The Australian authorities busted a Mossad sleeper cell at the weekend. Two of the men were arrested but at least two escaped.
Israeli sleeper cell foiled in Australia
The Israeli regime claims to be an ally of Australia and New Zealand, so why is it operating behind the backs of the local Authorities? What was their mission, exactly? If it was for the common good, we would all like to know about it.
The Israeli regime demanded that the agents should be released and not taken to court in New Zealand, but apparently "the Government has not bowed to pressure from Tel Aviv." Nevertheless, the authorities in Australia and New Zealand have declined to release any further information.
The huge time and expense required to set up and operate genuine businesses as fronts is a measure of the scale of Israeli operation in the South Pacific region. Is the Israeli presence connected with the international war on terror? It would be very noble of Mossad to work against Islamic extremism overseas, especially to do it so secretly without taking any credit, not least because attacks against the West increase support for Israel's cause.
As a close ally of the US and the UK, Australia expects a major terrorist attack at any time. The bombing in nearby Bali on 12 October 2002 was inevitably blamed on "Islamic terrorists".
When America was struck by terrorism on 9-11, Israeli agents were caught watching the attacks as they happened. Positioned at a safe distance from the twin towers of the World Trade Centre, five Mossad agents were caught filming the whole episode. What were they doing there? Why were they "laughing" and "dancing"?
Mossad agents are often impossible to distinguish visually from Arabs because of their Middle Eastern ethnic origin.
New Zealand Herald, "Foreign spy charges whip up top-level security storm", 17 April 2004.
[ http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3561102 ]
EXCLUSIVE - Two men believed by senior Government figures to be Israeli secret service agents have been arrested in Auckland trying to obtain a false New Zealand passport.
The case has set off alarm bells that Mossad spies may be masquerading as harmless New Zealand travellers abroad.
Prime Minister Helen Clark said last night she would not comment while the case was before the court, but confirmed the Government had raised the matter directly with the Israeli Government.
"There will be a strong and public response to this matter once the court action has concluded," she told the Weekend Herald.
Officials, lawyers, police and Helen Clark's spokesman refused to confirm or deny the Mossad link.
The acting Israeli Ambassador, Orna Sagiv, last night refused to comment.
The case is the first known example of foreign agents appearing in a New Zealand court since the 1985 arrest of two French agents who blew up the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior in Auckland harbour, killing one crewmember.
It is understood the Israeli Government wanted the case kept out of the New Zealand court system, and this issue is likely to have been a point of diplomatic friction.
But the case has proceeded, indicating the Government has not bowed to pressure from Tel Aviv.
International security concerns are at an all-time high and New Zealand views the clandestine Israeli secret service activities here with grave concern.
Weekend Herald investigations into the case were stonewalled by New Zealand officials until the men appeared in the Auckland District Court yesterday.
Urie Zoshe Kelman, 30, and Eli Cara, 50, have denied three joint charges including attempting to obtain a New Zealand passport and participating in an organised crime group to obtain a false passport.
Details that emerged in court revealed two other men were involved.
Zev William Barkan, 37, has fled the country and authorities concede they would not know where to find him. A fourth man is believed to be here but police say the others refuse to identify him.
The group had been in and out of the country since last November. Cara, who says he is a Sydney-based travel agent, has travelled in and out 24 times since October 2000.
The court heard the visits since last year were allegedly for the purpose of obtaining a false New Zealand identity for one of the men.
They allegedly made a passport application using a birth certificate of a cerebral palsy sufferer who authorities say was an innocent victim of the scam.
After being tipped off by Internal Affairs, detectives mounted a surveillance operation on March 23, dispatching a package meant to resemble the passport and watching to see who would pick it up.
In the meantime, Cara and Kelman were allegedly carrying out their own surveillance of the package.
Cara was approached by police as he sat in a cafe across the road from one drop-off point. Kelman was arrested after he was seen walking away from another point, throwing a cellphone into bushes.
Kelman and Cara first appeared in court late last month. At yesterday's appearance their case was fast-tracked in highly unusual circumstances. They were committed for trial by consent of the defence, although they did not admit there was a prima facie case.
The men were granted bail by Judge Chris Field who imposed reporting and curfew conditions after rejecting police applications to keep them in custody because of flight risk.
