Mossad and the Earthquake

July 20th, 2011 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Fred Tulett in the Southland Times reports:

Prime Minister John Key has confirmed one of three Israelis killed in the Christchurch was carrying multiple passports but is refusing to go into further detail because it is not in the national interest.

The police national computer has been under scrutiny in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake in February because of fears Israeli agents loaded software into the system that would allow backdoor access to highly sensitive intelligence files. …

The Security Intelligence Service ordered the checks as part of an urgent investigation of what one SIS officer described as the suspicious activities of several groups of Israelis during and immediately after the earthquake.

Three Israelis were among the 181 people who died when the earthquake destroyed most of Christchurch’s central business district on February 22. One was found to be carrying at least five passports.

On Sunday, February 26, Mizrahi’s body was recovered from the van and taken to the morgue where, during routine identity checks, he was found to be carrying at least five passports.

Meanwhile, the search and rescue squad dispatched from had arrived in Christchurch but the offer of help was rejected by New Zealand authorities because the squad did not have accreditation from the United Nations.

According to Israeli newspaper reports, the squad was being funded by the parents of two other Israelis killed in the earthquake, Ofer Levy and Gabi Ingel, both 22, who were said to be in New Zealand on a backpacking holiday. The parents made repeated public appeals for the Israeli team to join the rescue, appeals that were dismissed by the New Zealand authorities until squad members were discovered in the sealed off “red zone” of the central city.

Readers may recall I had some minor involvement at the time. I blogged on 4 March:

As a disclosure, one of the dead Israelis is a close friend of one of my good Israeli friends – in fact the person who hosted me in Israel in November 2009. He approached me for assistance in getting a favourable decision made on getting the Israeli team admitted, and I put them in touch with the appropriate MFAT officials. I have no criticism of the MFAT officials who were very responsive and helpful, my criticism is of the ultimate decision maker, which I presume is someone in Civil Defence.

The family I was trying to help is the Ingel family. Their son, who was killed, is not under any suspicion at all of involvement. I have absolutely no doubt that the parents just genuinely wanted to maximise the chances of finding their son alive.

In terms of the other dead Israeli, with the alleged five passports, I have no first hand knowledge or involvement. The number of passports he had is not confirmed, and many Israelis do have multiple passports due to travel restrictions. I’m not aware of a suggestion that any of the passports were under a fake name, which would suggest something different.

I did become aware some months ago that there were suspicions over the Israeli who was killed in the van. But the evidence is very circumstantial – multiple passports, only a few tributes on a Facebook page etc. At the end of the day, I don’t know anything beyond what is in the paper, and that isn’t enough to make a conclusion on.

The PM is saying it is not in the national interest for him to comment. That to me suggests that the Government does think there may have been improper behaviour, but can’t prove it. And you don’t generally have Governments speculate on these issues unless they have proof.

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166 Responses to “Mossad and the Earthquake”

  1. Lipo (230 comments) says:

    Wait for the 9/11 conspiracy theorist to pop up

    “It wasn’t an earthquake that destroyed Christchurch, it was the Israelis and the Yanks that blew it up

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  2. RRM (10,097 comments) says:

    Remember the house rules.
    Any criticism of Israel, Israelis or any act or omission by them = you are anti-Semitic.

    [Oh and nice summary DPF, thanks for posting this.]

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  3. Nookin (3,556 comments) says:

    Too late, Lipo. See GD @ 9.33 am

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  4. Chris2 (775 comments) says:

    When Sharon Armstrong, the former deputy chief executive of the Maori Language Commission, was arrested four months ago trying to leave Argentina with 5Kg of cocaine hidden in her luggage, she was also carrying Driver Licences for three countries, but no one was dumb enough to suggest she was a spy.

    This whole Israeli story is suspect, not the least because The Southland Times newspaper, a rural paper hardly known for investigative journalism, claim to have received information from an SIS Officer. For over 50 years the SIS have been tighter than a duck’s arse when it comes to releasing any information to the media and I don’t see this changing anytime soon.

    Why would an SIS officer supposedly speak to the Southland Times newspaper – there is not even an SIS office in the Southland Times readership area! Fred Tulett of the Southland Times has made the whole thing up.

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  5. berend (1,689 comments) says:

    Well, it’s clear. DPF has ties to the Mossad!

    That’s probably a hanging offence, having ties to North Korea is probably required if you want to become leader of the Greens.

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  6. Seán (373 comments) says:

    I don’t know why the general effort should make way to some financed private Israeli team at the expense of the rest. Last time I checked, in this country we treated everyone as equals.

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  7. mikenmild (12,313 comments) says:

    Chris2

    Nice spurious comparison. Maybe those Israelis were just smuggling drugs!

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  8. Viking2 (11,665 comments) says:

    Sean; ya forgot about the Hori’s, mate. everybody equal. No chance.

    anyway, no doubt all the Islamist supporters will be here soon to join in the chorus.

    Better close the debate today DPF. Next you know they will have you as a Mossad agent. You aren’ are you ???? 8)

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  9. Murray (8,803 comments) says:

    Hey RRM newsfuckingflash for you, Israel is a country with people of many faiths. Seems to be you who equates being Israeli with being Jewish.

    Nice own goal knob.

    And Sean thinks everyone is treated equally in NZ. Almost funny.

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  10. RightNow (7,014 comments) says:

    ROFL Sean, everyone treated as equals in NZ… wakey wakey…

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  11. Seán (373 comments) says:

    Viking2, Murray – clutching at straws – good luck with that.

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  12. Seán (373 comments) says:

    RightNow – I know you love the latest ACT ad – join the m¡inority.

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  13. RightNow (7,014 comments) says:

    What have you got against miinorities sean?

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  14. RRM (10,097 comments) says:

    No Murray, there’s only one of us who starts jumping up and down and screaming anti-semitism / terrorist lovers the moment anyone criticises any Israeli actions whatsoever. And it’s not me. ;-)

    I just want to pre-empt all that.

    REMEMBER PEOPLE – NO CRITICISM OF ISRAELIS PLEASE

    [DPF: you’re trolling. Stop it]

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  15. Seán (373 comments) says:

    Oh, all sorts of things RightNow, you know, they just want what is in their personal interest…

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  16. mpledger (425 comments) says:

    Well, Sharon Armstrong is playing the “I am too dumb to realise I was doing anything wrong” card so noone is likely to suspect her of being a spy.

    Anyway, she probably had the passports all in the same name. It would be interesting to know if the 5 passports found on the Isreali were.

    From what I’ve heard the Southland Times reporter is an old-school journalist. One suspects he has weaved himself a large contingent of informants over the years.

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  17. nonpartisan () says:

    Well after just having read the article, I’d agree that there was enough smoke to warrant the SIS investigating a possible fire. Nice to know that they’re doing their job.

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  18. Dave Mann (1,240 comments) says:

    I know that the Israelis are experts in USAR and particularly earthquake response. They sent teams to Turkey when there was a devastating earthquake there in 1999 and I remember hearing from Turks when I visited there (even years later) that Israel’s help and expertise was highly thought of at the time.

    Getting people alive out of urban rubble is probably a very important skill to have if you live under constant rocket attack on an almost daily basis, of course, but that’s another debate.

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  19. backster (2,194 comments) says:

    Maybe Rupert Murdock owns the Southland Times..

    Anyway time to move on the SIS could be better employed visiting a few mosques and hacking into the phones of some of our recent arrivals from Somalia, Iran,Yemen etc.

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  20. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    >He approached me for assistance in getting a favourable decision made on getting the Israeli team admitted

    DPF… This was the privately organised team you mentioned. Do you know if they were the ones allegedly caught inside the cordon? Could your friends clarify this point?

    [DPF: I presume the same, as there was only one I know of.]

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  21. xy (202 comments) says:

    The Israelis have expert and accredited SAR teams, they helped in Haiti. The team that showed up here (the one DPF posted about previously) had nothing to do with those, they were a private company that generally handle tracking down expat kids charged with drug offences overseas. Dubiously, they have magnus669.com, trading on the name of one of the really famous Israeli SAR teams, but they’re a private company. The owner is retired Mossad.

    This little nugget didn’t come out at the time either:

    ‘An unaccredited Israeli search and rescue squad was later confronted by armed New Zealand police and removed from the sealed-off “red zone” of the central city.’

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  22. TripeWryter (716 comments) says:

    Backster:

    Murdoch hasn’t owned The Southland Times and half the country’s other newspapers since he sold INL to Fairfax about 2003-4.

