Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 16, 2013

Who Is The Father Of Ben Zygier's Second Daughter?

Ben Zygier was an Austalian/Israeli Mossad agent. He was imprisoned and suicided in Israel probably over fears that he would blow the whistle about illegal foreign passport use shortly after Mossad agents misused foreign passports during while assassinating Mahmoud al Mabhouh in Dubai. A relation between Dubai and and the Zygier case was my first assumption and still seems likely. There are many other possibilities though. And there are several oddities with the whole story. Here is one.

According to this report:

Zygier was arrested in Israel in February 2010. Australian newspapers have reported that Israel informed Australia’s secret service of the arrest on Feb. 24, 2010, eight days after Dubai police revealed that Mossad agents had used foreign passports ...

The official version of Zygier’s death – that he hanged himself in his cell on Dec. 15, 2010 – is being greeted with widespread skepticism as details about his life become known.
He died six days after his 34th birthday, and only four days after the birth of his second daughter.

Zygier was arrested before February 24 2010. Zygier's daughter was born on December 11 2010. There are 290 days between February 24 2010 and December 11 2010. Zygier's daughter was thereby born at least 290 days after he was imprisoned.

Pregnancy is considered "at term" when gestation has lasted [...] between 259 and 294 days since the first day of the last menstrual period (LMP). In an otherwise uncomplicated pregnancy, obstetricians usually prefer to induce labour at some stage between 41 and 42 weeks (287-294 days) since LMP. Fertilization in humans typically occurs a consistent period (14 days) from the onset of the LMP. Pregnancy is thereby "at term" between 245 and 280 days since fertilization. Zygier's last chance to sleep with his wife was very likely before his arrest, 290 days before his second daughter was born. Her LMP was two weeks earlier. His daughter then was born 304 days or 43-44 weeks after his wife's LMP, two weeks later than a doctor would usually allow.


  • Zygier's wife gave birth at a very, very late term due to an incompetent obstetrician or
  • Ben Zygier isn't his second daughter's father and his wife had a different man a few days after Zygier's arrest* or
  • the reported story and dates are not the real ones.

If it is the last point what is the real story?

(*There are other possibilities here like artificial insemination but I consider those very unlikely.)

Posted by b on February 16, 2013 at 8:41 UTC | Permalink

next page »

the reported dates are not the real ones ...

Posted by: somebody | Feb 16 2013 9:25 utc | 1

@ SOmebody [#1]

Q: the reported dates are not the real ones ...

R: And that assumption is based on ...?

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Feb 16 2013 10:37 utc | 2

Good job!

Now here's my question:

Here's a link to some of "wanted Mossad" agents involved in the Dubai hit:

Ben Zygier's likeness appears on the top left. Compare with:

The Jerusalem Post, however, says Zygier was not involved in the operation, based on comparison with a different picture:

What do you think?

Posted by: Josh Wallace | Feb 16 2013 10:39 utc | 3

I just don't see the passport story as being important enough unless perhaps some of the people involved actually supplied their passports to Mossad knowing that they would be used on an operation. That would put them at risk if they travelled abroad and also make it less likely that other travellers to Israel would be prepared to do the same for Mossad in future.

I'm more inclined to believe that Zygier was threatening to reveal information about some Mossad black op such as Stuxnet, the so-called Syrian reactor, the assassination of Iranian scientists, sabotage of Iranian sites or worse of all for Israel an operation designed to compromise Hezbollah that ended in the death of some Israelis or Jews (perhaps the attacks on the Israeli embassy and a Jewish social centre in Argentina).

Posted by: blowback | Feb 16 2013 10:58 utc | 4

The original abc report says they could not establish the start of imprisonment but said it was "beginning to mid 2010", the first censored ynet report mentioning prisoner X dates from June 2010.

If limiting the period of Zygiers activity to February 2012 has a reason and is not just sloppy reporting, someone found it necessary to stretch the probability of his second daughter being his for exactly one month. So what happened in March 2010?

Posted by: somebody | Feb 16 2013 10:59 utc | 5

4) Well it is clear that Zygier was neither incommunicado nor disappeared as obviously his family and his lawyers could visit him - among them Avigdor Feldman who has represented Vanunu. So if he wished to spill something he could have done so. And though the prison guards were not supposed to talk to him, nothing prevented him to talk to them.
From what is also known from Avigdor Feldman, and he has no reason to lie, is that Zygier contemplated a plea deal but seems to have preferred defending himself denying all allegations. The way Feldman describes the accusations they sound like "negligent behaviour in blowing his cover thereby endangering others".
The whole passport affair goes to the core of Israel's construction as a nation state, so I am sure Netanyahu would not like to have it discussed, the gag order presumably blew it out of all proportions and was just stupid.
The main issue now though seems to be that a lot of people do not understand how Zygier could have committed suicide.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 16 2013 11:40 utc | 6


The whole passport affair goes to the core of Israel's construction as a nation state

Are you suggesting that forging passports raises question about the status of the country that does it. If that is the case then I'm fairly certain that the core of every nation state can be called into question since they probably have all done it at one time or another. What was embarrassing for the Israelis was that they were so obviously caught doing so and by the local police force that they so look down upon because they were Arabs.

Posted by: blowback | Feb 16 2013 12:14 utc | 7

"The whole passport affair goes to the core of Israel's construction as a nation state"

@somebody surely means that Israel's claim over all practitioners of Judaism, and their close relatives, is unique and the reason why an Australian would hand over his passport to be used by a gang of hit men working overseas.

Posted by: bevin | Feb 16 2013 12:49 utc | 8

7) Which other "nation" state would recruit double nationals for their spy services assured of their allegiance when in doubt? Zygier would not be in violation of Australian law running a Mossad front company from Italy servicing the Middle East, however he would be in violation of Australian law spying for the Mossad in Australia or stealing the identity of Australian citizens. Vice versa, when questioned in Australia on Mossad activities like stealing the identities of Australian citizens, it would be his patriotic duty to help the Australian secret service as an Australian citizen, however in Israel as an Israeli citizen and Mossad employee he would be a traitor.
All this whilst Australia is officially allied with Israel.
To use an Israeli binational with his family in Australia for spying in Australia is beyond stupid.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 16 2013 12:53 utc | 9

I am also talking about absurdities like this

Precautions for Jewish Travelers

According to the U.S. Department of State, the government of Israel considers Americans who hold Israeli citizenship or who have a claim to dual nationality to be Israeli citizens and subject to Israeli law while they are in the country. This designation also applies to their children. Travelers with dual citizenship must enter and exit the country with their Israeli passports. American-Israeli dual citizens of military age, including females, should inquire about exceptions or deferments to military service before traveling to Israel if they do not wish to serve in the Israeli army. Otherwise, they may be detained and forced into military service, or imprisoned if they refuse to serve in the army. Israel also does not permit its citizens to visit Gaza and parts of the West Bank.

Zygiers crime "treason" might very well just have been explaining what he was doing in Australia to Australian authorities.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 16 2013 13:39 utc | 10

I agree with #7, although I disagree in certain degree with his or her last sentence.

I do not believe in omni-power of Mossad let alone in their "intelligence", or anything that comes from Western colonial outpost. They (settlers) are plainly end-users i.e. servants. They are served with informations which they execute an operations in coordination with overlord.

Second thing is that everybody knows, Western Gov., what is going on. They send 26 guys to kill one guy in Dubai!!! It is an idiocy. The West now pretending and making noise about passports issue which is one of the fundamentals of Nation-state. The whole thing is just charade and political theater of absurd.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Feb 16 2013 14:20 utc | 11

the fallout has started - this here is abc - state owned australian broadcasting cooperation

Zygier case wake up call for Jewish community

Posted by: somebody | Feb 16 2013 14:37 utc | 12

Talking about "Israel"and deporting people...

This is what happens to gullible residents of a country with a ZOG (Zionist Occupied Govt) who slouch over to Malaysia without permission or a squeaky-clean agenda.

Malaysia set to deport Australian senator

(Malaysia is a Muslim country which the US wishes it could regime-change. It is also the home of (ex-President) Dr Mahathir Mohamad - the saint who supplied the Mavi Marmara and bank-rolled its siege-busting trip to Gaza. Being unusually sane people, Malaysians don't trust people with friends like US/Israel).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 16 2013 14:39 utc | 13

NYT propaganda in working.

I do not read NYT and this is typical for them aka the West. An Orientalists can't stand even idea that they had been caught in its idiocy. They been caught by an Arabs by savages, in flagranti.

Now they blame Zygier that he revealed the names of the killers!?

Posted by: neretva'43 | Feb 16 2013 14:48 utc | 14

Feb. 24th was the date the Australian passports were presented by Dubai. It is possible that for some people it is important to date Zygiers arrest before then no matter if his daughter had been conceived by then or more likely not. I think the date was first mentioned by Bob Carr quoting Australian intelligence sources. It would mean Australian secret services could not question Zygier on the passports of the Dubai hit, a later date of imprisonment probably means they did as two of the passports led to his social circle.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 16 2013 15:45 utc | 15

@b Typo on first line of your post: should be "He was" imprisoned... instead of "We was"...

Posted by: Copeland | Feb 16 2013 16:27 utc | 16

The passport controversy was widely seen as an excuse used by the western puppets of Israel as a way to make noise, but at the same time avoid the main reason they should be making noise. IE: that Israel had entered another country and assassinated somebody. That was the much more serious crime, and rather than hold Israel accountable for that, they made a stink about the passports. It was a cop out.

I still hold to the theory that Zygier had been turned and this is why Israel arrested him and then killed him. If he had been turned, and was expecting to fight espionage charges in court, he is unlikely to confess that he had been turned, but keep it to himself.

Posted by: вот так | Feb 16 2013 16:37 utc | 17

I'm trying to figure out why is this important for? Has "b" taken "the red pill"?

Thank you for letting me know about LMP etc. You fail to mention that a sperm mobility is maybe the cause of problems. Maybe they have a surrogate mother.

and as possible answer maybe he used this:

Posted by: neretva'43 | Feb 16 2013 17:09 utc | 18

And the circus goes on ...