Police were represented by Auckland-based prosecutor Fletcher Pilditch, though Wellington has taken a clear interest in the case and the office of the Solicitor-General, Terence Arnold, QC, has also been involved.
Outside court, Cara denied being a member of the Israeli secret service. Asked if there had been a misunderstanding, he said, "I think so."
As he left the building last night, Cara pulled the hood of his green coat over his head and put his sunglasses on. Kelman, who is a tall, slim man with freckles, short red hair and glasses, refused to answer questions.
During the morning he wore a mauve shirt and carried a plastic Hallensteins shopping bag. Later he had changed into a green T-shirt.
A person at Auckland's President Plaza hotel, where Cara has been staying, said he knew Cara and that he seemed to spend a lot of time in the gym. Kelman has been staying at the Kiwi Hotel in Queen St and the Duxton Hotel. He has Israeli and Canadian passports.
Internationally, there have been cases of Mossad agents being discovered trying to pass themselves off as nationals of neutral countries. In 1997, Mossad agents were caught using Canadian passports during a failed assassination attempt on an Islamic official in Jordan.
In 2000, a Mossad operative was handed a suspended sentence after being accused of espionage and repeated use of false identity documents in Switzerland.
New Zealand passports have become increasingly sought-after on the black market, not just for spies but for terrorists and drug couriers.
Four years ago, a member of an al Qaeda cell that plotted to bomb Los Angeles at the turn of the millennium was uncovered travelling on a stolen New Zealand passport.
It is understood the Government is concerned that revelations that Mossad agents may be using New Zealand travel documents could put New Zealanders at risk.
Helen Clark said last night: "The Government takes seriously any action which challenges the integrity of the New Zealand passport system."
* Mossad is Israel's foremost intelligence agency. It was formed in 1951 and is based in Tel Aviv, with the Hebrew name meaning institute.
* Once highly respected for its skill, the shadowy organisation has been plagued with a series of bungles, from botched assassination attempts to agents being caught using fake passports.
* One of its biggest coups was in 1960 when it found Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi who drove the "Jewish Solution" in Europe, then hiding in Brazil.
* But it has lost manpower in recent years and in 2000 it threw open its doors with its first public recruitment drive.
* A 2001 advertisement invited newcomers to become "a partner in the production of clandestine technology".
* Its latest spy chief, Me'ir Dagan, lost his mobile phone this year when his car was broken into in Tel Aviv in February. Mossad ordered the phone company to remotely erase the memory.
Haaretz, "Diplomat sent to New Zealand to deal with Israeli arrests", 16 April 2004.
[ http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/416350.html ]
Israel's embassy in Australia in recent days dispatched a diplomat to New Zealand to deal with the arrests of two Israelis for allegedly trying to obtain a false New Zealand passport.
Wellington has asked Israel to explain why two of its citizens, reported by a newspaper to be Mossad secret service agents, were trying to procure the forged document, New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark confirmed Saturday.
The case has set off alarm bells that Mossad agents may be masquerading as harmless New Zealand travelers abroad, the New Zealand Herald said. Clark refused to comment directly on the case in which the two Israelis appeared in court in Auckland on Friday.
But she issued a statement saying that, "the government takes seriously any action which challenges the integrity of the New Zealand passport system."
"The people involved in this case are Israeli citizens and the matter has been raised directly with the Israeli government," Clark said. "There will be a strong and public response to this matter once the court action has concluded."
Acting ambassador in New Zealand, Orna Sagiv, refused to comment on the arrests, while sources at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem on Saturday morning said they knew nothing of the affair.
The newspaper said Uri Zoshe Kelman, 30, and Eli Kara, 50, denied three joint charges including attempting to obtain a New Zealand passport and participating in an organized crime group to obtain a false passport when they appeared in the Auckland District Court.
It said court papers revealed two other men were involved.
Ze'ev William Barkan, 37, has fled the country, and authorities concede they would not know where to find him, the Herald said. The other man was believed to be in New Zealand, but police said the others refused to identify him.
It said the group had been in and out of the country since last November, with Kara, who says he is a travel agent based in Sydney, Australia, claiming he has visited New Zealand 24 times since October 2000.
Court papers allege they applied for a New Zealand passport using the birth certificate of a New Zealand man suffering from cerebral palsy, who authorities say is innocent of any involvement. The Herald said Kelman and Kara first appeared in court late last month.
