad-took-turnover-in-ukraine/413895.html

        • Dana May 26, 2014, 3:21 PM

          Interesting information and speculations, bluebird. Indeed that AK47 is curious – definitely suggestive of east European connection. This may well have been a “hit”. If it was, someone(s) knew what and who the Rivas were and knew something of their plans or purpose for being in brussels. They may have even been lured there.

          If this was a “hit” – and there are some indications of “professionalism” by the gunman, then the other two who got killed – the receptionist and the volunteers may have been witnesses that needed to be silenced. from their perch at the front of the museum they might well have had a good view of what transpired, hence the gunman’s actions.

          I also agree that it is strange that no antisemitic/radical group took responsibility. Something about this incident does not add up to a run-of-the-mill “hate crime”. To me it looks like some kind of a planned operation, with a pre-planned escape route and an effort to avoid detection.

          • bluebird May 26, 2014, 3:44 PM

            quote (guardian link)

            The Israeli embassy in Berlin has confirmed that two emissaries from Nativ are due to arrive in Berlin within the next few weeks to start their work, which includes trying to encourage emigration to Israel among the Jews from the former Soviet Union, and offering help with their move on issues such as bureaucratic matters.

            The German press has referred to the operation as being “James Bond-like”.

            quote:
            Bases for agents and the organization of meetings and information transfer are traditionally synagogues, cultural and Jewish and Israeli educational centers, high schools, school.

            question: is a jewish museum a cultural center for israeli citizens? I believe that the answer is “yes”.

          • Richard Silverstein May 27, 2014, 12:59 AM

            @ bluebird: It can be a very dangerous thing for Diaspora Jewish communities to allow themselves to become appendages of Israeli foreign policy and intelligence operations. Israel will obviously relish such cover without considering (or if it does consider it, it discounts it) the danger in which it places Diaspora Jews.

      • bluebird May 26, 2014, 3:40 PM

        here’s a 2007 Guardian report regarding the 2 NATIV executives starting to work at the israeli embassy in germany in 2007. In 2007 Mr and Mrs Riva started to work at the israeli embassy in germany as “diplomats”.

        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/nov/28/germany.israel

        Timing and the information you’ve got are fitting quite well.

        • Richard Silverstein May 27, 2014, 1:08 AM

          @ bluebird: That’s quite suggestive. I’m going to press my source on this more vigorously. Let’s see what comes out (if anything).

      • Felix May 27, 2014, 10:49 AM

        Richard , that is a web site for the Israeli Diplomatic Corps in Berlin. Both Frau Miriam Riva and Herr Riva (in smaller type under her name) are listed as diplomats. They were more than attaché s.

        You should save that page.

  • frank s May 26, 2014, 6:30 AM

    How did Bibi’s policies lead “to the deaths of several thousand Palestinian civilians”?
    He does nothing. He doesn’t build, and hardly any arabs die.

    • Richard Silverstein May 26, 2014, 1:45 PM

      @ Frank s: So Bibi doesn’t order invasions, military operations, assassinations? So he’s not the PM of the country? Or does the IDF really run the country and do these things without any input from the PM?

  • frank s May 26, 2014, 6:33 AM

    please delete my previous comment

  • yehuda May 26, 2014, 8:03 AM

    [Sorry but comments like this that are crude propaganda devoid of substance & rich in ignorance & false claims will not be published here]

  • goose May 26, 2014, 2:20 PM

    “Bibi clearly hates Arabs (as his father did before him) and his policies led to the deaths of several thousand Palestinian civilians. All the killings have to stop, not just those of Jews.” … Don’t forget the millions of other Arabs killed by neocon/Israeli pressure on the US government.

  • JLP May 27, 2014, 5:03 AM

    I live in Brussels not far from the shooting, i am not jew, but vigilant to propaganda and false information, so i end up finding this post and your comments. I confess i am really happy to see how moderate and peaceful you are trying to discuss how this shooting looks from different perspectives. Thank you for this. We are trying our best here to understand the event but our recent elections have showman a growth of NVA an extreme right party, with racist leaders in it, so our press is a bit confused on how to be educational or factual… Hope it will get better soon (Moshe… You need help indeed..)

    • Richard Silverstein May 27, 2014, 12:29 PM

      JLP: Thanks for that comment and I appreciate your closeness to this tragedy. Feel free to update us or me here with reporting from the Belgian media about this story. I’m very eager to hear local reports. I will continue to pass along what I learn from Israel & other sources.

    • Eric fux May 27, 2014, 2:02 PM

      Prosecutor’s office so far seems to read the killing as one carried out by a well prepared and determined individual. They think the couple’s visit to the museum was not planned. Belgian press attributes their presumed Mossad connection to Israeli media reports.

  • steve May 27, 2014, 12:23 PM

    Can Moshe ben-Jacob please explain why I as a European am to blame for these killings? Or why all non-jews are to blame?
    More supremacist BS.