There's a fresh bone thrown into the arena and astonishingly many, some of them capable of doing way more important or useful things with their doubtlessly smart heads, jump on that bone.

I'll wait for the third serving.
Sure enough there will come more details to light, Maybe something like Zygier having driven a car that had a license plate that was faked by, supposedly, mossad and - now, hear this! - all that while a blue-eyed australian was seen in Dubai buying a cable ex-act-ly like the one allegedly used both in the Iranian reactor operations center and, oh my god, just months later by the popes secretary. Which, of course, brings up the question whether that evil man is the real father of Zygiers second daughter and if that girl was a mossad agent since pre-birth?!

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Feb 16 2013 17:48 utc | 19

This is the Australian who was closest to Ben Zygier in Israel.

Dan Behrang in the IDF- Dan (Danny) Behrang is kneeling on the bottom left of the photo-

Dan Behrang at Ben Zygiers Wedding. Dan is last on the right with his arm around Maya Zalewski's Dad.

Extract from an earlier post of mine (post 143)-

What must be the major priority of the Israeli security services now is not the question of Zygier/Prisoner X: that is now a problem for the politicians. What they now need to know urgently is the identity of the "well-connected source" who leaked the story to the Australian journalist. For anyone who knows Tel Aviv and Israeli society the first question must be-

Why approach an Australian journalist with the story?


1) You were a friend of Zygier and horrified at what was done to him.
2) You are Australian.
3) Like Zygier,You made aliyah from Australia and served in the IDF/Security services.
4) As an Australian you mix in the small Izzie/Ozzie community.
5) You know/trust/can relate to the Australian journalist.
6) You break the story.

As mentioned the Izzie/Ozzie community is quite small. Nobody knows it better than Danny Berhang who was a good friend of Ben Zygier. I would love to hear his take on all of this.


Never ****with the Irish. Never **** with Irish Passports.

Posted by: Tim Horgan | Feb 16 2013 21:50 utc | 20

One more for the speculation pot:

What, if any, is the connection between Zygier and the Brit spook Gareth Williams who was also bizarely suicided about the same time (Zygier Dec 2010, Williams Aug 2010)?

Posted by: Yonatan | Feb 16 2013 21:51 utc | 21

Apologies - link did not work - here is Dan (Danny)Berhang) Australian friend of Ben Zygier in IDF kneeling on left in front row-

Posted by: Tim Horgan | Feb 16 2013 22:03 utc | 22

And here he is at Ben Zygiers wedding standing on the right with his arm around Maya Zalewski's father-

Posted by: Tim Horgan | Feb 16 2013 22:06 utc | 23

The assumption that Ben Zygier may have not been the biological father of his second daughter is possible. However, some prisoners in Israel do get opportunities to get together with their spouses in a secluded, bedroom like space. Uri Misgav has written in his blog that Zygier was allowed to meet up with his wife...

Posted by: Larry | Feb 16 2013 22:06 utc | 24

And here is Dan Berhang standing on the right with his arm around Maya Zalewski's father-

Posted by: Tim Horgan | Feb 16 2013 22:09 utc | 25

off topic but, who will blink first?
Assange stand-off costing London police $4.3 million

The cost of policing the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is staying, has hit 2.9 million pounds ($4.3 million), Scotland Yard says.


noe ecuadors govt expresses concern over spiraling taxpayers money, but not the UK regime

Posted by: brian | Feb 17 2013 1:01 utc | 26

@somebody #15 - february 24 is the date Australian intelligenge was INFORMED of the arrest of Zygier, and that is cited as Eight (*) days AFTER the Dubai disclosures that foreign passports were used in the murder, including three Australian ones. my records show February 14 2010 as the date first accounts started trickling out of Dubai (depending which newspaper where) and by Feb 16, the faces from ID pictures were shown in practically every paper. So, Zieger must have been arrested during that time but before February 24.

israeli prison is not likely to allow conjugal visits in the first few weeks/months of a security detainee. Ergo, b is right - very long pregnancy indeed.

Only alternative is that everyone is lying, including Bob Carr, the official Australian source quoted about feb 24 and the fairfax reporter (who also refers to Zyger being arrested not too long after they spoke in february), and that Zygier was not actually arrested until sometime in March. if that's the case, however, then Australia is in cahoots with israel over a cover-up, and has agreed for whatever reason to move the date of the arrest up to February. now why would they do that?

Or, as you asked in your post#5, what happened in March 2010? or in February?

PS I did see an account somewhere (forgot where now exactly) that referred to 8 months in detention for Ben Zygier., making it around late March. this caught my attention for being shorter period than other quotes but can't vouch for the veracity of this over any other account.

Posted by: Merlin2 | Feb 17 2013 1:46 utc | 27

@ Somebody [#6]

Q: From what is also known from Avigdor Feldman, and he has no reason to lie,...

R: Are you for real? And why are you all over stories concerning Israel? What's your real reason for patrolling this site?

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Feb 17 2013 1:55 utc | 28

Interesting topic, not knowledgeable on facts (True or not) yet, so keeping up with all, but don't get the 'Baby' bit or why it was put into the equation - Can you expand?

Posted by: Kev | Feb 17 2013 3:28 utc | 29

20) your information sure helps and Dan Behrang will now have to speak to the press or go into hiding - presumably he already has gone into hiding.
However the Australian journalist was tipped off before Dubai happened. So someone was interested before any close friend could have been motivated, and that would have been Australian secret service (or other secret services). And the tip off concerned three Australian Israeli citizens and a front company.

27) It is not clear if Australian intelligence were informed, informed themselves, and what "detained" means in this context, that is the word used by Bob Carr. The passports were disclosed in two press conferences and the Australians ones on the later press conference on February 24.
There is a Daily Telegraph article - that paper usually is open to all kinds of secret service mischief- making a big thing of the date.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 17 2013 6:40 utc | 30

It seems Australia wants to make clear that Zygier had been arrested before the Australians came to Israel officially to questions their citizens on the passports.

from March 2

THE Australian Federal Police will send a team of agents to Israel this week to investigate how forged Australian passports were used in the assassination of a Hamas leader.

Dubai police believe Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was killed in his hotel room in the emirate on January 19 by a team of assassins sent by Israel's foreign intelligence service Mossad.

They have released photographs of 26 people they believe were involved in the killing, three of whom were carrying forged Australian passports bearing the names of three dual Australian-Israeli citizens.

The three, Adam Korman, Joshua Bruce and Nicole McCabe, are all living in Israel and have said they have no idea how their passports were forged.

all the Australians seem to be from Melbourne

And a fourth Melbourne passport was found March 9

Now all the people whose idendity was stolen
a) come from Melbourne
b) live in the close knit Australian Israeli community

and presumably the people involved in the Dubai hit

c) live in the same community.

It would be enough to make the Mossad furious for the screw up.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 17 2013 7:27 utc | 31

oh and they are all the same age group and presumably met in zionist youth organizations.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 17 2013 8:02 utc | 32

This is getting fun now: Mossad accuses ASIO of Anti-Semitism

Chips please.

P.S. The comments section is also good.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 17 2013 8:12 utc | 33

Indeed, two most racists settler-states are "accusing" each other! What absurd world.

Good choreography, though.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Feb 17 2013 13:29 utc | 34

The piece in 33 is a write up of this piece in Ynet: ASIO 'burned' Zygier
Analysis: Australian intelligence agency's conduct played key role in Mossad operative's decision to commit suicide

That "Analysis" includes a lot of chaff to keep people off the target. It is full of contradictions. Just one example:

The reporters who wrote the article were Jason Koutsoukis and Jonathan Pearlman, who had visited Israel for work and were familiar with the Israeli scene. Koutsoukis did not try to hide the fact that their source was an Australian intelligence officer.
Three graphs later:
Koutsoukis claims an "anonymous source" in Israel gave him Zygier's phone number. It is entirely possible that this source was not Israeli.

So first its a fact, but then it is suddenly only "entirely possible".

There several such logical breaks in that piece. The Mossad clearly needs better editors.

Posted by: b | Feb 17 2013 16:47 utc | 35

35, yep, it is getting fun now. The piece seems to be written to put all the blame on Australian Security. It is contradictory in more than one sense as obviously the Israelis treated Zygier as a criminal - maybe out of vindictiveness.
The Australians must have been furious though. The piece Jason Koutsoukis got published in Feb 27, 2010, basically identifies one of the Australians (and probably all three) and the front company to the Iranians by stating that he consulted the Australian consulate in Teheran in 2004 - if their watch on foreigners is any good and it should be.
Add to that, that all the Australian passports used in Dubai were from Zygier's Melbourne/Israeli scene, the fact that Zygier was seen on Melbourne campus with Iranians he might have tried to recruit but would have certainly been scrutinized by them also, the connections that can be drawn by facebook friends, state of the art visual software etc. Dubai and the Iranians must know a lot.
So why was Australia's internal secret service so furious?

Posted by: somebody | Feb 17 2013 17:26 utc | 36

this story is so bizarre that is not worth to pay attention and time to it.

by reading this and similar stories, old Nazi Zbigniew Brzezinski come across my mind.

"For the United States, Eurasian geostrategy involves the purposeful management of geostrategically dynamic states and the careful handling of geopolitically catalytic states, in keeping with the twin interests of America in the short-term preservation of its unique global power and in the long-run transformation of it into increasingly institutionalized global cooperation. To put it in a terminology that hearkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together."

Posted by: neretva'43 | Feb 17 2013 17:43 utc | 37

@36 - over the last year or two the Iranians blew up two Israeli intelligence groups in their country. It may well be that the Zygier case was involved in that.

Zygier also had a British passport and British intelligence was looking into that.

Posted by: b | Feb 17 2013 18:03 utc | 38

38) the Iranians also detected Stuxnet in June 2010. That was a US-Israeli co-project and presumably really hurt (I am sure they have reengineered, improved, and mass produced it by now)
I do not think Stuxnet was meant to be detected, and the stories about it "escaping" supposedly are a cover up.