When they appeared in court again Friday, defense lawyers agreed they should be committed for trial while not admitting that there was a prima facie case against them.
The two were released on bail subject to curfew conditions and reporting regularly to police. Outside the court, Kara denied being a member of the Israeli secret service, while Kelman refused to comment, the Herald said.
In 1997, Mossad agents were caught using Canadian passports during a failed assassination attempt on an Islamic official in Jordan, and in 2000, a Mossad operative was given a suspended sentence after being accused of espionage and repeated use of false identity documents in Switzerland, the paper said.
Sunday Herald, "Five Israelis were seen filming as jet liners ploughed into the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001", 2 November 2003.
[ http://ww1.sundayherald.com/37707 ]
Were they part of a massive spy ring which shadowed the 9/11 hijackers and knew that al-Qaeda planned a devastating terrorist attack on the USA? Neil Mackay investigates
THERE was ruin and terror in Manhattan, but, over the Hudson River in New Jersey, a handful of men were dancing. As the World Trade Centre burned and crumpled, the five men celebrated and filmed the worst atrocity ever committed on American soil as it played out before their eyes.
Who do you think they were? Palestinians? Saudis? Iraqis, even? Al-Qaeda, surely? Wrong on all counts. They were Israelis – and at least two of them were Israeli intelligence agents, working for Mossad, the equivalent of MI6 or the CIA.
Their discovery and arrest that morning is a matter of indisputable fact. To those who have investigated just what the Israelis were up to that day, the case raises one dreadful possibility: that Israeli intelligence had been shadowing the al-Qaeda hijackers as they moved from the Middle East through Europe and into America where they trained as pilots and prepared to suicide-bomb the symbolic heart of the United States. And the motive? To bind America in blood and mutual suffering to the Israeli cause.
After the attacks on New York and Washington, the former Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was asked what the terrorist strikes would mean for US-Israeli relations. He said: “It’s very good.” Then he corrected himself, adding: “Well, it’s not good, but it will generate immediate sympathy [for Israel from Americans].”
If Israel’s closest ally felt the collective pain of mass civilian deaths at the hands of terrorists, then Israel would have an unbreakable bond with the world’s only hyperpower and an effective free hand in dealing with the Palestinian terrorists who had been murdering its innocent civilians as the second intifada dragged on throughout 2001.
It’s not surprising that the New Jersey housewife who first spotted the five Israelis and their white van wants to preserve her anonymity. She’s insisted that she only be identified as Maria. A neighbour in her apartment building had called her just after the first strike on the Twin Towers. Maria grabbed a pair of binoculars and, like millions across the world, she watched the horror of the day unfold.
As she gazed at the burning towers, she noticed a group of men kneeling on the roof of a white van in her parking lot. Here’s her recollection: “They seemed to be taking a movie. They were like happy, you know ... they didn’t look shocked to me. I thought it was strange.”
Sunday Herald Sun, "ASIO hunts Israeli cell", 18 April 2004.
[ http://www.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,9317045%255E2,00.html ]
THE nation's spy-catchers are investigating a suspected Israeli spy ring in Australia.
The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation has been investigating the suspected cell for up to a month.
Two Israeli citizens appeared in an Auckland court on Friday charged with passport fraud.
One of them, Eli Cara, claimed to be a Sydney travel agent. He has travelled to New Zealand 24 times since October 2000.
Cara, 50, and Zoshe Kelman, 30, faced three charges after being arrested in a police sting operation late last March.
Another Israeli, Zev William Barkan, 37, escaped from NZ. A fourth man is believed to be in hiding.
The men are suspected of being Mossad agents, who allegedly were gathering fake NZ passports.
Fake passports are used by intelligence bodies to help their agents travel undercover.
Mossad, the Israeli secret service, has been accused previously of illegally using Canadian passports.
A spokesman for Attorney-General Philip Ruddock confirmed yesterday that ASIO had been investigating the matter.
He said ASIO had been in touch with its NZ counterparts.
He said the two Israelis had applied for a passport using the birth certificate of a person with cerebral palsy.
NZ police staged a surveillance operation of the site where the passport was sent on March 23. The two Israelis were also staking out the site, but were then arrested.
Cara was sitting in a cafe, while Kelman was arrested walking away after throwing his mobile phone into a bush.