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  23. Fineprint (2 comments) says:

    Ye of little faith. I think it worth remembering that almost all support staff at the Burnham Mortuary were Southland police officers.

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  24. Rodders (1,756 comments) says:

    Luc must be out for the day. I enjoy reading his comments, even though I often disagree with them.

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  25. dime (10,207 comments) says:

    hmmm this is not cool.

    Dime sides with the Israelis 99% of the time BUT dont fuck with our passports.

    I love traveling on a kiwi passport. makes life easy.

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  26. Mick Mac (1,091 comments) says:

    Bet the Israelis wouldn’t have locked up the red zone for 6months if it happened there.
    Probably have it all cleared and shops being built already.

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  27. Daigotsu (471 comments) says:

    Paul Buchanan has claimed that the Israeli had five passports in different identities.

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  28. seanmaitland (501 comments) says:

    @Chris2 – ummm, Chris – what a complete beat-up – there is a massive difference to having 3 drivers licenses and be travelling with 5 different passports. I’ve bloody got 3 current drivers licenses (AU,NZ,RARO) for the same reasons as Sharon Armstrong.

    Poor strawman indeed.

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  29. KevinH (1,253 comments) says:

    Given the fact that three Israeli nationals were killed in the quake, there is a good enough argument to accept the circumstances on face value, that they were tourists, and regretably they were killed.
    Any subsequent reaction ie the Forensic and SAR teams is incidental, there were anguished parents seeking children and Israeli nationals volunteering their services to assist all involved in the quake.

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  30. metcalph (1,366 comments) says:

    Given the fact that three Israeli nationals were killed in the quake, there is a good enough argument to accept the circumstances on face value, that they were tourists, and regretably they were killed.

    Except that one of those three, the one in the van with five passports, has a tribute page to him on facebook with only five likes. Nothing can be found of two of his companions in social media before February this year.

    This is in marked contrast to the two other Israelis who were killed elsewhere that day whose facebook tribute pages are “well-used”

    Five passport guy who have had to be a massive dick to receive so few likes that it’s impossible to reconcile this with the fact that he was travelling with three other people.

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  31. metcalph (1,366 comments) says:

    I’ve bloody got 3 current drivers licenses (AU,NZ,RARO) for the same reasons as Sharon Armstrong.

    …to smuggle cocaine?

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  32. Gulag1917 (1,083 comments) says:

    Israelis doing this kind of stuff are idiots.

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  33. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    the one in the van with five passports, has a tribute page to him on facebook with only five likes.

    Hmmm, one like for each passport.

    …but maybe like passports he mave have had multiple FB identities and multiple likes.

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  34. seanmaitland (501 comments) says:

    @metcalph – no because I work in NZ and AUS, and went on a holiday to Raro last year where you have to get a local license to drive there.

    If its such a successful trick, I wonder why Bond doesn’t travel on a Rarotongan 6 month scooters license?

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  35. krazykiwi (8,040 comments) says:

    Lot of conjecture here. Was the deceased acting lawfully at the time of his demise? Is there a law against carrying multiple passports? (I have a friend who has three – two NZ and one UK/EU). I wonder how many multi-passport foreign nationals are currently in NZ?

    Our sovereignty is more at risk from unconstrained government borrowing leading to funder/bailout direction on domestic policy (eg Greece), than it is from having people run around (or not in this case!) with multiple passports.

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  36. Bevan (3,232 comments) says:

    …to smuggle cocaine?

    Don’t be an idiot. I and many others have the same.

    Raro – Required when visiting if you want to drive a vehicle as they do not recognize foreign licenses.
    Aus – Cause Ive moved here and it holds more value here as a proof of identification.
    NZ – Cause I’m a kiwi and have decided I want to keep my license current.

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  37. Chris2 (775 comments) says:

    @ seanmaitland @ 2:34pm – the real “beat-up” as you call it, is a minor regional daily newspapers making claims about five passports allegedly being found on the body of an earthquake victim without publishing a shred of evidence or quoting from an authoritative named source to substantiate the claim that there is a link to Israeli intelligence.

    The paper further muddy’s the story with completely outrageous claims concerning the hacking of the Police computer by Mossad. If Mossad wanted access to the Police computer they would have placed someone on the inside. You think there are no sympathetic Jewish supporters employed by the Police already?

    But no it sounds better to make childish claims of Mossad agents stumbling around a destroyed city with a flash drive looking for a Police computer. What a joke this newspaper story is.

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  38. Bevan (3,232 comments) says:

    I see Goofy is calling on Key to “come clean”. Fuck me! Does the tool not understand the requirement for secrecy when investigating this matter?

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  39. nonpartisan () says:

    Daigotsu at 2:29 pm:

    Paul Buchanan has claimed that the Israeli had five passports in different identities.

    This is a rather key point that I haven’t seen reported in the MSM yet. Is it a recent development of the story?

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  40. Bevan (3,232 comments) says:

    Paul Buchanan has claimed that the Israeli had five passports in different identities.

    Paul Buchanan is voicing a theory:

    “He believed the four Israelis were probably on a “trolling mission”, searching for identities they could steal.”

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  41. East Wellington Superhero (1,139 comments) says:

    Freemasons run the country.

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  42. metcalph (1,366 comments) says:

    The paper further muddy’s the story with completely outrageous claims concerning the hacking of the Police computer by Mossad. If Mossad wanted access to the Police computer they would have placed someone on the inside. You think there are no sympathetic Jewish supporters employed by the Police already?

    The claim is not outrageous. The possibility was investigated and that’s what we have our security services for. It’s extremely unlikely that Mossad hacked the computer but the security service looks at the worse possible case.

    But no it sounds better to make childish claims of Mossad agents stumbling around a destroyed city with a flash drive looking for a Police computer.

    Flashdrives were how Stuxnet got into the Iranian systems.

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  43. Chris2 (775 comments) says:

    metcalph @ 3:14pm – if you, or the news media for that matter, knew anything about the NZ Intelligence community you would know that it is GCSB’s responsibility to investigate alleged breaches of Government computer security, not the Security Service. But hey, lets not allow the facts get in the way of a good story.

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  44. xy (202 comments) says:

    If this was out of nowhere it’d be a total nonstory, but we’ve had Israeli password fraud a few years ago and dodgy behaviour by private ex-Mossad investigators around the quake already, so no surprise it’s getting a lot of interest.

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  45. metcalph (1,366 comments) says:

    Chris2

    I said security services of which the GCSB is one.

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  46. Mark53 (12 comments) says:

    How reliable can this hick journalist from hick newspaper be when he gets basic facts WRONG:

    ….. saying the the Ambassador based in Canberra flew to Christchurch…the Ambassador along with the Embassy is based on The Terrace, Wellington.

    The Embassy opened in April 2010.

    http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/israeli-embassy-reopens-in-wellington-3474086

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1005/S00316.htm

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  47. Robinson 666 (25 comments) says:

    Ha! A dead israeli found with five different passports and his ‘friends’ getting the hell out of NZ as fast as they can.

    Very fishy!

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  48. nasska (12,084 comments) says:

    After discarding the red herrings we are still left with a 23yo deceased Israelli national with a fetish for passports. Also his traveling companions removed from the country at indecent haste maybe to avoid possible questioning by NZ authorities. Then a private SAR team with no authority to operate in NZ is removed from the “Red Sector” at gunpoint while Israelli officials show more interest in NZ than ever previously.

    Add to the mix the FACT that Mossad operatives had previously obtained bogus NZ passports.

    If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck & looks like a duck then it probably is a duck.

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  49. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    I had my holidays in the South Island at Christmas. The whole place was full of Israeli backpackers. The ones I talked to were all interesting fun people and most of the women were absolutely stunning. I did wonder who was left behind running Israel. I’m not surprised that several were in Christchurch and caught up in the earthquake.

    The “evidence” in favour of wrong doing amounts to a claim of multiple passports, as far as I can see. I have two, by the way. The other evidence is weak in the extreme… The Israeli CD head flew to NZ, much the same as Jim Stuart-Black did to Japan after the tsunami. The Israeli ambassador helped the tourists out, which is what I hope a NZ ambassador would do for me overseas if I had just survived a disaster. A friend of mine was an Aussie diplomatic staffer in Rome and he’d be on call at times to sort out issues involving Australian citizens who’d got in to trouble and I hope our own diplomats are as effective. Netanyahu phoned John Key a few times, presumably to offer condolences and Israeli assistance but possibly one Jew calling another to hatch a plan to eat Arab babies or something.