However, why were the Australians that furious? Had Zygier implicated them? Like recruiting pretending it was for Australia?

Posted by: somebody | Feb 17 2013 18:29 utc | 39

brian @ 26 -- I assume the reported $4.3M is only for the London police costs -- MI-5 costs, or MI-6 possibly, would not be included.

The British people certainly do pay for their government's fealty to the US, what with the wars, war dead and injured, catching and extraditing anyone the US wants to go after.

Posted by: jawbone | Feb 17 2013 18:39 utc | 40

"There are other possibilities here like artificial insemination but I consider those very unlikely."

Look, I get it, you don't have to make these sideways inferences. So let me make it clear, I never evencame near that woman. And the kid is not my son!

Posted by: Mooser | Feb 17 2013 18:47 utc | 41

oh well - I suppose it is about passports ... from July 2011

Mossad spy ring 'unearthed because of Christchurch earthquake'

Benyamin Mizrahi, 23, the Israeli man who died in the damaged van, was found to have five passports on his person, the Southland Times newspaper reported.

Three surviving Israelis who were in the van with Mr Mizrahi fled New Zealand within 12 hours, making their way back to Israel.

They reportedly paused only to take photographs of the crushed van and return the dead man’s Israeli passport to officials from their embassy.

The Southland Times also said the police national computer was being audited because of concerns it had been hacked into.


Security experts suggested agents for Mossad may have been on an identity theft “trawling” mission for information, so that the passports of unwitting citizens could be cloned.

The false passports would then be used as cover during espionage activities in other parts of the world by Israeli secret agents.

Fred Tulett, editor of the Southland Times, said an “extraordinary” reaction by the Israeli government in the hours after the earthquake had heightened the suspicions of New Zealand’s Security Intelligence Service.

They included the fact that Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, made four calls to John Key, his New Zealand counterpart, on the day of the earthquake.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 17 2013 18:53 utc | 42

I'd like to softly ask:

What do we (or they, the Australians and others) *really* have in our hands?

Other than timesofisrael and other israeli sourced "news" ...

Do we even *know* that Zygier was that famous prisoner x? Or are we in the end just guessing and deducting the "obvious" within an israeli made maze?

Have the Australians made an obduction and dns test to verify the identity of that body in the coffin sent from israel? If so, who made the tests - a respectable institution or some secret service guys?

If the answer so far were yes it were to ask, whether that man in the coffin really is the same that was in that cell of that prison. The fact(?) that not even the prison guards were to know his name and that the answer neccessarily had to come from an israeli source ist not any reason for confidence ...

And don't you talk so bad of mossad! The mere fact that this discussion incl. lots of wild guessing takes place could quite well be proof that mossad did a fine job.
Not that I like to say anything positive about them. But I do like a solid core of facts in an investigation.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Feb 17 2013 19:08 utc | 43

@MR@43 - The start of the recent issues was an Australian public TV report, not the Times of Israel. I for one try to take my information from non-Israeli sources. The Aussi services have squeezed the guy and seem to have reason to leak it to the public.

The whole story is very embarrassing for the Mossad, Israel and the Australian Jewish community.

If this were a Mossad story to obfuscate something, which I seriously doubt, they did more damage then good for themselves.

Posted by: b | Feb 17 2013 19:36 utc | 44

b (44)

I do not doubt that there are mossad, sanyanim and what not in Australia. I also do not doubt that the Australians are not always happy about that and sometimes try do do something against it.

But that wasn't the point, here.

The point (well, in my minds eye at least) is what *this* story (prisoner x, Zygier, mossad) is all about, what's the facts and what's behind it.

The "base" is somewhere around "super-secret prisoner x, unknown even to his guards, in special prison alledgedly suicides" ... and ... "Next to a team of lawyers his family (or whoever) sent, just in case, yet another lawyer to prisoner x" - not exactly credible and solid, no?

And yes, sure, it might look suspicious that a guy who supposedly is prisoner x, was in the same group of israelis, who possibly also had a relation to mossad or israel, in some Australian town. In fact, a lot looks suspicious *if one assumes connections and looks at it from a given perspective*.

Another important point is: What's the goal? Why and what for do we discuss this?
For the fun of it? If so, we might as well arbitrarily collect some news and articles about whatever, consider any of them the "trigger" and discuss potential cross connections, coverups and whatnot.

Or are we (and I hope so) serious and seriously analyzing and pondering diverse aspects which are with a not insignificant probability cross connected and leading to something worthwhile - always looking for solid fact and staying close to them?

We should not forget that one classical method to hide something is to light up lots of small fires and diversions. I am wondering whether we aren't fooled here sometimes by discussing diversions and mirrored daemons ...

On top of it this is about something involving israel. Which directly translates to "Having solid grounds and proof isn't enough. You better have double and triple checked your stuff as well as your damn solid evidence".
Where any other nation, even the usa, would begin to sweat the israelis merely look at you and call you an anti-semite, wiping away your "investigation" unless they have solid swords at their throat, their eyes and, just for the sake of reserve, another one right at their balls.
And - what coincidence! - the first "anti-semite!" allegations are on the table.

What's to gain? Everyone knows that the israelis did the dubai job, everyone knows that they lie, murder and vanish people, everyone kows that they play games and, which is more severe, everyone knows that they don't give sh*t about laws.

If we want to force the shitty little "nation" into a position of playing by the rules we'd better have something very solid in our hands and be sure that we don't merely walk along a path they prepared for us and lured us onto.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Feb 17 2013 20:34 utc | 45

I think the two most important questions are (1) as b and others above say, why did the Australian intelligence "burn" Zygier - back in 2010 - to Jason Kousoukis, and (2) why have they allowed the 'cat out of the bag' with evident input to the Australian abc documentary now?

the only thing we know for sure is that the ASIO was furious - back in 2010 and that their fury has not abated till now. There were possibly further violations by Israel's Mossad that they knew of. One interesting coincidence is the "finding" of a suicide in israel about 6 weeks ago, and the release of the documentary that blew the lid off a couple of weeks back. The timing may not be coincidental, even if the connection is not clear.

here's another angle - for whatever reason, the Australian fury over the misused passports in 2010 died down pretty quickly after the expulsion of a couple of israelis. Some time later Rudd lost his position as head of the party, and Australia has a new, more pro-israeli premier. In addition, note the deafening silence of the Australian jewish community in 2010 and into 2011 following Zygier's death. There are obvious questions to ask, all of which could be embarrassing, for example:

(i) did the Australian jewish community exert any pressure in 2010 to kill further efforts by Australian government to crack down on abuse of their passports?
(ii) was there a deliberate effort in 2010 - following notification by israel about Zygier's arrest - to make sure the information did not passed to higher ups? the ambassador at the time claims to not have known about the case, but other foreign service operatives did know because they were notified (cf. Bob Carr).

If, as I suspect, influence was exerted to squash further pursuit of the passport violations (both Dubai and Zygier which were separate cases), are we seeing "blow-back" from the Australian intelligence circles (+ no doubt some political ones)? and if so, to go back to the first question above, why now, 2 years after the events?

Posted by: Merlin2 | Feb 17 2013 21:14 utc | 46

Update: there are bloggers in Israel who claim to know (for sure, every claim in israel is "for sure") that Zygier was first held under "home arrest" until March 4 for a week until March 10 when he was remanded to prison. Thus, pregnancy is exactly 9 months! problem solved. One particular bloggers name is Yehuda Bello who is followed quite actively by people in israel (all entries only in hebrew unfortunately).

That date of arrest is BTW in direct conflict with what the Australian sources are saying with regard to the notification of the arrest (they were officially notified, per their own sources BEFORE February 24). It doesn't bear to reason that the Australian intelligence would be officially notified of a "house arrest".

To my simple mind the timing of these "rumor mills" all claiming personal contacts (some with Zygier's widow) seems kind of fishy. It's as if someone has been reading the questions surrounding the date of birth of Zygier's daughter and are hard at work to "tidy things up".

The other efforts that seem to be going on in Israel is to cast doubts on the accounts by the attorney Avigdor Feldman who claimed Zygier did not seem the least bit suicidal 1-2 days before he supposedly hanged himself. perception management in progress.

Friends are telling me that prisoner "Ex" is all anyone is talking about in israel. Most opinions are coming down especially hard on Mossad for 'seducing' a "good boy" from Australia, a zionist "idealist" , who was clearly not 'suitable" for the job, just for his passport(s), then throwing him to the wolves when he was no longer useful. I think that's good that this venerated institution has lost some luster.

Posted by: Merlin2 | Feb 17 2013 22:02 utc | 47

@ Mr. Pragma [#43],

My main problem is to connect the dots between the HUMINT I get [from boots on the ground] and reliable news sources that supply verifiable links to those remarks. I have to read all sorts of news outlets that I do detest, but that's what's needed to piece a warped puzzle together. When you add people to it who bring selective stories to this mix [aka news that fits their personal agenda], the amount of time spent trying to deduce right from wrong quadruples. Because of that [and my limited time to do so] I have to try and hone in on people I believe attempt to tell the truth and bring facts to the fore [front] that might indicate whatever is wrong with the world we live in today. Are you and I truly objective and unbiased?

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Feb 17 2013 23:25 utc | 48

@ Mr. Pragma [#45],

Q: We should not forget that one classical method to hide something is to light up lots of small fires and diversions. I am wondering whether we aren't fooled here sometimes by discussing diversions and mirrored daemons [demons] ...

R: Throw something [that makes a metallic sound when it lands] into a room packed with people and yell 'Fire in the hole!' Boy, will everyone say 'Phewww' after it turns out to be a dressed up firecracker that explodes or what? I fully agree with the notion of being diligent and 'open-eyed/minded' [when confronted with news that seems to be over its 'sell-by-date'].

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Feb 17 2013 23:35 utc | 49

47) It does not explain the symbolism of Yigal Amir's cell and the secrecy by court order.

Zygier's imprisonment is obviously dated by the Australians before the release of the Australian passports by Dubai and before the Australian news article on the three Australians working for a Mossad front company. I doubt the date.

