They're a tad confused over at The Australian right now because they can't quite decide who has the more incompetent spooks, Australia or Israel.
Is it Australia? as foreign editor Greg (Jerusalem Prize) Sheridan claims:
"The [Rudd] government has mishandled this matter from the start, and the Keystone Kops escapades of the Australian Federal Police in Israel on their fact-finding mission were not the worst of it." (Badly misjudged action will have a political cost, 25/5/10)
Or is it Israel? as defence correspondent Mark Dodd claims:
"What rankles with Smith seems not so much the murder of al-Mabhouh, but a breach of a confidential undertaking given to Australia years earlier during the Howard government. 'The Dubai passports incident also constitutes a clear and direct breach of confidential understandings between Australia and Israel dating back some years', he said. According to former foreign minister Alexander Downer, that involved a promise by Israel its Mossad operatives would not misuse Australian passports after a bungled 2003 attempt to clone Australian and New Zealand identities, an incident more worthy of the Keystone Kops than a crack spy organisation." (No blow to intelligence flow, 26/5/10)
Well, it seems at least one Israeli journalist has made up his mind; in the incompetence stakes, the Israeli spooks win hands down:
"But the [Israeli] media has not been so positive [about the Israeli-Australian relationship]. Writing in Haaretz, columnist Amir Oren says it took 'a special talent' to damage the relationship between Israel and Australia. Lately, there have not been any top-tier Australian politicians who were not supportive of Israel', Oren writes. 'It thus requires special talent to transform Australia into a country that feels obligated to take steps against Israel. Yet one person in Israel has that talent. And this time, it is not Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. The person who managed to get Israel in trouble with Australia, Britain and the other embittered countries is the head of Mossad, Meir Dagan. But what does Dagan care about Rudd, Smith, or [David] Irvine? So long as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in his pocket, the world can go to hell. And if it does not do so on its own, Dagan will show it how'." (ibid)