    Other evidence relies on an assumption that every Israeli citizen in Christchurch must know all the others, as if they’re ants in an ant colony. And a notion that if an Israeli sees a police computer, they’ll automatically want to hack it.

    Then there is “evidence” that is just bizarre. Someone has floated an idea, addressed seriously in Stuff, that the SAS were involved capturing the evil Jews.

    Weak!

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  50. metcalph (1,366 comments) says:

    Muddying up the waters however that if the Israeli was traveling under a false name then traveling as an Israeli would be the least likely option to travel under.

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  51. metcalph (1,366 comments) says:

    The “evidence” in favour of wrong doing amounts to a claim of multiple passports, as far as I can see. I have two, by the way.

    I have three. It is possible to get four but I have yet to see how one could get five.

    Also unknown is whether the passports were in different names.

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  52. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    nasska>Also his traveling companions removed from the country at indecent haste maybe to avoid possible questioning by NZ authorities

    I recall the media reporting some stories after the Japanese tsunami where ex-pat Kiwis were complaining that the NZ government wasn’t rescuing them from Japan. They may have been in Tokyo, there was no damage, but a nuclear reactor hundreds of kilometers was emitting a tiny amount of radiation over a very small area, and so the government should have sent a Hercules or something. Just imagine the media frenzy if any had been in a crushed vehicle with a dead friend.

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  53. Fineprint (2 comments) says:

    @Mark53 You are talking about the editor with a well-respected background at a newspaper named Provincial Newspaper of the Year at the Canon Media Awards – “hick” is a bit extreme.

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  54. metcalph (1,366 comments) says:

    “hick” is a bit extreme.

    I’ve said worse about Southlanders when I was stuck in Invercargil airport for ten minutes.

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  55. metcalph (1,366 comments) says:

    Okay. Key is now saying the Five Passports is false.

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  56. Robinson 666 (25 comments) says:

    Lets clear up the SAS thing, they did help out at the CHCH quake aftermath. After all, there is no better training for the SAS medic course than a real live trauma situation is there? My mate who used to be in SAS spent a lot of time in hospital emergency wards brushing up on his skills in that area.

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  57. metcalph (1,366 comments) says:

    He was found with one passport, a european passport. Another passport, an Israeli passport, was taken by his companions and handed over to Israeli embassy officials before they left the country.

    http://johnkey.co.nz/archives/1257-PM-on-media-reports-about-Israeli-nationals.html

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  58. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    @davidp
    But a clandestine operation by an evil Jew, with the help of an army of Mossad agents, hacking the police computer in Christchurch after they triggered an earthquake with a secret weapon sounds so much better.
    One more for the list…
    http://pubsecrets.wordpress.com/2007/12/14/latest-jewish-conspiracy-unmasked/

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  59. Mark53 (12 comments) says:

    How reliable can this hick journalist from hick newspaper be when he gets basic facts WRONG:

    Here is another error….

    Southland Times reports Israel’s civil defence chief left Israel for Christchurch…WRONG……Matan Vilnai was already in Melbourne on official business and flew from there to Christchurch.

    ….. saying the the Ambassador based in Canberra flew to Christchurch…WRONG….the Ambassador along with the Embassy is based on The Terrace, Wellington.

    The Embassy opened in April 2010.

    http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/israeli-embassy-reopens-in-wellington-3474086

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1005/S00316.htm

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  60. nasska (12,084 comments) says:

    davidp

    Kiwi’s ex pat & otherwise have been conditioned from birth to believe that if their eyes spot a nuclear reactor, leaking or not, that they are as good as dead. It’s just part of our national psyche.

    The Israeli embassy staff would have failed in their duty not to assist & protect their nationals but their removal inside twelve hours seems unbelievably efficient.

    If our government or the Israeli authorities wish to stop speculation it is within their power to do so. If they release verifiable facts the matter will die a natural death.

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  61. metcalph (1,366 comments) says:

    The strongest evidence now seems to be the lack of any social media solidity (which is something DPF had heard as he relates in his original post). The status of the European passport would be instrumental in clearing up whether he is legit but since Key has said the SIS found no link between the group and Israeli intelligence, I can only assume it turned out to be a dead end.

    In any case the whole story is not proven.

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  62. Chris2 (775 comments) says:

    Oh boy, here’s another story about someone with five passports – it seems its more common that the conspiracy theorists would like us to believe. And he wasn’t even accused of being a Mossad spy.

    “The founder of a London-based Internet gambling firm had a handcuff key, five passports and cash from four countries when he was arrested in March, prosecutors said as they argued against his release before trial.”
    http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/worldbiz/archives/2007/05/28/2003362835

    And oh no, here’s still another story of someone in possession of five passport:
    “Illegal immigrant has five passports”
    http://www.brokencountry.com/index.php/2006/08/24/illegal-immigrant-had-five-passports/

    By golly, they are dammed cunning these Mossad people masquerading as gamblers and illegal immigrants in order to get hold of five passports.

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  63. metcalph (1,366 comments) says:

    The Israeli embassy staff would have failed in their duty not to assist & protect their nationals but their removal inside twelve hours seems unbelievably efficient.

    Especially given that Christchurch Airport was closed to all but emergency flights until the following day.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/canterbury-earthquake/69181/christchurch-airport-open-to-emergency-flights-only

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  64. Francis_X (147 comments) says:

    John Key has announced that the Israelis have been “cleared” in an investigation by the SIS.

    Really?

    Then why is my “spidey sense” (aka Bullshit Detector) ringing at full bore?! Because it seems clear as crystal that our dear Leader is not telling us the full and complete story here.

    C’mon, John, what’s the go here? Cut the BS, for once.

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  65. metcalph (1,366 comments) says:

    What John Key actually said was:

    “Security agencies conducted the investigation and found no evidence that the people were anything other than backpackers,” Mr Key said.

    http://johnkey.co.nz/archives/1257-PM-on-media-reports-about-Israeli-nationals.html

    Markedly different from “cleared”.

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  66. RightNow (7,014 comments) says:

    Tin Foil Hats For Sale!!! Tin Foil Hats For Sale!!! Get your Tin Foil Hats Here, be quick, selling out fast!

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  67. kiwi in america (2,314 comments) says:

    I would read Key’s recent media statement – remember he’s the Minister in charge of the SIS – and it states “Mr Key says his advice was that the man [who died in the earthquake] was found with only one passport of European origin. Media reports that he was found with five passports are INCORRECT” (my emphasis).
    http://www.national.org.nz/Article.aspx?ArticleID=36575

    Fred Tullet and the Southland Times: FAIL!

    I’m certain Luc will believe this though!

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  68. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    @Francis_X
    “Then why is my “spidey sense” (aka Bullshit Detector) ringing at full bore?!”

    Check,…..there might be a hole in your tinfoil hat.

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  69. Bevan (3,232 comments) says:

    Really?

    Then why is my “spidey sense” (aka Bullshit Detector) ringing at full bore?!

    Cause your a bat shit crazy nut job?

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  70. Chris2 (775 comments) says:

    I see Fred Tulett and his Southland Times newspaper are still leading their website with the headline “Key clams up on Israel spy claims “.

    Come on Fred, give it up and post the news that Key has announced the dead Israeli did not have five passports on him.

    Also Fred, time to stump up and name your so-called SIS source as being a figment of your own imagination. Journalists like you give the others a bad name.

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  71. Bevan (3,232 comments) says:

    Especially given that Christchurch Airport was closed to all but emergency flights until the following day.

    I suppose you also think there aren’t any other airports in the South Island either?

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  72. metcalph (1,366 comments) says:

    Also Fred, time to stump up and name your so-called SIS source as being a figment of your own imagination.

    I wouldn’t be so cocky about presuming that the story is dead and buried. As things stand there are still a number of questionable details that make it a legitimate news story. The other cause for caution is that newspapers rarely unleash the complete scoop in one go – they usually print something juicy, wait for the official denial and then the next day print even more scandalizing stuff that makes the officials look stupid.

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  73. metcalph (1,366 comments) says:

    I suppose you also think there aren’t any other airports in the South Island either?

    International airports? The nearest one is Dunedin and anybody traveling at high speed to Dunedin to take the first flight out is going to arouse suspicion.