The description of Zygier as a weak character and not important for Mossad is obviously false. He would not have been treated the way he was if he had been an unimportant sloppy operative and to be able to consider to refuse a plea deal after at least 5 months in harsh prison conditions needs strength of character. The very fact that there is near complete silence around him except for people who do not really know much means he cannot have been talking too much.

Word by the Australians was that he was running the front company from Italy. Maybe he was trying to set up a subsidiary of that company from Australia and was forced to talk about it with ASIO. Like this man.

This here is from February 2010 on Australia stopping shipments to Iran. If Zygier had walked into this it would explain ASIO's fury and why they blew his cover including his front company.

Australian passports were used in Dubai in 2009 holders travelling from Dubai by ferry to Iran. that would presumably have been a business trip unconnected to the 2010 assassination.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 17 2013 23:55 utc | 50

47) It does not explain the symbolism of Yigal Amir's cell and the secrecy by court order.

Zygier's imprisonment is obviously dated by the Australians before the release of the Australian passports by Dubai and before the Australian news article on the three Australians working for a Mossad front company. I doubt the date.

The description of Zygier as a weak character and not important for Mossad is obviously false. He would not have been treated the way he was if he had been an unimportant sloppy operative and to be able to consider to refuse a plea deal after at least 5 months in harsh prison conditions needs strength of character. The very fact that there is near complete silence around him except for people who do not really know much means he cannot have been talking too much.

Word by the Australians was that he was running the front company from Italy. Maybe he was trying to set up a subsidiary of that company from Australia and was forced to talk about it with ASIO. Like this man.

This here is from February 2010 on Australia stopping shipments to Iran. If Zygier had walked into this it would explain ASIO's fury and why they blew his cover including his front company.

Australian passports were used in Dubai in 2009 holders travelling from Dubai by ferry to Iran. that would presumably have been a business trip unconnected to the 2010 assassination.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 17 2013 23:56 utc | 51

sorry, links got lost

Kevin Rudds secret war on Iran


this man: Sanctions, what sanction? Aussie accused of exporting goods to Iran

Posted by: somebody | Feb 18 2013 0:01 utc | 52

Just one example, concerning all the bruhaha around the passports:

While a passport is not something you or I could create in our home office a passport is definitely not something a nation, in particular a nation with helpful hands all around the world, could not quite easily create.

In other words: I don't believe for a second that israel needed Australian nationals for their passports or anything in that direction.

And being at that, not believing, I am not even sure that those "mossad" guys in video who purportedly did that Dubai job where real.
Two reasons:
- mossad may not be the super secret service many think it is but, sure enough, they are neither amateurs nor plain stupid. Even half drunk agents from Polands hinterland wouldn't be that stupid to walk repeatedly in front of cameras.
We also must not believe that - of course! Even granny knows that - the israelis didn't want to be seen; maybe the *wanted*, e.g. to send out a message like "we'll go after you and we'll do it in any bloody way we please".

- Sure enough, israel would have no problem whatsoever to get expert help from hollywood to the effect that any videos of the real killers were completely worthless if the situation didn't allow for a way to enter and leave without being taped.

Add it up and you might have a perfectly conceivable explanation for the whole prisoner x story:

(Hypothesis) israel sent 2 teams. 1 small and very discrete killer team and a second one for diversion and "the message" (with the second one (possibly not even knowing the real story and job) behaving idiotically and careless. Of course! If they were told some story like "there are important secret discussions and we want a certain israeli presence there" they had no reason whatsoever to be careful.

Suppose Zygier was one of the team 2 people blued-eyedly believing to do his country small favour and then finding out that he was fu**ed by his own country and now having his face known around the world and associated with a brutal murder! Would it surprise anyone if he talked to other israelis of his Australian community? Or if in the end he demanded israel to end that nightmare and to clean him somehow of that whole thing?

Et voila, there you have tangible reason for israel to lock him away and, him being in trouble maker mode, making sure that he couldn't talk to anyone.
Even his suicide could be completely serious and "honest" without mossad involvement. All there was needed was some israeli accusations like "You lousy bastard have become a problem and even a thread and a weak point of your country! We'll close you away till hell freezes!" and he would go click an kill himself.

I mean, how would you react if you found yourself unknowingly and innocently associated with a murder and see your face everywhere in the world connected to that murder? I assume you would hardly shrug and say "Well, that's life".
Even less so if the victim happens to belong to a group that isn't known to take it lightly when a major player of theirs was killed - supposedly by *you*

I'm not saying that israel is innocent or that all your discussions are worthless but rather that, from what I can see, this discussion here is biased - and worse, biased along an israeli script, and that we might be nice guys in the end who fall for an israeli trap.

Just consider: In my hypothesis (which could be close to reality or could be dumbly wrong) they *wanted* to have team 2 (and therefore Zygier) associated with the Dubai job. And what can we see in this discussion? Some of us quite nicely (albeit uknowingly) fulfill their whishes and plans ...

Maybe we shouldn't follow the pieces that they put everywhere suggesting paths that they chose but rather put their burning bushes aside and try to look at what really was and is happening.

Just my opinion. No aggression or bad feelings intended.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Feb 18 2013 0:17 utc | 53

Somebody #50 - do not confuse the messenger with the message. I was only the bringer of rumors, and admitted surmiser in that post. Can't say I know much about Australian politics, so the speculation regarding the strange and total silence of the jewish community there is just that - speculation.

Fact is, we do not know with certainty the date of Zygier's actual arrest and have only different people's words to that effect. If the Australians seemed keen to point to an arrest predating the 24th but post-dating the Dubai revelations (by 8 days to be exact!) then we should indeed ask - why? politics/face saving doesn't cut it. Must be a deeper reason.

I do not disagree BTW that the nature of whatever it was Zygier was accused of was no minor matter, and that attempts made to minimize whatever it was that caused the Mossad to throw the book at him, are likely just chaff meant to confuse. israelis BTW cannot bring themselves to believe that an individual, a fervent zionist, would suffer an attack of conscience. To them that would be the ultimate betrayal - concscience on behalf of humans. No way would most israelis be able to come to terms with that because the denial they leave under is so complete. But who knows, an 'attack" of conscience could be as far off the mark as anything else.

Posted by: Merlin2 | Feb 18 2013 0:20 utc | 54

@ Mr. Pragma [#52],

Q: We also must not believe that - of course! Even granny knows that - the israelis didn't want to be seen; maybe the *wanted*, e.g. to send out a message like "we'll go after you and we'll do it in any bloody way we please".

R: Any surviving member of the PLO's '72's Munich organizational team can attest to that.


We killed them all? Oops. Sorry.

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Feb 18 2013 0:39 utc | 55

53) The interesting point is why the Australians threw the unofficial book at him. My first impression that for some reason timelines get blurred was the reporter Koutsoukis who told a somewhat different story in every interview. That could be naturally human - you do not remember timelines clearly without going back to your notes, however he gave different impressions on Zygier's reactions in different interviews. The Australian consular service bit in Tehran 2004 is a strange detail to give for a journalist as not really part of the story.

I thought about conscience. I looked up the Hashomer Youth Movement and it is a bunch of contradictions

Hashomer Hatzair Australia is a Socialist-Zionist, secular Jewish youth movement based in East St Kilda. Founded in 1953, we have proudly educated, impassioned and empowered Jewish youth for over 50 years. Our core aims are to help students to shape their communities and to find personal relevance in their Judaism, Jewish nationhood and Israel.

I think the Australian Jewish community is mum because they do not wish the dual nationality issue discussed.

I do not believe conscience. I think he was not corrupt. Someone you does not have the political intelligence that he has do enter a plea deal or be thrown to the wolves but insists on clearing his name is not corrupt.
The Mossad has a business line, sure there is money in it? He was suicided just before Mossad directors changed so the new guy might go to clean up?

I still remember the vivid story someone told me from Siberia on how the new uncorrupt cook was thrown into a huge pot of boiling water by the camp mafia.

The problem with the human mind is that we connect everything. Zygier's problem in Australia might be different from his problem with the Mossad and be unrelated to the passport issue, though the Australian action might have been used against him.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 18 2013 6:48 utc | 56

I think Ban ki Moon knocked up Ben Zygier's wife.

Posted by: clint | Feb 18 2013 6:53 utc | 57

this here is abc and anthony Loewenstein piling it on

LINDY KERIN: The World Today has contacted many organisations for comment including the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies, and the Australia Israel and Jewish Affairs Council, but nobody wanted to talk about the case.

The president of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, Nina Bassat, responded to our request saying "The family of Ben Zygier is grieving and have clearly expressed their desire to do so in private. I intend to respect their feelings and do not propose to add to their pain by making any comment."

LINDY KERIN: Antony Loewenstein says he's not surprised the community is reluctant to talk.

ANTONY LOEWENSTEIN: The Jewish community and the establishment and the Zionist lobby likes to be in lock-step with the Israeli government. In other words the Israeli lobby in Australia is not an independent bodies, they're simply a propaganda for the Jewish state.

So when a case like this happens, we don't know all the facts, no-one knows all the facts, and rather than coming out and saying something which they fear will embarrass Israel, they'd rather say nothing at all.

But of course, the effect of that is that it shows to the wider community, who is not Jewish, obviously the vast majority of the Australian population, the Jewish establishment is incapable or unwilling of actually questioning its master so to speak, which is Tel Aviv and the government in Israel.

And I think that's very unhealthy for the Jewish community and it's a shame and quite revealing that very, very few, in fact, if any members, of the establishment in the Jewish community are willing to say anything of note apart from platitudes.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 18 2013 7:56 utc | 58

This here is an obvious half truth "leaked" to ABC as obviously ASIO is an Australian internal spy agency and would be interested in Mossad activities not in Italy but in Australia.

As Koutsouki got his tip in Jerusalem and not in Australia surely ASIS would be involved and not ASIO.

Australia seems to be into damage control now. What did Zygier do in Australia?

