Govt must investigate Israeli diplomat’s expulsion

Green MP Keith Locke wants the Government to investigate the circumstances surrounding the expulsion of an Israeli diplomat from Australia.

“We need to know whether last year’s attempt by a Mossad agent to fraudulently obtain New Zealand passports was run out of Israel’s Embassy in Canberra,” said Mr Locke, Green Foreign Affairs spokesperson.

“The expelled diplomat was cross-accredited to New Zealand and visited the two Mossad spies jailed here. It is bad enough that Mossad was infringing on New Zealand’s sovereignty and laws. It is even worse if the Israeli diplomatic post responsible for New Zealand was involved.”

Mr Locke said there was prima facie evidence the Mossad operation against New Zealand was run out of Australia.

“One of the jailed spies, Eli Cara, was based near Sydney, running a dummy tourism agency. He crossed the Tasman 24 times. In addition, the third Mossad agent, Zev Barkan, who managed to escape New Zealand, had been an Israeli diplomat in Austria and Belgium.”

Mr Locke said the New Zealand Government must not be caught up in an Australian government cover-up of the affair.

“As long as Israel’s diplomats to New Zealand are based in Australia, it is our business whether Mossad is operating out of the Canberra Embassy.

“John Howard tried to hide the diplomat’s expulsion, perhaps so as not to upset Israel too much. Australia is much more aligned with the Sharon government than New Zealand. For example, Howard supports Sharon’s construction of a ‘security wall’ between Israel and the West Bank.”

Phil Goff must speak out about the affair, Mr Locke said.

“Phil Goff’s talk about fighting terrorism will be hollow if he doesn’t try to get to the bottom of this, the only terrorist-linked activity in New Zealand since the Rainbow Warrior bombing.

“It is possible that the fraudulent New Zealand passports were going to be used for an Israeli terrorist assassination. Mossad used a false Canadian passport in an attempt to assassinate a Palestinian leader in Jordan in 1997.”