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  74. hj (7,139 comments) says:

    This reminds me: before the quake my friend moved a foreign accented person from outside his house. He had been was sitting in his car with a laptop and when my friend asked him what he was doing he couldn’t give a reasonable explanation ?

    also
    Paul Buchanan says (Nine to Noon) that there are known to be “jihadist wannabes” among the Somali population in Christchurch.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2493900/reports-of-israeli-spies-caught-up-in-the-chch-quake.asx

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  75. mikenmild (12,313 comments) says:

    If there was nothing to this story, then Key certainly did his best to give it some credence with his answers this morning:
    ‘when asked repeatedly if the Israeli government had done anything wrong he would not answer, saying it was not in the national interest for him to do so.’

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  76. metcalph (1,366 comments) says:

    He had been was sitting in his car with a laptop and when my friend asked him what he was doing he couldn’t give a reasonable explanation ?

    He was looking at porn. What other explanation do you need?

    Paul Buchanan says (Nine to Noon) that there are known to be “jihadist wannabes” among the Somali population in Christchurch.

    The local mosque is riven with sectarian differences. As soon as a jihadist wannabe muses aloud about how to blow things up, the others ethnicities are busy denouncing him to the SIS.

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  77. metcalph (1,366 comments) says:

    Me: The nearest one is Dunedin and anybody traveling at high speed to Dunedin to take the first flight out is going to arouse suspicion.

    Thinking further about this – the Traffic that day was absolutely horrendous. It took me an hour to get home on a ten minute journey and I was nowhere near the central city (Wigram – Hornby – Avonhead). For somebody traveling to Dunedin from Gloucester street would have required a two to three hour journey just to get out of the city boundary, another four-to-five hour journey to Dunedin, making it nineish when they finally arrive. And they somehow got a flight to Oz within the next four hours?

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  78. nasska (12,084 comments) says:

    metcalph @ 4.55pm

    They didn’t need an international flight from Dunedin…. a domestic flight to Auckland or Wellington would have sufficed.

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  79. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @metcalph 4:23 pm

    SIS have long track record of incompetence – recall Zaoui.

    I suspect Key been given summary from a similarly inadequate investigation and the leak to Southland Times is by someone in SIS pissed off with the inadequacy of the investigation who actually wants the SIS to do its job properly and be more accountable.

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  80. metcalph (1,366 comments) says:

    They didn’t need an international flight from Dunedin…. a domestic flight to Auckland or Wellington would have sufficed.

    A flight to Auckland or Wellington would have left them still in the country whereas they left it before 1 am the next day. A flight from Dunners to Auckland would have taken two hours meaning that had to find an international flight within the remaining two hours.

    Can’t be done.

    They would have had to leave via christchurch airport and that alone would have aroused suspicions.

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  81. metcalph (1,366 comments) says:

    SIS have long track record of incompetence – recall Zaoui.

    I wouldn’t call what happened in the Zaoui case to be incompetence.

    I suspect Key been given summary from a similarly inadequate investigation and the leak to Southland Times is by someone in SIS pissed off with the inadequacy of the investigation who actually wants the SIS to do its job properly and be more accountable.

    I agree there’s a leak within the SIS but I’m not so sure that the investigation was inadequate (based on available information). Sexing up the number of passports found isn’t a good look for the source’s credibility.

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  82. nasska (12,084 comments) says:

    Metcalph

    Isn’t there a domestic airport at Timaru. For that matter any small charter or private aircraft could make Wellington in a couple of hours tops. Someone who had the right connections could organise three ‘traumatised victims’ to be moved anywhere in NZ in a very few hours.

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  83. metcalph (1,366 comments) says:

    Isn’t there a domestic airport at Timaru. For that matter any small charter or private aircraft could make Wellington in a couple of hours tops. Someone who had the right connections could organise three ‘traumatised victims’ to be moved anywhere in NZ in a very few hours.

    Nasska – they weren’t anywhere within new zealand within a very few hours, they were out of the country within _twelve hours_. The timaru wellington suggestion is no good because it was three hours to timaru, three hours to wellington by small plane, which means that you have three hours left to organize a flight out of the country. And since Wellington Airport is intrinsically stuffed, there’s sod-all international flights out of there.

    Secondly the right connections are what? The Israeli Ambassador is dealing with three missing Israelis and one confirmed death. Why would he be wasting his time getting three survivors out of the country ASAP?

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  84. nasska (12,084 comments) says:

    metcalph

    Getting three survivors out ASAP would only be important if it was better that they not be interviewed by NZ authorities. In any case I guess we’re clutching at straws & that sooner or later one of us will be proved right.

    I am naturally sympathetic to Israelis & I’ve yet to meet a bad one but at a government level they have a track record of abusing our passport systems.

    I’ll be back to the status quo tomorrow.

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  85. hj (7,139 comments) says:

    I would have thought the Israelis doing that sort of thing is non news. After all they are surrounded by nations who want to destroy them.

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  86. mikenmild (12,313 comments) says:

    hj

    What is news is the possibility of foreign agents coming here illicitly.

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  87. Andrei (2,653 comments) says:

    Metcalph – given the other inaccuracies in the story I’d take the timeline of their departure from our fair shores with a grain of salt if I were you.

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  88. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    metcalph>Nasska – they weren’t anywhere within new zealand within a very few hours, they were out of the country within _twelve hours_.

    They were gone within 12 hours but there were no flights within 12 hours. So how did they go? Did they leave by Zeppelin, or a hypersonic stealth transport or something? I’m a bit confused what the allegation is here.

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  89. orewa1 (410 comments) says:

    Bizzare. An amateur beat-up by a small town paper on a soft news day, compounded by a bumbling response from the Beehive, results in NZ looking like the downunder home of country bumpkin, conspiracy theory stuff. I cringe.

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  90. metcalph (1,366 comments) says:

    Metcalph – given the other inaccuracies in the story I’d take the timeline of their departure from our fair shores with a grain of salt if I were you.

    That particular detail comes from John Key and is said to be the reason why the SIS launched the investigation in the first place.

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  91. nasska (12,084 comments) says:

    davidp

    …”I’m a bit confused what the allegation is here.”….

    You’re not the only one & I’ll admit I started some of this. The Dominion Post, however did state that”within 12 hours they had left New Zealand. What we can’t agree on is, if this statement is true, then how did they do it.

    Confusion reigns!

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  92. metcalph (1,366 comments) says:

    They were gone within 12 hours but there were no flights within 12 hours. So how did they go?

    A flight out of Christchurch remains the best and only feasible solution. Since Christchurch airport was closed to normal traffic, somebody must have been pulling strings which would be an odd thing to do for mere backpackers.

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  93. metcalph (1,366 comments) says:

    Confusion reigns!

    Only in your own head.

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  94. metcalph (1,366 comments) says:

    Getting three survivors out ASAP would only be important if it was better that they not be interviewed by NZ authorities.

    Why would the authorities be questioning them? It was the speed of their departure that caused suspicion.

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  95. nasska (12,084 comments) says:

    …”Why would the authorities be questioning them? It was the speed of their departure that caused suspicion.”….

    Unless whoever organised their rapid departure was unsure of what would be found in the van & on the deceased.

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  96. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    orewa1>results in NZ looking like the downunder home of country bumpkin, conspiracy theory stuff. I cringe.

    I’ve just watched TV3 News and I’m cringing too. They actually said that Netanyahu had phoned Key four times “to discuss the dead Israeli”. No one has disclosed the reason for the call. It is like they’re building a conspiracy on “facts” that they’ve pulled out of their arse.

    I notice the five passports thing isn’t mentioned any more. That seems to leave the whole conspiracy based on two things: 1, They left the country too quickly. Apparently there is a minimum required loitering time after any natural disaster. I think we should be told what this time is so that we’re not suspected of being intelligence agents after disasters elsewhere. And 2, they’re Jewish, and we all know that Jews are evil.

    Lord knows how Israelis will interpret all this. Thousands of tourists visit NZ. One was killed in an earthquake. They offered and provided assistance. Their diplomats looked after their citizens. And in return, our dodgy journalists decide to smear them with the biggest conspiracy since the Grassy Knoll.

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  97. metcalph (1,366 comments) says:

    Unless whoever organised their rapid departure was unsure of what would be found in the van & on the deceased.

    1) Nothing suspicious was found in the Van or on the Deceased.

    2) The Christchurch CBD was a virtual warzone. The authorities had far more urgent things to do then look for dope in a backpacker’s van. They didn’t even begin clearing the rubble away for another fucking week.

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  98. metcalph (1,366 comments) says:

    No one has disclosed the reason for the call.

    Untrue. John Key has disclosed reasons for part of the call and refused to discuss the other parts.

    Apparently there is a minimum required loitering time after any natural disaster.