Posted by: somebody | Feb 18 2013 8:32 utc | 59

sorry - the link

Posted by: somebody | Feb 18 2013 8:47 utc | 60

From the link in 59: Zygier arrested after leaking Mossad work to ASIO: sources

Suspected Mossad agent Ben Zygier was arrested by his own spymasters after they believed he told Australia's domestic intelligence agency about every aspect of his work with the Israelis, sources say.

The ABC's Foreign Correspondent program understands that Zygier met with ASIO officers in Australia and gave comprehensive detail about a number of Mossad operations, including plans for a top-secret mission in Italy that had been years in the making.

It is unknown who initiated the contact.

Sources have told the ABC that on one of four trips back to Australia in the years before his death in 2010, Mr Zygier - who also used the surnames Alon, Allen and Burrowes - applied for a work visa to Italy.
Foreign Correspondent has been told Mr Zygier set up a communications company in Europe for Mossad, a venture that employed the two other Australian dual citizens.

The company exported electronic components to Arab countries as well as Iran.

Mr Zygier returned to Australia frequently with his wife and children, at one stage enrolling in an MBA at Monash University.

It was during one of those visits he had contact with ASIO.

The ABC believes Mossad became concerned after it discovered Mr Zygier's contact with the Australian spy agency.

Mossad was worried he might pass on operational methods and secrets of the organisation, including information about the major Mossad operation planned for Italy.

The relationship between Israel's intelligence agencies and ASIO soured when Australia expelled an Israeli diplomat in 2010, after an investigation found that Australian passports were used in a suspected Mossad operation to assassinate Palestinian arms trader Mahmoud Mabhouh.

Foreign Correspondent's revelations last week have caused a political earthquake in Israel, with prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling for his citizens to support the work of intelligence agencies.

At the opening of a cabinet meeting yesterday, Mr Netanyahu rejected criticism of Mossad emanating from the Foreign Correspondent report.

The death of Mr Zygier has been the subject of a top-secret investigation in Israel that ended only two months ago; a judge finding he had killed himself in his highly secured, reportedly suicide-proof cell.

Posted by: b | Feb 18 2013 9:31 utc | 61

@Merlin2 @47

Update: there are bloggers in Israel who claim to know (for sure, every claim in israel is "for sure") that Zygier was first held under "home arrest" until March 4 for a week until March 10 when he was remanded to prison. Thus, pregnancy is exactly 9 months! problem solved. One particular bloggers name is Yehuda Bello who is followed quite actively by people in israel (all entries only in hebrew unfortunately).

That date of arrest is BTW in direct conflict with what the Australian sources are saying with regard to the notification of the arrest (they were officially notified, per their own sources BEFORE February 24). It doesn't bear to reason that the Australian intelligence would be officially notified of a "house arrest".

To my simple mind the timing of these "rumor mills" all claiming personal contacts (some with Zygier's widow) seems kind of fishy. It's as if someone has been reading the questions surrounding the date of birth of Zygier's daughter and are hard at work to "tidy things up".

Interesting. Seems then I stepped on someones feet. Good. Could you please drop links to the relevant blogs/sites?

Posted by: b | Feb 18 2013 9:33 utc | 62

there is something else - Mossad is the external spy agency, surely Zygier would have been tapped and arrested by the internal spies or who else?

this here is from a "right wing Israli" blog, I supect it to be tongue in cheek though

Mossad and the thugs

Mossad has long grown into a self-serving organization independent of Jewish purposes. Staffed by ultra-leftists of “Nordic character,” Mossad doesn’t see its job as defending the Jewish Israel. The results of Mossad operations even in enemy states are mostly negligible, as the government fails to act on the intelligence gathered by such operations. At any rate, those operations fall under the jurisdiction of Israel’s Military Intelligence, which does its work pretty well. Mossad has evolved into a political and commercial arm of the Israeli establishment, known for cheap Hollywood-like stunts such as targeted assassinations. They solve nothing, are tremendously expensive, misuse scare intelligence resources, and greatly endanger the Diaspora Jews who fall prey to retaliation. Mossad, like much of Shabak, has become a strong arm for Israeli leftists.

Mossad operations in non-enemy states are dismally inefficient. To know everything is not a proper objective; that’s CNN’s job. Mossad’s work makes sense only as a basis for government policy or actions, and such actions regarding non-belligerent states are extremely rare.

The diminishing secrecy of Mossad’s staffing and operations shows the recognition of its increasing superfluousness. The name of Mossad’s chief, which was top secret years ago, is now widely known.
Mossad evolved into an economic empire, and provides formidable financing for ultra-left figures. From its early involvement in financial scams (not a bad thing in itself), Mossad switched to country-wide projects. One such famous project is ex-Mossad head Danny Yatom’s business in Angola with Lev Levaev. Another Mossad ex-head, Shabtai Shavit, had his own pet billionaire, the super-corrupt Marc Rich, indicted for trading with Iran in circumvention of the sanctions. Rich wondrously evaded US marshals for decades before Clinton pardoned him on the intercession of Shavit, Peres, and Barack.

Just one example of the criminal economic activities of the Israeli establishment is Glencore, Marc Rich’s infamous company, which cooperated with the world’s worst regimes, including almost every Muslim enemy state. Glencore enjoys a huge, near-monopolistic share of oil supplies to Israel, even though the Russians almost evicted Glencore from their markets. Instead of cooperating with the discredited Glencore, Israel can buy Russian oil from one of the traders associated with Putin, and thus build goodwill, but the economic interests of the Israeli political establishment prevail. Under the Camp David agreements, Israel can buy any amount of oil from the US; this would also be a bit cheaper and considerably more efficient in political terms than dealing with Glencore.

Mossad’s business empire would be bad, but the politico-economic empire devastates Israel. The economic arrangements between some of the dirtiest businessmen and outright criminals (such as Seva Mogilevich, Marc Rich, and Martin Shlaff); the all-powerful politicians such as Peres or Barack; the highest-ranking Mossad officials; and various foreigners ranging from the hostile (EU ministers) to the enemy (Fatah bosses) are killing the Jewish state.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 18 2013 9:38 utc | 63

PS. above quoted blog is presumably related to this guy here.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 18 2013 9:43 utc | 64

the new york times piles it on with interesting detail:

"Mr. Zygier was considering a plea bargain when he apparently hanged himself with a shirt in the bathroom of his cell."

and an interesting point of view

“The Australian government will publish the information it has and again make Israel appear irrelevant to the international community and the Israeli public.”

Posted by: somebody | Feb 18 2013 10:37 utc | 65

and people are beginning to talk - Zygier's wife given a cover story and watched. If true, the cover story is fishy as it allows for possible death.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 18 2013 10:49 utc | 66

b (61)

"Suspected Mossad agent Ben Zygier was arrested by his own spymasters after they believed he told Australia's domestic intelligence agency about every aspect of his work with the Israelis, sources say.
The ABC's Foreign Correspondent program understands that Zygier met with ASIO officers in Australia and gave comprehensive detail about a number of Mossad operations, including plans for a top-secret mission in Italy that had been years in the making."

Now, this is something that looks more credible to me.

Along the lines of my hypothesis (which could be way wrong but at least matches mossad style more than the fairy tale of a bunch of incompetent idiots getting themselves on tape) Zygier found out that he was framed and abused and quite possibly even in real danger. After all, Hamas watches TV too.
From what little we know he wasn't a tough guy. It looks perfectly credible to me to assume that he went to his "other state", Australia, looking for help.

Of course, at spy agencies there are no free meals. Quite certainly they told him something like "You want us to protect you? Well, give us something first! Make up your mind and either tell us about mossad or go back to them".

This would fit nicely. After all israel has to be considered a "friend" of every state, so they couldn't go too tough against them. But sure enough, The Australians were no less p*ssed of by the nonchalant and ugly things the israelis pulled off right under their nose. Having a weak and frightened guy like Zygier in their hands would have been a nice "meal".

And here, btw, you also have your turned around agent, too. It would have seemed reasonable to use Zygiers dual citizenship to send him back to israel for Australia in deal along the line "OK, you continue playing the game for 1 year but this time for us and afterwards you get a new identity and a cosy job in some state office"

No need for wild cross speculations about cross connections, true fathers of little girls, gestation timings and all of that hardly credible "yet another new detail!" stuff. And not too many partly weird and contradictory press articles neither.

Btw: I wouldn't trust in such a case alone for the reason that it's their damn interest to find more and more seemingly related stuff. To them this is just a hook on which a whole lot of articles - equaling direct and indirect profit - can be hung (and such money made) and as a welcome sideline some journalistic nobodies can make themselves "big names".

Why is the Australian jewish community so closed? Because at least one of them sold Zygier and because some more of them gave him bad advise or left him alone when he needed the "community". And because their idea of what happens to anyone incl. jews who displeases the "only democracy over there" mass murder state was strongly reinforced by what happened.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Feb 18 2013 10:52 utc | 67

The blogger Yehuda Bello seems to know quite a bit about the case

Google translations of his last two posts
Feb 15 - The">">The true story about the prisoner X: Chronicle of a Death Foretold

After that, I discovered that social networking on December 11, 2012 the second daughter celebrated her birthday X. second. That is, she was born four days before his death. Therefore, he could not be detained for more than nine months, and his wife must have known that he held. She was pregnant and therefore there is no possibility that her husband had been missing for a long time when she was pregnant. It does not make sense. I wrote all this. Immediately I realized that perhaps the reason for the suicide is heartbreak following the birth. X was not allowed to see the baby. He died without ever meeting her. TV journalist from the thought that I am wrong and told me not to involve the child in the case. However, today offered the same version also Avigdor Feldman radio interview. He had met the X before his suicide.

Feb 18 The story you did not know: he was drafted into the Israeli Mossad X. prisoner and captured

Binyamin Zigiir changed his name several times, and each time he did this, also issued a new passport. As Australia is interrogated by intelligence Preventive and broken. He ran over the list of Australian Jews knew that they operate in the institution, and moreover, the Australian intelligence learned that a person with the name and formed a company in Italy that traded with Iran.

