Australia Expels Israeli Diplomat Over Forged Passports in Dubai Assassination
Australia today informed Israel that it was expelling a diplomat as a penalty for Israel’s role in forging Australian passports used in the Dubai assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabouh. Though the government would not say who was expelled, Britain expelled Israel’s local Mossad station chief and one would assume Australia did the same.
The fact that Australia took months after the infraction to act indicates it wanted to do little more than slap Israel on the wrist. The statement by the foreign minister confirms this:
“The Government takes this step much more in sorrow than anger or retaliation,” Mr Smith said.
The problem with Australia’s wrist slap is that all of those nations whose passports were forged or whose sovereignty was violated have essentially given Israel a green light to do something like this again in future. U.S. credit cards were abused by the Israelis and two of the assassins traveled to this country after the murder, yet not a peep has come out of the Obama administration. Contrast this with the whirlwind of U.S. intelligence activity and press briefings that accompany word of Islamic terrorism on these shores. Why do we give Mossad a pass?
Israel is like a substance abuser who requires intervention to prevent self-destructive behavior. The nations of the world have basically washed their hands of Israel in this matter. The only silver lining is that Australia promised that if such acts happen again it will take stronger action:
He also said Israel should realise it is on notice that if it again fabricates Australian passports similar or stronger action would be taken.
But one has to wonder what the value of these nice sounding words is. When push comes to shove will Australia do anything different next time?
And Israel of course has learned no lesson from all of this:
When asked if Israel had acknowledged its part in the affair or had apologised, Mr Smith replied: “In terms of the substance of these matters Israel has not been drawn in those conversations or drawn on those matters.”
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I saw the interview with the Foreign Minister on the so-called 7.30 report (where recently both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition have come to grief) and it struck me that he was ultra careful in his comments saying, inter alia, that he hoped that in the future the traditionally good relation with Israel would be restored etc. There will be a federal election this year and the electoral influence of the Jewish part of the population seems to be very real though, to my mind, it has never been satisfactorily explained from its numbers alone.
Yet what also struck me was that Smith said that he, after the investigation by the Australian Federal Police and Australian intelligence agencies, was in no doubt that the Israeli government was involved in this. He was quite firm on this point.
Why is it the “so-called” 7.30 report? It’s shown at 7.30pm and it contains a good deal of reporting. For those outside Australia we are talking about the flagship of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation current affair programs. You can catch the interview at http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2010/s2908120.htm
why did you mislabel the pic?
that pic is not labeled in the same fashion in the story
Don’t be a dolt. I didn’t mislabel the photo. There were four Australian-Israeli citizens whose passports were forged one woman & three men. Undoubtedly, since the Age is a well-regarded Australian newspaper their photo editor found three of the four images from the forged Australian passports and displayed them.
Hi Richard. I don’t know that taking months to act means much else but that there was a proper investigation carried out and the govt waited till it was concluded to take action. I think expelling a Mossad agent was the right thing to do, and I suspect that unless Tony Abbot and his gang get in at the next election and start slavering over Israel and begging them to commit more identity theft, there will be an effect on cooperation between Australia and Israel when it comes to security. What Israel did was a huge violation of trust and I read in the paper this morning that Stephen Smith said this wasn’t the first time this had happened, but there were no details given.
Have you read the reaction of the Opposition here?
Amongst all the hysteria, they’re complaining about how the govt is crawling to Arabs and how wrong it is for Australia to treat a friend like Israel this way. If I was a swing voter, I’d be wondering to myself why the Opposition seem to think it’s okay for Isreal to treat a friend like Australia the way it did and thinking about how that’s going to effect how I’d vote…
Hey Sol, my use of the term ‘so-called’ was in no way meant to be denigratory. I just didn’t want to introduce the program name without further ado as if it was natural to assume that American readers would be familiar with it.
The ABC did a great job reporting this, i was quite surprised they were so succinct for a govt funded channel re Israel. We Kiwi’s certainly weren’t impressed when Mossad tried to nick our passports in order to carry out “hits”. Even more surprised a few weeks back when 60 mins did a piece on settlers burrowing under Palestinian towns, that’s one way of doing it i suppose. Hoping like hell that the tide is changing for the better, slowly but surely.