    Kingly present a means by which you, in the Christchurch CBD as off 1 pm, can manage to get a flight out of the country within twelve hours without arousing suspicion that something is odd about you.

    If they left within the next three days, it wouldn’t have seemed strange but they left the very night when the airport was closed to normal flights.

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  99. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    metcalph>A flight out of Christchurch remains the best and only feasible solution. Since Christchurch airport was closed to normal traffic, somebody must have been pulling strings which would be an odd thing to do for mere backpackers.

    That doesn’t help much. Assume they’d pulled all sorts of strings. How did they fly out of Christchurch? Supersonic biz-jet scrambled from Tel Aviv the moment they heard there was an earthquake? Air NZ laid on a special flight for them? The NZ military smuggled them out in a Hercules? If the later is true, then long experience suggests the Hercules got as far as Darwin and then broke down.

    The Southland Times guy (who appeared to be an idiot when he announced that the arrival of an Israeli USAR team “was suspicious” on TV3 News) has been investigating this since February. Every other NZ journalist seems to be on the case. If there is a conspiracy, then telling us the exact departure details with flight numbers should be easy.

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  100. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    @davidp
    “Lord knows how Israelis will interpret all this. Thousands of tourists visit NZ. One was killed in an earthquake. They offered and provided assistance. Their diplomats looked after their citizens. And in return, our dodgy journalists decide to smear them with the biggest conspiracy since the Grassy Knoll.”

    Anybody who watches TV3 ‘news’ and lives in the real world will know some of their so called news stories are pure agitprop.
    Lucky enough Israel is used to even bigger conspiracy loons in their own backyard.

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  101. Nookin (3,556 comments) says:

    Sitting in front of a really good fire relaxing until the gay icon walrus rudely interrupted the evening. His trailer for closed-up was that Key is backtracking on claims that the israelis were spies. Now, I think I have followed this reasonably well during the day and I have no recollection that Key ever said that they were spies. Did he? And if not, is this just another excample of shoddy journalism?

    Dinner is served.

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  102. metcalph (1,366 comments) says:

    Assume they’d pulled all sorts of strings. How did they fly out of Christchurch?

    All sorts of planes flew in once the airport was re-opened. Presumably the one which carried the head of Israeli Civil Defense which flew in that day was used to carry them out. Ask me a harder question next time.

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  103. hj (7,139 comments) says:

    If the Israelis are keen on NZ passports why the hell do they tell us to cut the corner off? We could drop the old one off at the embassy! :roll:

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  104. Lance (2,709 comments) says:

    I didn’t think it was possible for TV1 to become as bad a TV3 but alas the depths have been plumbed.

    Closeups opening sequence on the Israeli spy article was extended scenes from a movie with explosions and Mossad agents do-in it tough.
    Fuck what a steaming pile of crap devoid of facts and evidence. Not only are they making shit up they are even inserting bogus action scenes from movies to strengthen their case.

    Is it just the clowns on TV or is the nation really this fucked up?

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  105. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Talk about long bows, I watched the news, now this nest of spies? were hacking the police computer FFS

    If the Israelies and others don’t have someone in place that can access any piddling info that is on there I would be very surprised. But just incase they send in a team disguised as backpackers.

    This reminds me: before the quake my friend moved a foreign accented person from outside his house.

    Yep HJ you have solved it, this person was actually triggering the earthquake outside your mates house. Awesome. He’ll be able to sell the piece of paper that has the registration number written down on it to a museum. Awesome

    My wife must be a spy, she has three passports, aint life grand

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  106. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    I think people outside of Christchurch would find it difficult to understand just how long it took anyone to travel anywhere in CHCH that day. It was common for people to take 5, 6, 7 hours to get home. Roads and bridges were out all over the place. There was bumper to bumper traffic. All this makes these young people’s exit even more questionable.

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  107. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    metcalph>Presumably the one which carried the head of Israeli Civil Defense which flew in that day was used to carry them out. Ask me a harder question next time.

    A harder question? Okay… Does your explanation rely on the use of a time machine? Vilnai arrived on or around 2nd March, according to
    http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/About+the+Ministry/MFA+Spokesman/2011/Vilnai_condolences_New_ZEaland_McCully_gratitude_3-Mar-2011.htm
    and
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/142652

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  108. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    I figure that by tomorrow some “Jimmy Olsen” out there will have discovered that this group of young Israeli’s will have had a military background. bets anyone?

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  109. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    @Lance
    It is the same in the US, Canada, Europe and the UK.
    Newspapers and television (Including the BBC) do not report the news anymore, they make the news, editorialise the news and politicise the news. They are in business to re-educate the peasants. If you think it is bad in New Zealand, try the European newspapers. It is almost impossible to get a different viewpoint or even impartial news that differs from the ‘left liberal progressive’ mantra. Last night John Campbell almost pissed his pants with excitement when he talked about the investigation in the UK. Nothing about the hundreds (thousands) of people who lost their jobs, the person found dead, careers being ruined….no, he sounded like he enjoyed the whole tragedy.
    The whole Murdoch enquiry is starting to look like a witch hunt.
    Some people are wondering what the endgame is….
    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/hacks-the-lefts-lilliputians-try-to-take-murdoch-down/

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  110. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    OoooooOOOOOOOoooooooHHHhhhhh, it’s the CrEePy MoSsAd even though we have no actual evidence.

    whocares.jpg

    I figure that by tomorrow some “Jimmy Olsen” out there will have discovered that this group of young Israeli’s will have had a military background. bets anyone?

    “They were conscipted two years ago!!11″

    Yeah, like everyone else.

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  111. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Yeah, like everyone else…

    Yep Hurf, no need for evidence.. but I still betcha a moro that the military background is in the paper tomorrow, even though everyone but Bin laden has training there

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  112. mikenmild (12,313 comments) says:

    The main evidence now seems to be John Key’s astonishing comments.

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  113. Lance (2,709 comments) says:

    Shock horror!
    Dead Israeli had been in the military.
    Shock horror!
    So had his mates.
    Shock horror
    The even the girl had been in the military
    Shock horror
    Israeli’s depart NZ by UFO
    Shock horror
    Greens don’t approve of Israeli’s visiting NZ

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  114. Spiritfree (79 comments) says:

    My theory is this. A disgruntled SIS agent or agents, fed up that they have something, that they’d done a lot of work on it, but that the whole thing was being suppressed or binned, decided to leak. So they did so to a newspaper with an editor with balls. John Key, no doubt having aleady been advised of it, would with his background almost certainly have wanted to suppress it.

    What would be the point of having 5 passports? Israelis, we are told, have trouble travelling. But FIVE!? Not justifiable for that reason. Therefore, some skullduggery.

    Why would there be any Mossad agents in NZ? An earlier comment had it that the South Island is full of Israeli backpackers. Now what the Israeli establishment wants to keep tabs on is the country’s youth, so Mossad would be anywhere where there are a lot of them. In a clean fresh environment like South Island NZ, clean fresh ideas can be thought. This is terrifying if you’re running a country whose raison d’etre as it is currently established is a religious/racial ideology. So would the agents be shepherds, just like any groups of Russian tourists pre-1991 had their minders? Not really, but the information which could be provided by silent overseers, observing and reporting back on who would be worth watching in the future, could be very valuable, they would think.

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  115. krazykiwi (8,040 comments) says:

    This is funny. Sorry, it is. Particularly the breathless paranoia of would-be spy novelists chattering over their keyboards with one hand, while grasping for their tinfoil hats with the other.

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  116. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5311491/Investigation-cleared-Israelis-of-spy-claims-PM

    Lastest and hopefully the end.

    No spies, just some poor young tourist killed on an overseas trip. There were two passports, not 5 no big deal, if fact normal

    Right now back to your Womans Weeklys, too much excitment for many I’m afraid

    Spiritfree, most of your questions are too stupid for an answer, really seriously asinine

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  117. Scott Chris (6,178 comments) says:

    My guess is that these Israelis are Mossad agents in training, based on their young age and the unusual nature of their departure. New Zealand would provide an ideal location for an apprentice spy, to practice blending into a foreign culture and to learn how to retrieve and transmit intelligence data. (probably about sheep in our case)

    In fact, Spy School could be the newest addition to our burgeoning education industry :-P

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  118. Manolo (14,161 comments) says:

    What would the Jewish State would have to do with an obscure socialist country in the bottom of the South Pacific? Eff all.

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  119. godruelf (54 comments) says:

    ‘Move along nothing to see here’ didn’t buy it with Helen and don’t buy it with John either.
    p.s. If I was travelling with mates and suffered the ultimate bad luck I would hope they stuck around for a while….