  • JackH May 27, 2014, 2:26 PM

    Netanyahu is a prime factor in more and more people becoming “Israel-haters”! The genocide, lying, cheating and exalted status these blood-thirsty murderers demand is a black plague upon the Earth!

  • HMP May 27, 2014, 6:30 PM

    “there are people out there who are just deranged enough and just outraged enough to perpetrate murder as a response to Israel’s bloodletting in the Middle East.” Didn’t you just complain loudly and bitterly that Netanyahu made this association?

    • Richard Silverstein May 27, 2014, 7:40 PM

      @HMP: No, I complained that Bibi blamed all of Europe because its leaders didn’t immediately call him to express their condolences and because he blamed the killing on Europe’s hatred of Israel, which is utter nonsense.

  • michael mazur May 28, 2014, 5:46 PM

    As all Israelis work for the Mossad, but few are agents, thus making it possible to segue the Brussels Jewish Museum shooting narrative into one in which people are induced, by the ambiguity, to form the unconscious belief that Mossad wouldn’t shoot their own agents, when all they did was shoot two expendable ordinary Israeli citizens.

    • HMP May 29, 2014, 7:00 AM

      That’s odd. None of the Israelis I know work for the Mossad. Do you know any Israelis who work for the Mossad? Do you know any Israelis?

  • bluebird May 29, 2014, 2:22 AM

    news from:
    http://m.jerusalemonline.com/docs?rid=5519

    (quote)
    Israeli Internal Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich also attended the funeral.

    He said: (quote)
    They were ethical people, humble, committed, thorough, and pleasant; worked for many years in public service, were engaged in diverse fields and performed a variety of challenging and complex roles.

    (Challenging and complex roles …. well said!)

    quote:
    Ayelet Riva, the daughter of the couple, stated while crying: “There are so many words. There are so many stories and so many jokes. There are many things that remain for me to see: finishing school, getting drafted and released from the IDF, getting work and principally growing up.

  • bluebird May 29, 2014, 2:59 AM

    From an Israeli source:
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4524242,00.html

    quote:
    Itay BlumenthalPublished: 05.27.14, 12:25 / Israel News

    “We couldn’t ask for better parents. Loving, caring and good-hearted, who most of all wanted the best for us,” wrote Shira and Ayelet Riva in a letter in memory of their parents Emanuel and Miriam Riva.

    The museum’s spokesperson said that security at the site is usually minimal with no gates or regular guards.

    “Most of our visitors aren’t Jewish”.

    Belgian officials said on Monday that the shooting f three people at Brussels’ Jewish Museum was probably a “terrorist attack”, though some security experts suggested it may have been the work of a hitman rather than an anti-Semitic ‘lone
    wolf”.

    Question:
    “Most of our visitors arent jewish”.
    How would an antisemitic hitman know in advance that he kills jewish citizens while he should know that most visitors arent jewish? Even Israeli news talks about a professional hitman now.

    The unfortunate murder of two NATIV agents had been used by israeli propaganda and media to once again blame europeans and so called antisemitism for a simple cover up of a secret service war. However, that propaganda has failed now.

    It’s the same as if the murder of two CIA agents in Rome would be antiamericanism blaming Italians while the murder of two russian agents in London would be a sign of anti Russian mood by the British population. BS!

    Instagram site of daughter Ayalet Riva:
    http://web.stagram.com/n/ayelet399/

    She says that she lived in Berlin from 2007-2011. She loves Israel and NY. She did attend BBIS in Berlin (Berlin Brandenburg International School). The kids of all diplomats in Berlin are usually attending this school.

  • bluebird May 29, 2014, 6:06 AM

    BBIS (Berlin Brandenburg International School)

    28 percent of the students come from Germany; the largest group of foreign children provides Israel with 35 students. The parents are mostly in the diplomatic service, active in the boardrooms of international companies or banks. Teaching and language in general use is English.

    BBIS charges between 7.500 and 12.000 Euros per schoolyear. Parents must be pretty rich. The Rivas had 2 daughters in that school over 4 years. That’s approx. 100.000 euros for school only.

  • bluebird June 2, 2014, 12:56 AM

    regarding suspect Nemmouche

    interesting french media releases from 2009 and 2011 (links below).
    Women, vodka, prison, drugs and the kalashnikov was already mentioned in 2011.

    This paragraph below I liked best:

    Nemmouche, defended by Soulifa Badawi, adopts an original attitude: he is imprisoned in the south of France and refused to be taken from his cell because he is afraid of flying.

    http://www.nordeclair.fr/Locales/Tourcoing/2009/05/27/trois-gars-de-la-bourgogne.shtml

    http://www.nordeclair.fr/Locales/Roubaix/2011/09/22/rupture-violente-lors-d-un-anniversaire.shtml

  • Freedom Fighter June 2, 2014, 3:32 AM

    Mossad are a bunch of Murderers anyways :
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8ajRErIOsc

    This story is ass odd as the Mohammed Merah affair,
    why no one explained why Mohamed Merah was able to visit Israel , the middle east and Afghanistan without any major troubles ?

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