Australians save the new information to themselves. Benjamin Zigiir, he's oak, returned to Israel and said nothing to his handlers. However, history has surprising ways to reveal the truth. On January 19, 2010 in Dubai assassinated Mahmoud al - Mabhouh. According to foreign sources, was the hand of the institution concerned. On February 15, 2010 from the local police chief to publish the identities of those who participated in the assassination. Among them were forged Australian passports. Senior officials in Australia boomed and sought explanations for emergencies. Who did not cooperate, further anger the Israeli arrogance, and revealed to the institution the Slidiatm Australian passport holders were in the service. They demanded not to use more of these passports. However, they did not reveal the informant old oak. However, the interrogators began to investigate the case and summoned all Australians who work at the institution. 4 March 2010 opened a criminal case against a Zigiir. March 10, he was arrested under custody. Nine months he spent in custody until he died in bizarre circumstances. This The background story of the prisoner X.

Unless he retroactively it seems that Yehuda Bello published the different date on Feb 15 before I wrote the above about the birth date on Feb 16.

The original URLs

Posted by: b | Feb 18 2013 11:08 utc | 68

68) following points do not make sense:

Ben Zygier was not outed officially between secret services after the Dubai assassination but - anonymously however still recognizable by people with inside knowledge - by leaking to a journalist before the Dubai incident - he says October 2009 - that would be the time Australian passports were used in travel activity to Dubai and from Dubai to Iran but before the hit in January 2010. If the journalist is lying what could be the reason?

Australians did not need Zygier to know the others were in the Mossad, all they had to do is match global computer data of passport holders' movements. They had a trail of all the name changes. Normal people do not change their name every year and travel the Middle East in different names, they guessed the others as they guessed Zygier.

Presumably they guessed them by being involved in the security of Gulf countries, and the agents passing through these countries. Or the agents used Australian airlines a lot. Or - more likely - interpol does that data exchange anyway.

Obviously the timeline is very important and gets fudged intentionally, February 24th must be the problem as some people seem to be interested in distancing Zygier's case from the publication of the Australian passports.

Some comments insinuated that Zygier was driven to suicide by telling him his daughter was not his, however, the way Avigdor Feldman tells his visit that would not be the case. Feldman tells his story though in a way that suggests Zygier was under very hard pressure by his interrogators who might have succeeded to drive him into suicide.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 18 2013 12:16 utc | 69

Piling it on: Silence over Zygier echoes attitudes of Stalinism

Posted by: somebody | Feb 18 2013 15:38 utc | 70

so - here it is - the politics - religious against secular zionists - it is completely insane but I assume that can be said of a large part of the Israeli government

"The case of “Prisoner X”, Ben Zygier, the Australian-Israeli who was allegedly a Mossad agent until his mysterious death in an Israeli prison in December 2010 has dominated world headlines for the last week and shows no sign of going away.

While it was recently revealed by the U.S. Justice Department that President Obama can order the killing of American citizens without trial if they associate in any way with Al-Qaeda, Prisoner X seems to have received more attention. While countless people are anonymously imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay and who-knows-how many other secret American prisons worldwide, a Jew in jail in Israel fascinates world media.

Of course, while there are many headlines about Zygier, what has been largely ignored is the fact that he was active with the leftist, Marxist movement Hashomer Hatzair and moved to Israel to live on a Hashomer Haztair kibbutz. That should indeed be the front and center of the story. A possible traitor in the security services who was an extreme-leftist is indeed worthy of headlines for those writing about the Zygier case.

Prior to his death, Zyglier had hired Attorney Avigdor Feldman, an ultra-liberal civil-rights attorney known for representing Israeli traitor Mordechai Vanunu and activists in the International Solidarity Movement which does tremendous worldwide damage to Israel.

Feldman is a co-founder of B'Tselem, a radical extremist leftist organization whose followers, foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman said, "are clearly not concerned with human rights. They spread lies, they slander and incite against the state of Israel and against Israeli soldiers. Clearly these organizations are abetting terrorism and their only objective is to undermine Israel."

Feldman represented Anat Kam, the IDF soldier who leaked classified military documents, and has defended many other extremists.

There is also no question that part of the media leaks in this case involve an ongoing desire to hurt Israel by the far-left Hashomer and similar groups.

Worldwide, secrecy is required to succeed against terror. And while all the facts on this case aren’t known, former Australian Secret Intelligence Service agent Warren Reed noted that Zygier probably committed treachery that endangers Israel’s security. Reed noted that Zygier might have been involved with the maintenance of programs with implications for Israel’s safety for the next 20 to 30 years. With any case like this, inquiring minds may want to know it all, but clearly don’t.

There are many questions which arise as a result of the “Prisoner X” incident. But, it is vital that when media report on this story, they include information on Zygier’s involvement with extreme-leftist organizations - as they would if the shoe were on the right foot."

Now all we have to know is - whose idea was it to put him in Yigal Amir's cell?

Posted by: somebody | Feb 18 2013 16:23 utc | 71

"I think Ban ki Moon knocked up Ben Zygier's wife."

Now I get it. I look an awful lot like Ban ki Moon. I'll just continue my heretofore irreproachable behaviour (Caesar's wife could take my correspondence course) and suspicion will lessen, I'm sure. Although it must be faced: some taint will always cling to me.

Posted by: Mooser | Feb 18 2013 17:13 utc | 72

Australian TV speaks to the reporter who first contacted Zygier: Journalist spoke to Prisoner X before his arrest

JASON KOUTSOUKIS: Well, I was contacted in October of 2009 by an Australian intelligence source who wanted to alert me to what he believed was a pattern of Israeli intelligence exploiting Australian law to obtain new sets of identity documents.

And he identified three people to me who were returning from Israel to Australia - these were Australian citizens and Israeli citizens - and these people were returning to Australia at different intervals between 2000 and 2009 to change their names, get new sets of documents, passports, driver's licences and then using those documents to travel to countries that Israeli citizens were not - are not normally allowed to go to.
I rang that number for the first time, I think, around December 8 or December 7 and I had a conversation with him and that was the first of three or four conversations that we had.

TONY JONES: Did you put it to him what the intelligence official had put to you, the suspicions that they were actually spying for Israel and using their Australian passports as cover to do it?

JASON KOUTSOUKIS: Yes, I did. And Ben Zygier, he listened to me. It seemed clear to me that he knew who I was, which is unsurprising given that he's from Melbourne and that I had written for The Age for a long time.
I found him to be very convincing and then I went away and tried to do more work on the story and it wasn't until January, mid-January that I contacted him again and in the subsequent conversations that we had he just grew increasingly exasperated at my inability to accept his denials.

TONY JONES: Now, you obviously went ahead and published the story. I don't think at the time you named him, but did you believe that you'd actually proven the case, that these Australians, more than one of them in fact, were actually spying for Israel?

JASON KOUTSOUKIS: I didn't believe that we'd proven that case. I believe that we - I had a couple of different sources for the - to confirm that they had - that these three people had changed their names and that they had used these travel documents to go to different - you know, these sensitive countries, sensitive for Israel, countries such as Iran and Syria, but I could not be sure what exactly Ben Zygier was doing in those countries.
I thought at the time that perhaps Israeli intelligence were aware of our phone conversations. There were a couple of strange incidences that happened around my home in Jerusalem which I didn't really take seriously at the time, but in hindsight I think, well, it is possible that they were monitoring our conversations and maybe - I can't remember or pinpoint the exact last time that I spoke to Ben Zygier, but I think it was probably in early to mid-February and so it's quite possible that they were aware that he was talking to me and became concerned, but really that is just my own speculation.

Posted by: b | Feb 18 2013 18:50 utc | 73

Australia's Jewish community speaks from Jerusalem

Anti-Israeli elements in Australia, supported by sections of the media, tried to exploit the situation in order to besmirch Israel’s image. One prominent anti-Zionist Jewish extremist, on Australia’s national radio, accused his fellow Jews of harboring dual loyalties and claimed that the Jewish school system was a breeding ground for brainwashing children to settle in Israel.

This affair has undoubtedly created negative ripples against Israel amongst the public. There is still fallout from the passport imbroglio when Australia, considered amongst Israel’s best friends, became one of the primary countries whose passports were illegally employed by Mossad for intelligence operations.

Australian Jewry, one of the most passionately Zionist Diaspora communities, regards this episode as a great tragedy. Ben Zygier’s father, Geoffrey, had served in professional positions in a number of leading Jewish organizations and is well regarded by those who know him. Ben himself was considered an effervescent personality but a committed Zionist who made aliya and it is heartbreaking that a young idealistic Zionist’s journey could end so catastrophically. Other than expressing sympathy for Zygier’s parents who were obliged to endure a repetition of the grief and mourning they underwent two years ago when they buried their son, Jewish communal leaders declined to comment.

Beyond investigating whether negligence contributed towards the suicide, this tragic episode reminds us that we live in a very tough region and that even as a democracy, security related issues will arise which must remain outside the public purview.

We must also recognize that even if there are the inevitable occasional wretched mistakes, the Mossad is vital for our security and wellbeing. It remains far superior and more responsible than most intelligence agencies throughout the world and is not a law unto itself.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 18 2013 19:09 utc | 74

piling it on - the Australian

Israel's Haaretz newspaper on Monday said one of the major questions that needed to be answered was whether Mossad instructed the prison service to turn the cameras off. There is a growing view in Israel that the father of two may have been murdered.

His second daughter had been born five days before he died on December 15. The day before, his lawyer, Avigdor Feldman, said he saw no signs of depression.

Rather, Mr Feldman said Zygier protested his innocence, said he was being unfairly treated and was determined to fight the charge and clear his name.

Mr Feldman says it was "strange" it took 18 months to come to a finding of suicide.

An international expert in the Mossad, Gordon Thomas, has said the decision to determine the death was suicide would have been made at the very highest level of Mossad.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 18 2013 19:29 utc | 75

b #62 - Glad to see you followed up. you can get the best nuggets concerning the israeli rumor mill on Yehuda Bello's twitter:

But, not to undermine your thunder (which i would never want to do), I first saw the tip on Bello from a commenter on Richard Silverstein's blog (the link will be forthcoming on the next comment).