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  120. ross (1,414 comments) says:

    > But just incase they send in a team disguised as backpackers…

    As opposed to sending in agents dressed as tennis players?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1251604/Hamas-assassination-Dubai-Mossad-killing-come-thriller-novel.html

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  121. ross (1,414 comments) says:

    godruelf, I don’t believe the mobile smile either. What’s interesting is that the three ‘backpackers’ apparently took a photo of the van after it had been hit by falling debris. Why the photo? Interesting too that, following the quake, the Israeli ambassador rushes to NZ from Canberra and then takes these backpackers to the airport. I think the ambassador knows more than he’s letting on.

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  122. noskire (835 comments) says:

    Interesting – a few observations and some on previous comments, neither leaning towards any particular theory.

    From memory, there were airforce flights to evacuate tourists to Wellington, although I’m not sure if these were implemented on the evening of the 22nd, or the following day.

    As joana stated previously, traffic was gridlocked after the quake. It took me 1.5 hours to drive 4kms from work to home.

    Not very sensible for an ambasador to be seen to assist ‘spooks’ to evacuate, however to assist legitimate compatriots caught up in a crisis quite understandable.

    Assuming the four were Mossad agents in training, then there would most likely be a more experienced operative in Christchurch already – thus a predetermined safehouse(s) in case things turned pear-shaped. This could possibly expediate their exit from NZ.

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  123. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    ross>What’s interesting is that the three ‘backpackers’ apparently took a photo of the van after it had been hit by falling debris. Why the photo?

    So that they could give it to the police to help them identify the body later? But no doubt there will be some alternate conspiracy-explanation. Like it was an experimental IDF bomb-proof van, and they had to take a photo to show the inventors that bomb proof isn’t the same as earthquake proof… so they must be spies!!!

    ross>Interesting too that, following the quake, the Israeli ambassador rushes to NZ from Canberra

    Keep up. The ambassador is actually based in Wellington. That’s just one of the many “facts” that the Southland Times got wrong after five months of investigation. Like the 5 passports that were actually 2 passports. And one of the ambassador’s jobs is looking after citizens in distress.

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  124. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    noskire>From memory, there were airforce flights to evacuate tourists to Wellington, although I’m not sure if these were implemented on the evening of the 22nd, or the following day.

    It is quite possible that they were evacuated to Auckland on one of the first flights out of Christchurch. Once there they looked at the loss of their belongings, the loss of their friend, and possible injuries and thought jumping on a flight to Singers was a better option than heading in to town to find a hotel. Which is obviously suspicious, since people caught up in a disaster are supposed to hang around for a minimum of three days, just in case the police want to question them. Because the police’s first priority after the earthquake was detaining foreigners in order to find out if they’re actually spies.

    Although there are alternate explanations. It is possible that they were picked up by a Harrier jump jet in Hagley Park, and whisked away to an Israeli submarine standing offshore in case such a rescue was required. And the ambassador had to fly in to help them because three spies couldn’t possibly be competent enough to find their way to the Park without being offered a lift.

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  125. Elaycee (4,425 comments) says:

    krazykiwi (7,099) Says: July 20th, 2011 at 9:31 pm “This is funny. Sorry, it is. Particularly the breathless paranoia of would-be spy novelists chattering over their keyboards with one hand, while grasping for their tinfoil hats with the other.”

    Have to agree. Based on some of the inane comments here, we could also assume that the bloke selling pies in Cashel Street is also implicated. Jeez – has someone spiked the drinking water in NZ? Some comments on this thread are ludicrous – but written by the usual, know all morons.

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  126. ross (1,414 comments) says:

    > So that they could give it to the police to help them identify the body later?

    Really? But the deceased had a passport and other identifying info…so it was not difficult to identify the victim. Besides, the three ‘backpackers’ could have told police that their friend had died…did they do so before they fled the country?

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  127. ross (1,414 comments) says:

    davidp, you might like to read this communique from the Israeli Ambassador about his activities after the quake on February 22 (Tuesday). Ambassador Tzur says he was in Christchurch all day Thursday…that’s two days after the quake. He doesn’t say he was there on the day of the quake or the day after. In fact, the communique says that the Consul – not Tzur – left immediately for Christchurch to offer assistance.

    http://www.jwire.com.au/news/communique-from-the-israeli-embassy-in-new-zealand/15348

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  128. kiwi in america (2,314 comments) says:

    What is it with Israel and Jews? Tell me that had the backpackers been Jordanian and a wealthy Jordanian father, concerned for his son’s wellbeing, financed his own private SOR team and asked King Hussein to speak to John Key to send consolences and ask for bureaucractic road blocks to be removed and that had the deceased been found to have two passports and that the Jordanian ambassador came down to Christchurch to help the surviving Jordanian nationals to exit the city and the country as quckly as possible that we’d be having this frenzy of pathetic speculation? No – Mark Sainsbury, the dick from the Southland Times, John Campbell would be tripping over themselves with some sympathetic heart tugging story of the devotion of father to son or the horrors the young backpackers faced as they sought to leave the earthquake striken city and how awesome the Jordanian ambassador is at protecting his nationals far from home.

    Some of you really need to take a deep breath and and say slowly “not all Israeli tourists are Mossad agents”.

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  129. ephemera (557 comments) says:

    No, kiwi in america,

    People on this site would be making bomb jokes about muslims with backpacks.

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  130. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    @ephemera
    “People on this site would be making bomb jokes about muslims with backpacks.”
    Nothing funny about that.
    Ask some people in London, Mumbai, Madrid,Tel Aviv, Bangkok or a dozen other places if they would like to hear bomb jokes about muslims with backpacks.

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  131. Manolo (14,161 comments) says:

    People on this site would be making bomb jokes about muslims with backpacks.

    Rightly so. When was the last time you saw a Jew blowing himself up and killing innocent people? No, only the violent followers of the “religion of peace” do that.

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  132. ephemera (557 comments) says:

    Manolo and Other_Andy,

    You’ve helped me prove my point to Kiwi in America. Just as all Israelis overseas aren’t working for Mossad, nor are all Muslims terrorists. Just saying.

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  133. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    @ephemera
    You need to read airhead.

    I don’t make jokes about it.
    You are the one who brought it up.
    I don’t think there is anything remotely funny about ‘muslims with backpacks’ (YOUR quote).
    You are the one who brought it up.
    And don’t post straw man arguments.

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  134. mikenmild (12,313 comments) says:

    Well, what are we left with. The PM has confirmed that there was a security investigation. That might be as much as we ever know, unless the journalist concerned has some more details to reveal in a follow-up story.

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  135. ephemera (557 comments) says:

    Other_Andy

    My point was that some people are all too willing to associate muslims with terror in the same way others do Israelis and Mossad.

    Whether or not this association would be made by a joke is a non-sequitor.

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  136. kiwi in america (2,314 comments) says:

    ephemera
    Replace Jordanian with Italian or in fact pretty much any nationality (except American because the snarky left leaning MSM in NZ are rampantly ani-American) and you get my point.

    I get that there’s a story here – the SIS investigated and not every deceased foreign national in the Chch earthquake got that level of attention. Perhaps the Israeli passport scandal has made our counter intelligence folk a tad wary of young Israelis but the people are letting their imaginations run away with them. TVNZ, TV3 and the Southland Times have thrown journalistic integrity, fact checking and neutrality completely out the window because the Joooos are involved.

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  137. mikenmild (12,313 comments) says:

    There is no problem with the news coverage of this. It is a story. There was a security-related investigation, and that is surely worth the media attention. Whether there was anything to it, we don’t really know. The PM didn’t help by ramping up the speculation with his comments.

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  138. ross (1,414 comments) says:

    KIA,

    You are wrong. John Key has confirmed the substance of the story is correct. But he has left some details out, saying that it is not in the public interest to reveal those details. The Israeli Ambassador could of course shed some light on the story but he’s refused to answer questions.

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  139. Lance (2,709 comments) says:

    @ross
    Yea like the BIG DEAL made about the 5 passports but were in fact only 2.

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  140. ross (1,414 comments) says:

    Lance, John key said there were 2 passports. He also said GST wouldn’t increase under National. I hope you’re not so guillible as to believe everything our esteemed PM says. He could be wrong in this case.

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  141. metcalph (1,366 comments) says:

    The source of the multiple passports is apparently the Israeli Ambassador.

