"[A]n Australian official said the Israeli secret service had probably calculated that, even if it were caught using forged Australian passports, Canberra would not retaliate. 'It wouldn't matter whether it was John Howard or Kevin Rudd or Tony Abbott in the prime minister's chair, they know we wouldn't sever relations. They know they've got us by the balls', partly because of the strength of the Israel lobby, he said." (Betrayed PM should not be taken for granted by Israel, Peter Hartcher, Sydney Morning Herald, 26/2/10)
Is Australia at last beginning to stir or is it just going through the motions?:
"Australia will send a team of [Australian Federal [P]olice to Israel to investigate the use of Australian passports by the assassins of a Hamas commander in Dubai... Australia's decision to send an AFP team amounts to an escalation in the diplomatic row between Australia and Israel. Australian police conducting a probe on foreign soil is regarded as extremely sensitive, as it may involve investigating Israeli organisations, including Mossad." (AFP passport mission to Israel, John Lyons/Mark Dodd, The Australian, 2/3/10)
Will our AFP be investigating Mossad or merely renewing an old friendship?: "Canberra has a very close, active and intimate intelligence relationship with Israel. Many of our top intelligence people go there for consultations and even for special short course training." (Theft burned a strong supporter, Greg Sheridan, The Australian, 26/2/10)
The mind boggles.
"The AFP officers will interview dual Australian-Israeli citizens Nicole McCabe, Adam Korman and Joshua Bruce, whose passport details were used, with substituted photographs, by the assassination team... Israeli officials said the 3 Australians would be interviewed not as suspects but 'as witnesses to a crime'." (AFP passport mission)
Israeli officials said the 3 Australians would be interviewed not as suspects but 'as witnesses to a crime'. Are the Israelis setting the terms of reference here? And why shouldn't the Ozraelis be treated as suspects if their passports were volunteered rather than nicked? After all, the ms media has amassed enough evidence of that bizarre practice:
"A Sydney man who lived in Israel in the 1980s has recalled being approached by an apparent Mossad agent to volunteer his passport in return for assistance with seeking citizenship. The man, who did not want his name published and is not Jewish, was approached while working alone in the fields. He said, 'No money was offered. I was willing to do it out of allegiance to a cause I believed in. I realised it was foolhardy'." (PM pushes for answer in passport scandal, Jonathan Pearlman, The Age, 2/3/10)
"An Israeli intelligence expert told The Age yesterday it was no secret that Israel approached people who had emigrated from other countries to help Israel by handing over their passports. 'The names are used later, but the person providing the passport is not involved'." (ASIO in fresh Israel spy probe, Jason Koutsoukis/Jonathan Pearlman, The Age, 27/2/10)
"Anne Barker: So do you think fraudulent Australian passports have been used before this? Victor Ostrovsky: Oh, regularly... there were people that were asked, could you, if when you're here in Israel we may need for security purposes to use your passport, would you allow us to do that? And people would say yes. And there were shelves upon shelves of real passports just waiting to be used." (Former Mossad man says fraudulent Australian passports 'regularly' used, AM, Radio National, 26/2/10)
This surrender of Ozraeli passports has been going on at least since the 1980s and we haven't known about it? Despite our close, active and intimate intelligence relationship with Israel, as Sheridan puts it?
The mind boggles again.