Also, I think in the same comment section, a commenter named "curious and curioser" did beat you to it as far as the strange untimeliness of the daughter's birth, followed by a few other commenters who picked up the clues and ran with them. I originally thought that's where you got the idea from (not that one could not figure it out on one's own), but even if you figured out the peculiar coincidences all on your own (which I am sure you had. I know I did, it was a bit glaring - especially for those who tend to pay attention to dates and are good a counting) please give credit where credit is due. Silverstein does get some interesting crowd of commenters - quite a few from Israel though mostly the dual American-Israeli citizens . Regardless of what you think of his "scoops" he is cued in to the Israeli rumor mill, which is why you get to see some really bristling exchanges (and our Richard, he does bristle - almost israeli-like) and he reads and can translate from Hebrew.

As an aside - how can you tell an israeli-American commenter? look for the "bristling' effect (they are always indignant), the love of rumors, the stubborn resistance in the face of all logic and the willingness to get into endless pointless spars. i believe that the subset of American jews who either settled in israel or are obsessed with it (probably because their own 'resettlement' efforts failed when they found out they can never be part of the "in" crowd there) may have already been inclined to such traits and/or feel a deep sense of disappointment (when the spiritual goodies did not quite materialize) so they go on blogs and act out.

As another aside: google translate can do some strange things. Since hebrew has no 'x' they have to spell it out as "Eks", which can sometimes transform into "oak".

Posted by: Merlin2 | Feb 18 2013 20:03 utc | 76

b, #62 and 68:

Here is the link to the piece by Silverstein from Feb 14:

You can see the comment I refer to there. That is the date i also figured out the same thing - truly all on my own - because of the report from Australian sources about the time they were notified of the arrest of Zygier (before Feb 24) followed by comments from Avigdor Feldman about the date of birth. Admittedly that was only a comment but apparently these rumors were running around like wild fire in the israeli social media.

I'd take everything Bello says with a grain of salt, just like anything any Israeli says. Allegiance to truth in Israel is definitely second fiddle to allegiance to the security state. I would be willing to bet that there's a cover story being built as we speak about the "house arrest" in early march). Way too contrived. But that's how social media work in israel - very easy to plant a seed and let it grow like weed. Months later, who's to know where it came from?

Bello also had originally on his twitter account the full, unobscured wedding picture - a commenter here - Tim Horgan - brought up the flickr image too - but it's been taken down since, which is why the links provided above no longer work. Israel, is also a place where people profess to great respect for pr"privacy" while trampling on it just the same. The joys of cognitive dissonance....

b, maybe you can kiss and make up with Richard? he is a good translator....

Me, I just stick fro obscure humble commenters everywhere -

Posted by: Merlin2 | Feb 18 2013 20:34 utc | 77

@70, everybody's got it in for Comrade Joe, including the ones always prating about "brutal tyrants" and "oppresses his own people!" while feasting on human flesh. Makes me want to warm up to the old bolshevik.

Posted by: ruralito | Feb 19 2013 1:03 utc | 78

78) :-)) I think we are not talking about a human being but about a frame of mind where it is "us" and "them" and "us" is always allowed to do what some people want because "we" are threatened by "them" and if "I" disagree "us" might reject me and consider me part of "them".

Posted by: somebody | Feb 19 2013 6:04 utc | 79

Merlin2 - 76

"As an aside - how can you tell an israeli-American commenter? look for the "bristling' effect (they are always indignant), the love of rumors, the stubborn resistance in the face of all logic and the willingness to get into endless pointless spars."

Same goes for many British Jewish zionists I've had contact with. Australians, also.

Posted by: вот так | Feb 19 2013 6:19 utc | 80

this here is what it should be about

But what makes this international intrigue all the more fascinating is not what most of the commentary is obsessing over — the details of Zygier’s life and how he ended up in a high security prison — but the ways in which young Jews are groomed by an Israeli intelligence service to commit acts of terrorism and subterfuge across the world under the guise of protecting national security. It is done with the consent of Western governments and intelligence services, including Australia’s.

New Matilda spoke to a former senior Australian ambassador who says that ASIO and ASIS work hand in glove with the Israeli government, including the assistance of grooming potential spies on Australian soil at universities such as Monash in Melbourne and military academies like Duntroon. Australia long ago outsourced much of its military and intelligence, as well as foreign affairs sovereignty, to Israel and America. "There’s little we [Australia] would not do to please them", my source says.


What the Zionist lobby and its political and media courtiers don’t want to discuss is their complicity in this affair. They all believe that young Jews have the right to move, fight or spy for Israel, including during wars against Lebanon and Gaza, while Muslims who want to join their brethren in Syria, Lebanon or Palestine are labelled terrorists for doing the same thing.

Actually expatriot Middle-Eastern Communities have been used in a similar though much more exploitative way - sending their kids back as "rebel forces" fighting completely unprotected by international law.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 19 2013 7:07 utc | 81

"I rang that number for the first time, I think, around December 8 or December 7 and I had a conversation with him and that was the first of three or four conversations that we had."

So a spy, with a dodgy past, talks to somebody over the phone [whom he can't see] to

a) have a conversation

b) to make an appointment to have a conversation?

What happened to the 'face-to-face-because-I-don't-trust-anybody' angle?

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Feb 19 2013 7:50 utc | 82

Former Australian Former Foreign Minister will not let the speculation end

ALEXANDER DOWNER: What he actually did, which led the Israelis to jail him, it must have been very serious frankly, because it's not an offence in Israel to be a member of Mossad, remember that, it's their security organisation, it's like working for ASIO or ASIS here in Australia, that's part of helping the country.

But if you end up in jail, then you've obviously done something seriously unhelpful to the interests of the country as they saw it.

LEXI METHERELL: The reports so far suggest that he was sharing information about Mossad operations with one of the Australian security agencies, ASIO. Australia is an ally of Israel, why would Israel be so concerned about that?

ALEXANDER DOWNER: They might not be, that might not be what the offence was. If it was an unauthorised sharing of classified information, even with an ally, and I use the term unauthorised, then that could get you into a fair bit of trouble but it probably wouldn't get you into jail.

So I suspect that's not the reason he ended up in jail. I suspect that something more serious than just sharing information with ASIO. I think just telling ASIO a bit about Mossad operations, he may have been giving ASIO names of Mossad agents for example. Yeah, that would be against the law in Israel for sure, that would get him into a lot of trouble, even though Australia is an ally of Israel's.

But this sounds a bit more serious than that to me.

So back to the drawing board: Why did Zygier consider himself innocent?

Posted by: somebody | Feb 19 2013 8:03 utc | 83

about the date

"Prisoner X" was officially indicted on March 4, 2010, before the Central District Court. Deemed a "highly classified security case," the hearing was held behind closed doors and any minutes taken – if they were taken at all – were immediately deposited in the court's vault.

from Wikipedia

Law enforcement authorities have to show cause within 48 hours (in a hearing behind closed doors).

That makes it March 2.

The Australian passports were revealed Feb 24, same date Australian Secret Service say they knew of Zygier's detention. Australia's and Israel's secret services cooperate closely.

The Australian passports were not involved in the original batch that was revealed but found connected from a visit in August 2009 (presumably by credit card), a couple (man and woman) with these Australian passports left Dubai then via ferry to Iran.
All Australian passport holders were dual nationals from Zygier's Melbourne social circle.

The article outing (anonymously) three dual national Mossad Australians with an Italian communications firm and a Middle East subsidiary appeared Feb.28 quoting Australian security sources. Australian and Israeli secret services cooperate closely.

Zygier told Avigdor Feldman he preferred to contest the charges against him and wanted his opinion on his chances.
For some strange reason Zygier was held in Yigal Amir's cell anonymously whilst guards were told not to talk to him.
Nevertheless the media knew but was prevented to talk about it via gag order.

Dubai is a trade hub, from Haaretz 2009

Israel exported to Dubai only indirectly via other countries, said Dan Catarivas, the director of the Division of Foreign Trade and International Relations of the Manufacturers Association. He said Israeli companies built small, portable desalinization plants there in cooperation with American firms. In addition, software companies tried to build Internet infrastructure through American and European firms, but had little success, said Catarivas. Israeli farmers also cooperate with Jordanian farmers to export fruits and vegetables to Dubai, he said.

Israelis are allowed into Dubai only with a foreign passport, in general. There is an unofficial Israeli representation in Dubai, which helps Israelis receive the necessary approvals, but each visit requires special approval from the local authorities.

In January 2008, Idan Ofer told TheMarker: "The big money is in the Gulf, and anyone who doesn't understand that will have a difficult time doing business in the future with the West," referring in particular to the huge state investment funds of the oil-producing Arab countries.

My guess is those Australian passports used in 2009 were never meant to come up in connection with the assassination but were used for business. Zygier got scapegoated for the screw up.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 19 2013 10:17 utc | 85

The irony is that Israeli agents tried to get through Dubai's security presumably the very moment "the west" helped it to beef up their borders patrol to be able to implement the sanctions against Iran.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 19 2013 10:40 utc | 86

Correction Office

Use of isolation cells. While is it often appropriate, or essential,or prisoners to be placed in isolation cells, this placement can raise the risk of suicide. If an inmate thought to be at risk of suicide requires isolation, attention must be paid to appropriate observation of the inmate as well as ensuring that all isolation cells are suicide-resistant, that is, minimize the presence of items that could be used for self-harm, such as bed sheets and projections from walls or furniture that could be used as anchors for a hanging.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 19 2013 15:21 utc | 87

Ben Zygier of today is Amiram Nir of 25 years ago. Look him up.

Did Israeli agent really die in crash?