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  142. TimG_Oz (866 comments) says:

    Junk Journamlism from a dumbarse in a backwater town. Stirs up the Jew-nation haters

    Put this one up there with Egypt’s claim that it caught Mossad sharks in Sinai, and Mossad Facebook Spy Ilan Garpel.

    Oh and Iran’s Mossad Pigeons and Saudi Arabia’s Mossad Vultures.

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  143. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    @TimG_Oz

    Don’t forget the rats trained by the mossad to dirive the ‘palestinians’ out of Jerusalem.

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  144. Scott Chris (6,178 comments) says:

    @TimG_Oz (561) Says:
    July 21st, 2011 at 9:58 am
    “Junk Journamlism from a dumbarse in a backwater town. Stirs up the Jew-nation haters”

    Speculation about whether or not Mossad has had a low level of espionage related activity in NZ doesn’t amount to ‘Jew-nation hating’. The story is titillating, and excites the public imagination.

    Israel’s foreign policy, on the other hand, is a pain in the arse and is the source of a lot of unnecessary bloodshed. Saying this may be construed as anti-semitic in the view of a few, very sensitive people, but not in mine.

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  145. kiwi in america (2,314 comments) says:

    Ross

    Breaking a political promise is not in the same category as a comment about an SIS investigation. Most voters assume that almost all political promises aren’t worth the paper they’re written on regardless of party affiliation.

    Read the release: http://www.national.org.nz/Article.aspx?ArticleID=36575
    “Prime Minister John Key today said the unusual circumstances surrounding a group of Israeli nationals caught up in February’s earthquake in Christchurch were fully investigated and no evidence was found of a link between the group and Israeli intelligence.

    Mr Key revealed the investigation following media reports questioning the activities of a group of Israeli nationals in New Zealand at the time of the earthquake.

    “The Government takes the security of New Zealand and New Zealanders very seriously. That’s why the relevant agencies conducted a thorough investigation.

    “The unusual circumstances which triggered the investigation was the rapid departure from the country of the three surviving members of the group of Israelis in question.

    “Security agencies conducted the investigation and found no evidence that the people were anything other than backpackers,” Mr Key said.

    Mr Key also moved to correct points raised in the media concerning the number of passports that were found with a man who died in the earthquake. Mr Key said his advice was that the man was found with only one passport, of European origin. Media reports that he was found with five are incorrect. The other three people who had been in the van took their own passports with them when they left the country, and handed over the deceased man’s Israeli passport to Israeli representatives before departing.

    “None of the passports were New Zealand passports,” Mr Key said.

    Mr Key said he has been assured by Police that there has been no unauthorised access to the Police computer system.

    Mr Key also confirmed he spoke once with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the days following the earthquake. Many other leaders also called to express their condolences and to offer assistance to New Zealand. It took several attempts by Israeli representatives to set up the phone call, as is commonly the case with such calls in the circumstances of a major natural disaster.

    “The investigations that have been undertaken have been thorough and have found no evidence of a link between the group and Israeli intelligence,” Mr Key said.

    “The Government takes the security of our country very seriously.”

    Enlighten us to which parts of this release confirm the more lurid parts of Tullet’s story. The fact is media folk who should know better are just making crap up as they go along – because there’s mileage in a ‘Mossad agent infiltrates small insignificant South Pacific nation’ story.

    I’d be careful about using the word gullible lest your pot and kettle start to talk to each other about what colour they are!

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  146. kiwi in america (2,314 comments) says:

    Scott Chris
    Read my post at 428am and the follow up at 847am. There is a category of person (clearly you included) who see villianous intent in any and all Israeli action. I guess defending a nascent newly independent state from promised annihilation and fighting largely defensive (or proactive to head off imminent invasion) wars in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1974 could be described as “unnecessary bloodshed”. You are right about the unnecessary part – had the Arab Nations and the Palestinians accepted the Peel Commission/UN partition and recognized the right of the Jewish state to exist then all of those wars (and most of the subsequent actions in the region) would indeed be have been unnecessary.

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  147. Scott Chris (6,178 comments) says:

    @kiwi in america (1,303) Says:
    July 21st, 2011 at 10:50 am
    “Scott Chris
    Read my post at 428am and the follow up at 847am. There is a category of person (clearly you included) who see villianous intent in any and all Israeli action.”

    I disagree. I recognize Israel’s right to exist. I am a fan of Jewish achievement in the fields of science and entertainment. What I do not like is the Jewish state condoning the establishment of settlements on Arab land.

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  148. kiwi in america (2,314 comments) says:

    Chris Scott
    Then stop blaming Israel for unnecessary bloodshed. If Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas and Fatah would all do as you have done and recognize Israel’s right to exist then the establishment of settlements on Arab land as a necessary security buffer would be unnecessary. Israel’s leaders have proven capable of uprooting Jewish settlors in Arab land; forceably at times, in the quest for peace as was the case in Gaza – their reward: 8,000 rockets fired from Gaza aimed deliberately at Israeli civilian targets causing to use your phrase “unnecessary bloodshed”.

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  149. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    “What I do not like is the Jewish state condoning the establishment of settlements on Arab land.”
    Arab land?
    And that would be Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem?

    1. In 1920, the League of Nations ratified the Balfour Agreement. This established a Jewish nation covering todays Jordan and Israel.
    2. In 1922, under pressure from the Arabs, the British and the League of Nations took away Jordan. The Jews and the Arabs signed this agreement. Judea, Samaria was part of Israel under this agreement.
    3. In 1947, the UN offered the Partition Plan in which the arabs would also get Judea and Samaria, but the Arabs rejected it.
    4. When the United Nations recognized Israel as a nation on May 14, 1948, the Arabs declared war on Israel. Israel defended herself, but Jordan took the West Bank and East Jerusalem, ethnically cleaned it and confiscated and destroyed Jewish places of worship.
    5. In the 1967 war Israel took back the West Bank and Jerualem which was legally hers by international law.

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  150. Scott Chris (6,178 comments) says:

    @kiwi in america (1,304) Says:
    July 21st, 2011 at 11:15 am

    No one is blameless in this conflict. Israel should demonstrate some of the wisdom that they undoubtedly posses and examine how their foreign policy is provoking endless retaliation. If they were to dismantle the settlements, the UN could move in to mind Israel’s border security. That’s all they have to do. Show the way.

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  151. Scott Chris (6,178 comments) says:

    @Other_Andy (150) Says:
    July 21st, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Yes, I see your point.

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  152. kiwi in america (2,314 comments) says:

    Scott Chris @1126am
    “the UN could move in and mind Israel’s border security”. You can’t be serious can you? You mean the same UN that failed to prevent the Jordanians from taking East Jerusalem in 1948 or the same UN that was supposed to prevent Egyptian aggression in the Sinai in 1974 that resulted in Israel almost being invaded. Or perhaps the same UN whose ‘peacekeeping’ troops installed on the Lebanon/Israeli border after the 2006 Lebanon war who vowed to prevent any Hezbollah rearming but who have been so successful at that task that Hezbollah now has MORE rockets than it had prior to that war. Maybe you mean the same UN that passes General Assembly resolutions calling Israel an apartheid state and calling for it to accept a Palestinian right of return which we all know is code for destroying the Jewish State. Or maybe you mean the same UN that sat by and let the Tutsis massacre 800,000 Hutus in Rwanda or perhaps the same UN whose Dutch peacekeepers were too scared to prevent Serbian ethnic cleansing in Srebrenica that they were specifically sent in to prevent. Is that the UN you referring to or are you assuming that the UN has completely reformed and can now be relied upon to protect Israel’s interests?

    Israel would never have gone into Gaza in 2009/2010 were it not to stop Hamas from firing rockets into Israel – an incursion that has mostly achieved its goal. The UN of course has a big presence in Gaza and this presence did NOTHING to stop Hamas from its task of harrassing Israel’s civilian population.

    Your faith in the UN is naive in the extreme – and had Israel trusted the UN as you suggest they now do, there would be no Israel today.

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  153. mikenmild (12,313 comments) says:

    I see this thread is degenerating into the old “Isreal good, no Israel bad” nonsense.

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  154. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    KIA>same UN whose Dutch peacekeepers were too scared to prevent Serbian ethnic cleansing in Srebrenica that they were specifically sent in to prevent

    It is worse than that. The Serbs actually dropped off beer for the Dutch peacekeepers. The Dutch sat around drinking and playing music like some sort of party was going on, while a massacre was going on nearby and civilians were at the gates of their base begging to be let in. There should have been war crimes trials and Dutch and UN officials should have been the defendants.

