Friday, July 23, 2004
spy case twist
that suspected Mossad agent wanted for passport
fraud in New Zealand was an Israeli
by Tom Regan
BBC reports that New Zealand
Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff alleged
Barkan (right) was an attache at two
Israeli embassies in Europe. Mr. Goff told New
Zealand radio that Mr. Barkan was employed at the
Israeli embassies in Vienna and Brussels between
1993 and 2001.
TV New Zealand reports that "the revelation is
further evidence that the Israeli government was
behind a bungled attempt to fraudulently obtain a
New Zealand passport." The Israeli daily
Ha'aretz reports that the Austrian Foreign
Ministry confirmed the reports that Barkan served
for a number of years as an Israeli diplomat in
Vienna. The Israeli Foreign Ministry has neither
confirmed nor denied connections to Barkan, reports
Eli Cara and Uri Kelman, alleged agents of
intelligence agency, pleaded guilty to belonging to
an organized criminal group and attempting to
obtain a false New Zealand passport and are now
appealing a six-month prison sentence handed down
after the two were sentenced last week, New Zealand
Prime Minister Helen Clark launched a verbal
attack and slapped diplomatic sanctions on Israel,
saying that actions of the men and those of the
Israeli government had "seriously strained
relations" with New Zealand.
On Tuesday, The New Zealand Herald
reported that "New Zealand intelligence agencies
are understood to have bugged the two Israeli
passport fraudsters and gained concrete evidence
that they were Mossad agents."
New Zealand also voted Tuesday in favor of a UN
resolution demanding that Israel demolish its
controversial security barrier. The US and
Australia voted against the measure, along with
Israel and three Pacific island nations.
MEANWHILE, Cybercast News Service reports that
Jewish community leaders in New Zealand have asked
their government to block a visit by a "revisionist
historian who calls the Holocaust a 'legend'."
Controversial British historian David Irving
has been banned from entering countries such as
for his views.
In an editorial
Thursday [July 22,
2004], The New Zealand Herald
calls Irving's views on Hitler and the
Holocaust "utterly discredited," but defends his
right to enter the country and speak freely.
Freedom of speech means that within
established legal boundaries, differing views
must be heard. That includes arguments devoid of
credibility. ... Mr Irving's views do not exceed
the boundaries of free speech. ... Free speech
must be a robust right, not one that is
truncated when it becomes an inconvenience or
when the viewpoint is unpalatable.
More practically, it is verging on the
nonsensical to ban an author whose views are
already widely known in this country, if only
through reports from overseas. Mr Irving's work
can be ignored, such is its lack of merit.
Irving has dismissed those hoping to prevent him
from visiting New Zealand as "the
traditional enemies of the truth" on his
News explains that this is a tough time for the
Jewish community there.
The country's small Jewish community is feeling
vulnerable following their government's diplomatic
rift with Israel over allegations of espionage, and
following the rare
desecration of headstones in a historical
Jewish cemetery in Wellington.
Shortly after the prime minister announced the
sanctions against Israel last week, Jewish graves
in Wellington were smashed and desecrated with Nazi
attempts by New Zealand Jews to stop David
Irving's 2004 visit
- [Note that the
Christian Science Monitor website provided a
link to this website]