Toronto Star, The (Ontario, Canada) - Sunday, April 30, 1989

Posted by: azinvar | Feb 19 2013 16:32 utc | 88

:-)) more detail by Der Spiegel - I do wonder who wants the story of the Mossad front firms spread

Posted by: somebody | Feb 19 2013 17:23 utc | 89

Lots of new details from the Spiegel piece. I wonder who pushed all this to them. (It is by Ulrike Putz who does general Middle East stuff but usually not Mossad stuff): How the Mossad Works: The Mystery of Israel's 'Prisoner X'

The Milan office building exudes elegance with its stucco facade, brass name plate, concierge service and expensive wooden furniture inside. There's nothing to suggest that the firm based here, which specializes in the sale of satellite communications technology, is a front for the Israel foreign intelligence service Mossad.

But the Milan company is reported to have hired Israeli agents who needed legends for their operations in enemy territory. One of them was Ben Zygier, an Australian Jew and a committed Zionist who emigrated to Israel as a young man. The company is reported to have vouched as Zygier's employer when he applied for a work visa at the Italian consulate in Melbourne in 2005. That, at least, is what Australian intelligence agents claim.
The agent was arrested in February 2010, shortly after the Mossad had murdered the weapons dealer of Hamas in Dubai. Now there's speculation that Zygier was involved in that killing, and that he may have divulged secrets. Or did he have something to do with the killings of Iranian scientists or software attacks against Iran's nuclear program?

There are no answers, but Zygier and two other Australian Jews who also worked for the Milan firm were reported to have been successful agents. "The nature of their business gave them access to military and secret installations," said an Austrialian intelligence source.
As a young man, Zygier got involved with the "Community Security Group" in Melbourne, a kind of Jewish citizens' defense league. These groups often have links to Mossad and are instructed by agents. Ben Zygier was probably recruited in this way. At around the same time, Paul Y. and David Z. were recruited.
Zygier emigrated to Israel. Y. and Z. also moved there. The three of them -- all holding Israeli and Australian citizenship -- got jobs with the Milan-based firm. Back in Australia, they applied for new names. Ben Zygier got the names Benjamin Burrows and Benjamin Allen. Y. and Z. also changed their names at least twice.

But in 2009 their repeated name-changing aroused the interest of the Australian authorities -- especially when Zygier handed in his old passports, filled with Iranian entry visas. Paul Y. spent a lot of time in Syria, Iran, Egypt and Dubai. David Z., too, travelled to Iran several times. That wasn't just evident from his passport stamps. During one trip in 2004, he sought help from the Australian consulate in Tehran.

The three men were now put under surveillance whenever they went back to Australia. Britain's MI6 foreign intelligence agency also began to take an interest in David Z., who possessed a British passport as well.

Ben Zygier also attracted attention with his choice of friends. During a trip to Melbourne in 2009, his followers noticed that he was approaching Iranian and Saudi-Arabian students at Monash University.

Soon after that, a source told the Australian journalist Jason Koutsoukis that the three men were caught up in espionage.
At this point the Australian authorities already planned to arrest Zygier for espionage. But the Israeli authorities were quicker. On Feb. 24, Israel informed a liaison officer from the Australian secret service in Tel Aviv that Zygier had been arrested.

Zygier died in December. Calls to the firm in Milan are only answered by voicemail. Paul Y. and David Z. are reported to be still living in Israel. Possibly under new names.

Reuters with a wrap-up from today: Israel denies mystery 2010 detainee spied for Australia

Israel denied on Tuesday that an Australian immigrant who committed suicide in 2010 while jailed for security offences had spied for his native country.

The statement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office, which oversees Israel's intelligence services, was the first to confirm the affair concerned Ben Zygier, who was named in an Australian TV expose last week.
In a separate measure to douse speculation of foul play, an Israeli court allowed the publication of a judge's inquiry, completed two months ago, that said Zygier hanged himself in his cell.

The investigation showed the prisoner looped a wet sheet around his neck, tied it to the bars of a bathroom window in his cell and hanged himself, choking to death.

Israeli media reported the bathroom area was not covered, for privacy reasons, by closed-circuit television cameras that transmitted images from other parts of the isolation cell.

Ruling out foul play on the basis of medical and physical evidence, Judge Dafna Blatman-Kardai said entry to the cell was monitored by cameras and examination of their footage showed no one "intervened in causing the death of the deceased".

She said his family - which has not commented publicly on the case - agreed with the findings.

"A small amount of sedative was found in his blood. There was no alcohol or drugs. This does not change my determination ... about the cause of death," a forensic medical expert was quoted as saying in the judge's report.
"I met with a balanced person ... who was rationally weighing his legal options," Feldman told Israeli television last week, adding Zygier had denied the charges against him.

"His interrogators told him he could expect lengthy jail time and be ostracised from his family and the Jewish community. There was no heart string they did not pull, and I suppose that ultimately brought about the tragic end."

Feldman declined to comment on an Israeli newspaper report that Zygier faced between 10-and-20 years in prison.

Posted by: b | Feb 19 2013 18:33 utc | 90

Regarding the Spiegel piece above I just learned that Ulrike Putz, the author, is the spouse of Jason Koutsoukis, the Australian reporter who was on the story in 2009/2010.

That well explains how she got all these new details. Fed directly from the Australian services ...

Posted by: b | Feb 19 2013 18:51 utc | 91

or some Australian-Israeli double agent :-)) all the information/journalists are based in Israel

there is also this:

Barak Ravid ‏@BarakRavid

Out of 28 pages in the report about prisoner x cause of death - 20 were censored and only 8 made public

Posted by: somebody | Feb 19 2013 18:59 utc | 92

Forget about Spiegel.

They are strictly pro-israel and if they utter something that sounds critical then it's because israel *wants* it that way.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Feb 19 2013 20:15 utc | 93

As long as Germany delivers submarines and Merkava tank engines to the Apartheid Regime, the information supplied by subversive MSM behemoths should be read with caution in mind.

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Feb 20 2013 0:47 utc | 94

"Ulrike Putz"?

Posted by: вот так | Feb 20 2013 4:14 utc | 95

Tim @ #20

Never ****with the Irish. Never **** with Irish Passports."

Did Ireland actually do anything in response to Mossad forging the Irish passports or is your little concluding moral here totally empty bluster? Seems more like never fuck with the Australians.

Posted by: J. Bradley | Feb 20 2013 5:26 utc | 96

The funny thing is that Netanyahu seems to be able to speak for the Australian government now .-))

Since the ABC's Foreign Correspondent program last week identified suspected dual Australian-Israeli Zygier as "Prisoner X" who died in a high-security prison cell, Australian and Israeli sources have claimed Zygier had contact with ASIO.

One senior Israeli official told The Weekend Australian on Saturday that Australia was "deeply involved" in the Zygier matter.

In reference to ASIO, Australia's domestic security service, the official said: "They interrogated him (Zygier), they suspected him, they knew many things."

The new statement - the first put out by Mr Netanyahu's office since the affair broke - is extraordinary as it presumes to know that ASIO had no contact with Zygier, a matter that, strictly, should be known only within ASIO.

It is also the first time Israel has identified Zygier by name, further loosening a veil of official secrecy surrounding an affair that has dominated headlines in Israel for the past week.

The statement added: "The Prime Minister's office would like to note that between the government of Israel and all its agencies, and the government of Australia and the Australian security agencies, there is excellent co-operation, full co-ordination and complete transparency in dealing with current issues."

After the statement was released, The Australian asked Mr Netanyahu's spokesman, Mark Regev, how the PM would know with whom ASIO had spoken.

"I can't go beyond the statement," he said.

"I understand the question (but) I can't go beyond the statement.

"No-one will go beyond the statement."

Posted by: somebody | Feb 20 2013 7:37 utc | 97

And Netanyahus statemant goes to the heart of the matter and answers the question why this comes up now, and why it is fuelled by secret service leaks - because Israel is going to ask Obama for Jonathan Pollard. This is Jonathan Pollard's biography.

and this is the theory of an Australian journalist on the Zygier scandal:

@lrozen No, neither. My guess is Zygier was simply squirrelled away because ASIO was about to arrest him and MOSSAD was scared he'd lead to exposure of recruiting networks in Australia under interrogation as ASIO already suspected, thus other countries like UK, USA, European Union would then start investigation of Jewish front groups like ASIO did, resulting in mass arrests for espionage activity & recruitment by MOSSAD

from 2004 - hunt on for Israeli spy ring in Australia

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.

So what was Zygier setting up in Milan and Melbourne.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 20 2013 8:35 utc | 98

piling it on - Ben Saul

The case raises the broader problem of divided loyalties among Australians with multiple national identities, in this case some in the Jewish community. Australia permits dual citizenship. It becomes a problem where people put themselves in the position of having to choose between competing obligations of different countries, whether by spying or through military service.

Israel and Australia are indeed good friends, but they are not always on the same page. For a start, there is a gulf in values. Australian security services do not assassinate people, including civilian scientists driving to work in nearby countries. Australia does not torture prisoners. Australia has not militarily occupied a foreign people's land for more than 40 years, or built illegal colonies on their lands. Australia does not believe in nuclear weapons or hide their existence.

When it comes to the crunch, most Australians would expect Australian Jews to choose loyalty to Australia over Israel, or even hope that the Australians in Mossad are our double agents. Undoubtedly Israelis would wish them to side with Israel. Spying will continue because every country has an interest in it. The trick is to be better at it than others, and better at catching others' spies than they are at catching yours.

But the case of Ben Zygier shows that it is not easy to have it both ways. Conscience can get in the way. There comes a point where a Jewish person cannot faithfully be both Australian and Israeli. One has to choose. The same goes for Australians who are also Americans or Chinese.

Israel's apparent willingness to abuse the trust and confidence of Australia also suggests that no country can take its friends for granted. All countries understandably put themselves first. But Israel might question whether its long-term security interests are best served by alienating its closest friends.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 20 2013 10:03 utc | 99

Haaretz is in denial :-))

No, the real questions to be asked of course are

1) Does the Mossad use undeclared agents in friendly countries?

2) Does the Mossad use members of indigenous Jewish communities as undeclared agents, thereby forcing them into a conflict of loyalty?

3) What kind of business do Mossad front companies get involved in?

Posted by: somebody | Feb 20 2013 10:19 utc | 100

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