After the pair was released on bail, Cara denied being a Mossad agent when asked about his arrest.
Intelligence sources told the Sunday Herald Sun that the NZ arrests would have set off alarm bells at ASIO headquarters in Canberra.
If Israel had gone to the trouble of setting up a genuine business in Sydney as a front for spying, then that would be an extraordinary step, a source said.
ASIO would not be investigating the case unless they suspected the pair was undeclared spies, the source said.
Israel (as with other countries) could declare its spies to ASIO, and the security service would know who was who at the country's embassy in Canberra.
"But some countries have undeclared spies, which is seen as pretty sneaky - and snaky," another source said.
The time and expense of running a genuine business front would indicate a deep commitment to an operation in Sydney or the South Pacific.
NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark has refused to confirm whether the arrested men were Mossad agents. But she has contacted the Israeli government about the case.
In the late 1970s, Israel was rumoured to have set up a spy ring in Melbourne to keep an eye on anti-Israeli activists.
Israel's acting ambassador to NZ and Australia, Orna Sagiv, said yesterday she would not comment until the court proceedings had been completed.
"There are two Israeli citizens there before the justice system, but it's better to wait before coming to conclusions," she said.
A former Israeli Defence Force officer expressed surprise at the clumsiness of the operation, but added authorities could not be sure the charged men's names were real if they were Mossad agents.
"Israel has spies everywhere, but Mossad is usually more professional than that," the IDF officer said.
Mossad generally was quite careful about whom it sent undercover, preferring people with links to the country they were spying upon.
"The aim is to blend into the local community," the officer said. "These agents have layers and layers of false identities."
A search of Australian company and title records revealed that Cara has no listed business or property interests in NSW or Victoria.
Public information contained on the Australian Securities and Investments Commission database shows that Cara, Kelman and Barkan are not involved with listed companies or own property in the two states.
New Zealand Herald, "Government demands Israel return any bogus passports", 19 April 2004.
[ http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3561306 ]
HERALD INVESTIGATION - The Government called in an Israeli diplomat over suspected Mossad spies arrested in New Zealand and demanded the Israeli Government return any bogus New Zealand passports it might have.
In a rare intervention, Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Jim Sutton summoned the Canberra-based Acting Israeli Ambassador Orna Sagiv a week ago over the case in which two Israeli men were arrested in Auckland after allegedly trying to obtain a false New Zealand passport.
Mr Sutton said the ambassador was called in to have the "riot act" read - "and for me to say on behalf of the New Zealand Government that we required a full accounting of what they were up to".
"If there are any New Zealand passports, incorrectly and improperly in their hands, we want them all returned."
Meanwhile, it has emerged that Australian spy-catchers have been investigating a suspected Israeli spy ring for a month.
A spokesman for Attorney-General Philip Ruddock confirmed yesterday that the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) had been investigating the matter.
He told the Sunday Herald Sun that ASIO had been in touch with its New Zealand counterparts.
Eli Cara, 50, and Uri Zoshe Kelman, 30, appeared in the Auckland District Court on Friday for a depositions hearing and have denied charges of trying to obtain a New Zealand passport and taking part in an organised crime group to obtain a false passport.
Two other men believed to be connected to the case are Zev William Barkan, 37, and a fourth man thought to be in New Zealand. Police believe Barkan has left the country.
Mr Sutton said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade had urgently requested Ms Sagiv's attendance after an initial court appearance resulted in the men being released on bail.
"Two people had been arrested with New Zealand passports," said Mr Sutton. "It appeared they were representatives of the Israeli Government ...
Executive Intelligence Review (US), "Mossad Exposed in Phony
`Palestinian Al-Qaeda' Caper", 20 December 2002.
[ http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2002/2949idf_qaeda.html ]
by Michele Steinberg and Hussein Askary
The United States government has been provided with concrete evidence that the Israeli Mossad and other Israeli intelligence services have been involved in a 13-month effort to "recruit" an Israeli-run, phony "al-Qaeda cell" among Palestinians, so that Israel could achieve a frontline position in the U.S. war against terrorism and get a green light for a worldwide "revenge without borders" policy. The question: Does the United States have the moral fiber to investigate?
Haaretz Daily (IL), "Ibrahim, the Shin Bet wants you to join Qaida", 26 April 2004.