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  155. ross (1,414 comments) says:

    KIA,

    You can rely on John Key’s press release if you want to, but I’d rather look elswhere for information.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5319766/Israelis-likely-an-official-covert-team

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  156. TimG_Oz (866 comments) says:

    You’d rather rely on a report by Gordon Thomas, who also blamed the Mossad for Space Shuttle Columbia crashing???

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  157. kiwi in america (2,314 comments) says:

    You entirely make my point ross – so very anxious to see neferious intent in anything Israeli’s might do – you along with a bunch of left tilting journalists and conspiracy theorists ike Gordon Thomas who will forgive the Palestinians everything and anything and blame Israel for everything and anything.

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  158. kiwi in america (2,314 comments) says:

    I’m more inclined to believe the deceased backpacker’s father
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5318773/Familys-fear-over-Israeli-victims-passport than the ramblings of a British so-called expert who clearly has a beef with Mossad and plain makes crap up about the organisation.

    Newsflash – secret service agencies have for centuries performed SECRET acts to protect the national interests of their country. Mossad just happens to be very goood at what they do and Israel’s perpetually precarious security position leads its secret services to be more vigilant and proactive than most.

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  159. ross (1,414 comments) says:

    KIA,

    You haven’t followed the debate very closely. Gil Ingel’s son, Gabi Ingel, was not in the van crushed by debris. Backpackers who travelled with him apparently didn’t flee the country. The Israeli ambassador could help to shed light on matters but he’s refusing to talk.

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  160. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    So predictable to see the usual suspects climbing out of the woodwork on this.

    So I might as well join the fun! ;-)

    The now-taken down poll in this morning’s online Herald (6.00am edition) asked if it was likely Israel had spies operating in NZ and a full 75% agreed!

    And KIA asks:

    kiwi in america (1,309) Says:
    July 21st, 2011 at 4:28 am

    What is it with Israel and Jews?

    Of course, the reference to Jews is a gratuitous attempt to smear any criticism of his favoured nation as anti-Semitic. But we all understand that, anyway. And dismiss it.

    The point for KIA, and the reason why the poll showed the result it did, is quite simple:

    Israel has form! Heaps of it.

    And now another gem from KIA:

    Israel’s perpetually precarious security position

    Well, if a country with 300 odd nukes can’t feel secure, I guess no country can!

    But I wonder how much this sense of insecurity is rooted in the deep, deep down feeling in Israel that the manner of the birth of their nation and their egregiously aggressive behaviour since then towards the pre-existing indigenous population of that land, violating many, many international norms along the way, makes the Zionist project doomed for failure.

    In other words, more simply, Israeli insecurity is born of a guilty conscience.

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  161. kiwi in america (2,314 comments) says:

    Sorry Ross you’re right. My point is when that Tulett and others (like you) rely on conspiracy theorists like Gordon Thomas for some of their views on this matter then you’re more likely to be jumping to incorrect conclusions given Thomas’ track record of tilting at windmills.

    Luc – your point is valid that the Israelis have form in NZ so I do totally get why this story is news and why the SIS investigated. But key conspiracy theorist assertions are wrong or draw needlessly suspicious inferences from other facts. Tulett told TVNZ there were 5-6 passports when we now know the deceased Israeli in question had 2 – not an uncommon occurance in Israel – heck I’ve got two passports my brother has 3 all legally obtained. So what that Netanyahu called Key 4 times – Key’s records and phone logs show he spoke to him once – I’m sure John Key was hard to get hold of during the aftermath of the earthquake and I’m darned sure a call from the Israeli PM was not flagged to his staff to be put through without delay.

    The only Israelis with the guilty conscience you allude to are the perpetually anxiety ridden left wingers who join people like you in condemning almost all that Israel stands for. A majority of Israelis are proud of their country and how it came into being. Perhaps Israeli behaviour would be less egregiously aggresive if its Arab neighbours would’ve honoured the UN partition in 1948 and recognize Israel’s right to exist.

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  162. ross (1,414 comments) says:

    > Tulett told TVNZ there were 5-6 passports when we now know the deceased Israeli in question had 2

    We don’t know he had 2 at all. It has been asserted that he had 2 but it’s also been asserted that he had 5. We don’t know which if any is correct.

    It’s now been revealed that the three “backpackers” in the crushed van were questioned by police in Wellington before flying back to Israel. They flew out of Christchurch on an air force 757. It seems that Tullet was right to publish the story, and his reporting was accurate. Anyone who doesn’t like the story are a little precious and too sensitive where Israel is concerned.

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  163. mikenmild (12,313 comments) says:

    KIA

    Do you have a source for this stuff about Gordon Thomas? Just curious.

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  164. Lance (2,709 comments) says:

    This ongoing installment of the womens weekly is proudly presented by ‘conspiracies r us’.
    We all know it was a conspiracy despite the piss poor evidence, yes who needs wanking when this is better than sex.
    We have special knowledge, we know better…. if we didn’t our lives would be pointless.

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  165. kiwi in america (2,314 comments) says:

    So Ross this is what we know about Tulett’s article (that you claim was accurate) other than the whole intention was to create the impression that Mizrahi (and his colleagues) were/are Israeli spies:
    1 – His claim of 5 (amended to 5 or 6 on TV) passports is unsubstantiated by anyone. The article says just that it is “reported”. He can’t even use his SIS source as evidence of this. The SIS investigation as reported by Key states there were 2 passports – 1 of European origin but hey if you want to believe they were spies then stick with 5.
    2 – He tells a story about the existence of SAS troops in the Red Zone and justaposes that with the story about the unauthorised Israeli USAR team. What the hell has the presence of SAS troops in the Red Zone got to do with the Israelis? Ah perhaps the SAS were called in to deal with an unruly and unauthorised Israeli spy clean up squad masquesrading as a SAR team – that’s the inference. Nothing sinister about some of the many Army personnel from Burnham being assigned to duties in the Red Zone nor the fact that some of them may be in the SAS. As we now know the family of Ingel and his travelling companion paid to have this team come to NZ and now that team’s head Hilik Magnus Denke claims they never strayed into the Red Zone at all. So we have a worried wealthy father paying to have an expert team try to find his son’s body but Tulett wants us to believe that its all part of an Israeli government plot to spring the spies out.
    3 – Tulett can’t even get the office of Ambassador Shemi Tzur right – somehow coming all the way from Australia where he says he’s based sounds just that little bit more sinister than coming down from Wellington where he’s actually based.
    4 – Tulett actually writes that Key “fielded” 4 calls from Netanyahu. Fielded implies received or a connection was made between the two PMs – sounds so much more sinister than the truth which is that 4 attempts at calls were made to a very busy John Key and that the two leaders spoke once. But of course the fielding of 4 calls from the Israeli PM adds juice to the inference that the Israelis were frantically trying to get their spooks out and called on Key to assist.
    5 – Then there’s the claim of accessing the Police national computer via the Israeli forensic expert who did get accreditation and worked in the Red Zone. That claim was categorically denied by police who actually carried out a thorough forensic check on any unauthorized access to their network. Oh but of course the Police were likely told by the PMs office to say that huh. But we get the picture – just make the inference that a breach MIGHT have happened and we have yet another damning piece of possible evidence of spying activity.
    6 – Key confirmed that he signed off on the search warrants authorising the SIS to forensically examine all of Mizrahi’s belongings found in the van including electronic items such as his cell phone and there was no evidence from that examination that pointed to him being a spy.
    7 – Exhibit 5 the Facebook tributes page – who knows who set it up? Not everyone is on Facebook and maybe his family and friends had no knowledge of this page hence the lack of activity.

    The only remotely suspicious activity was the quick departure and indeed we know it was this that triggered the SIS inquiry.

    If all of the above is your standard of accurate then you need your head read. Just because 2 Israelis were caught trying to obtain NZ passports a few years earlier does not make every Israeli backpacker a spy. And if all these people are guilty of is finding a way to flee a frightening earthquake zone and go back to their home country as fast as possible well then I assert there is not much to lose sleep over.

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  166. kiwi in america (2,314 comments) says:

    mikenmild
    This review of Thomas’ book has an excellent summary of the extraordinary claims Thomas makes about Mossad http://www.danielpipes.org/805/gideons-spies-the-secret-history-of-the-mossad Heck I’m sure in his 2nd edition he’ll claim that Mossad were behind 9/11 and Obama’s election! For Tulett and co to rely on this hotch potch of conspiracies tells us all we need to know about their academic rigour as journalists.

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