[ http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=241042 ]
Early last week, Rashi Abu Sba, head of the preventive security apparatus in Gaza, the equivalent of the Shin Bet, accused the Israeli security service of tricking young Palestinians into conducting missions in the name of Al-Qaida. Last Tuesday, a young man named Ibrahim was presented to reporters in Gaza. Ibrahim hid his face behind a mask, and told what happened to him.
During one of the conversations, Ahmed told Ibrahim that he wanted to help Gazans in economic distress and began sending money - cash in dollars and Jordanian dinars - through the Nablus branch of the Cairo-Amman bank. Ibrahim told Ahmed that he had never been arrested nor involved in any political organization. Then, in one of the conversations, Ahmed said he was working for Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaida organization, and Ibrahim was meant to be one of its organizers in northern Gaza since the group already had an infrastructure in the south. Ahmed gave Ibrahim a list of people, mostly Hamas activists, and was told to collect information about them and follow them so they could also be drafted for the Al-Qaida cause.
The two never met, but at a certain point during their telephone contact, Ibrahim became suspicious. He contacted a preventive security officer in Gaza and told him the whole story. The officer looked into the matter and told Ibrahim that Ahmed was an Israeli Shin Bet agent, and Ibrahim should immediately cut off any contacts with him.
Palestinian sources said last week that the case was not unusual, and they reported it, as well as similar cases, during a security meeting with top-level U.S. security officials.
Those hints startled PA Chairman Yasser Arafat and his people. From his office in Ramallah, Arafat told reporters, "Israel's accusations tying Palestinians to Al-Qaida are meant to justify the intensification of attacks against our people." An official Palestinian Authority statement added: "We vehemently deny the Israeli falsehoods about Al-Qaida being in Gaza." This was followed by Abu Sba's revelations about the Ibrahim episode, which, irrespective of the specific case, is common practice among intelligence services worldwide.
Jerusalem Post (IL), "Zur: Israel has infiltrated Hamas leadership", 24 April 2004.
[ http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1082793078162 ]
Border Police head Cmdr. David Zur, said Saturday that "Israel has people in the leadership of the Hamas."
Zur was responding to a question posed to him regarding Israel's success in finding and killing top terrorist leaders, Ynet reported.
Zur was speaking at a cultural event in Beer Sheba.
"We are excelling in everything connected to human intelligence. We're investing in agents. Israel has excelled beyond belief in this field," Zur said.
BBC News, "Israel 'knew Kenya was target'", 3 December 2002.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/2538997.stm ]
Military intelligence officials in Israel say they were aware of an al-Qaeda threat in Kenya long before last Thursday's attacks which killed 13 people...
The Islamic militant network is increasingly being suspected of responsibility for the attacks - a statement purportedly from al-Qaeda claimed responsibility on Monday.
In Kenya itself, the government is being accused of ignoring warnings of militant activity in the run-up to the attacks.
[Does this pattern sound familiar?]
The row came as police revealed that questioning of 10 foreign suspects detained in the aftermath of the Mombasa attacks had produced no "useful leads".
BBC News, "Plastic explosive clue in Bali bombing", 16 October 2002.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/2329189.stm ]
Indonesian police investigating the devastating bombing of a nightclub on the island of Bali have found traces of plastic explosive at the site of the attack.
The discovery of the explosives suggests a sophisticated bombing operation.
Police say C4 explosive was used - a type manufactured mainly in the United States...
The explosive and method used bear similarities to an August 2000 bombing in Jakarta which seriously injured the Philippine ambassador. Philippine intelligence officials blamed the radical Islamic network Jemaah Islamiah for that attack.
But C4 was also used in the bombing of the warship USS Cole in Yemen two years ago - an attack attributed to Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network.
Sidney Morning Herald, "CIA warned of attack 14 days before", 16 October 2002.
[ http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/10/16/1034561164432.html ]
The Central Intelligence Agency issued an intelligence report listing Bali among possible targets of a pending terrorist attack just two weeks before the weekend's devastating Kuta bomb blast, the Washington Post is reporting.
All information gathered by United States and Australian intelligence agencies is shared between the countries. But the Prime Minister, John Howard, said yesterday he had no knowledge of the US report.
BBC News, "Who bombed Bali?", 13 October 2002.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/asia-pacific/2324887.stm ]
Western intelligence experts are scrabbling to determine who was behind this weekend's explosions on the Indonesian island of Bali.
When a massive bomb goes off in a country with several violent Islamic groups, initial suspicions inevitably fall on al-Qaeda.
But a Bali nightclub is an unlikely target for al-Qaeda.
It has no strategic value, it does not hurt a Western government, and it was not a favoured haunt of al-Qaeda's preferred targets: Americans and Jews.
New Scotsman, "Indonesian anger at FBI investigation", 15 Octobet 2002.
[ http://news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=1139392002 ]
According to Wimar Witoelar, a political analyst on Indonesia, the president had already made a serious error by allowing the FBI into the country.
He said: "She has to show she is not dancing to the tune of the US and many Indonesians will see the immediate involvement of the FBI in the investigation as an unnecessary intrusion.
"The question many people in Jakarta will be asking is why are we allowing the US to run an investigation in our own country."
BBC News, "Report slams Israel spy failures", 28 March 2004.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3576905.stm ]
Israeli intelligence services have been strongly criticised by a parliamentary inquiry for not properly assessing potential threats from Iraq and Libya.
Military intelligence and the Mossad spy agency wrongly played up the risk from Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, said the report by a Knesset committee.
How to achieve success as a journalist: "Ultimate Training Seminar for Pro-Israel Advocates - brochure"
[ http://www.theisraelproject.org/direct_mail/UltimateTrainingBrochure.pdf ]
MORE FURTHER READING
Janes Defence Weekly (US), "Oil from Iraq : An Israeli pipedream?", 16 April 2003.
[ http://www.janes.com/regional_news/africa_middle_east/news/fr/fr030416_1_n.shtml ]
Israel stands to benefit greatly from the US led war on Iraq, primarily by getting rid of an implacable foe in President Saddam Hussein and the threat from the weapons of mass destruction he was alleged to possess. But it seems the Israelis have other things in mind.
An intriguing pointer to one potentially significant benefit was a report by Haaretz on 31 March that minister for national infrastructures Joseph Paritzky was considering the possibility of reopening the long-defunct oil pipeline from Mosul to the Mediterranean port of Haifa. With Israel lacking energy resources of its own and depending on highly expensive oil from Russia, reopening the pipeline would transform its economy.
To resume supplies from Mosul to Haifa would require the approval of whatever Iraqi government emerges and presumably the Jordanian government, through whose territory it would be likely to run. Paritzky's ministry was reported to have said on 9 April that it would hold discussions with Jordanian authorities on resuming oil supplies from Mosul, with one source saying the Jordanians were "optimistic". Jordan, aware of the deep political sensitivities involved, immediately denied there were any such talks.
Paritzky said he was certain the USA would respond favourably to the idea of resurrecting the pipeline. Indeed, according to Western diplomatic sources in the region, the USA has discussed this with Iraqi opposition groups.
It is understood from diplomatic sources that the Bush administration has said it will not support lifting UN sanctions on Iraq unless Saddam's successors agree to supply Israel with oil.
All of this lends weight to the theory that Bush's war is part of a masterplan to reshape the Middle East to serve Israel's interests. Haaretz quoted Paritzky as saying that the pipeline project is economically justifiable because it would dramatically reduce Israel's energy bill.
US efforts to get Iraqi oil to Israel are not surprising. Under a 1975 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the US guaranteed all Israel's oil needs in the event of a crisis. The MoU, which has been quietly renewed every five years, also committed the USA to construct and stock a supplementary strategic reserve for Israel, equivalent to some US$3bn in 2002. Special legislation was enacted to exempt Israel from restrictions on oil exports from the USA.
Moreover, the USA agreed to divert oil from its home market, even if that entailed domestic shortages, and guaranteed delivery of the promised oil in its own tankers if commercial shippers were unwilling or not available to carry the crude to Israel. All of this adds up to a potentially massive financial commitment.
The USA has another reason for supporting Paritzky's project: a land route for Iraqi oil direct to the Mediterranean would lessen US dependence on Gulf oil supplies. Direct access to the world's second-largest oil reserves (with the possibility of expansion through so-far untapped deposits) is an important strategic objective.
"The Insider" mailing list article, 19 April 2004.
Tags: Mossad, false, passports, Australia, New Zealand, Israeli, intelligence, agents, secret, service, spies, , conspiracy theories.