extraordinary morals of Israeli "diplomats": Was
Amir Laty expelled for fooling around Down Under
with Minister's daughter?]
More on Those
Nice Folks Next Door
diplomat's expulsion linked to daughter
Federal Attorney General
Philip Ruddock says any relationship his
daughter (right) had with an Israeli
diplomat is not relevant to the man's expulsion
A report in this week's Australian Jewish
News says the former diplomat, Amir
Laty, told Israeli Foreign Ministry officials
in Jerusalem that he had been in "close contact"
with Caitlin Ruddock.
The report also says that Amir Laty believes his
friendship with 26-year-old Ms Ruddock may have
been linked to the Australian Government ordering
him to leave the country.
Mr Laty's expulsion has not been explained by
the Federal Government.
The report said Mr Laty
had been invited to Christmas lunch at the
Ruddock's Sydney home, but the invitation was
Ruddock (left) has told Southern Cross radio the
Government will not comment on the expulsion.
"I don't believe that is appropriate to look at
whether or not my daughter had had relationships
with anybody," he said.
"Certainly any acquaintance she may or may not
have had with this particular gentleman was totally
irrelevant to his departure from Australia."
Labor's foreign affairs spokesman Kevin
Rudd says he has been briefed by ASIO but
cannot discuss the matter.
"These are sensitive matters and the Opposition
is privileged to obtain national security briefings
from ASIO," he said.
"I'm not to be in a position of breaching the
undertakings we've given to ASIO."
Mr Laty, who was posted to Canberra for 18
months, went to New Zealand last year to visit two
Israelis who were jailed there on charges of
fraudulently obtaining passports.
The two, who were expelled
from New Zealand for allegedly being agents of
Israel's spy agency Mossad, also spent time in
Meanwhile, the Australian Jewish News
also reports that Australian Jewish leaders have
opposed the Israel's Foreign Ministry replacement
for Amir Laty.
rejected Aryeh Scher's appointment because
of alleged involvement in a child-sex scandal in
Brazil five years ago.
The website reports that the Israeli Foreign
Minister Silvan Shalom this week agreed to review
Mr Scher, a former Israeli vice-consul at the
Israeli Embassy in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, was
reportedly cleared by an
Israeli government committee of any criminal
behaviour but was censured for
"inappropriate behaviour" and barred from going
abroad for five years.
shows Scher (left) with a George
diplomatic post over controversy
Friday, February 18, 2005
JEWISH leaders in Australia say
the man who was to replace an expelled Israeli
diplomat has decided against taking up the position
because of the controversy over his
The Australian Jewish News has reported
that Jewish leaders opposed the appointment of
Aryeh Scher, to replace expelled diplomat Amir
Laty, because of his alleged involvement in a
scandal in Brazil five years ago.
Vic Alhadeff from the Jewish Board of
Deputies says Mr Scher no longer wants the job.
"We have just learnt
that Ayreh Scher, the Israeli diplomat in
question, has just withdrawn his candidacy,
quote unquote, because of the negative
atmosphere which his appointment has caused both
in Israel and Australia and he's decided to
withdraw his appointment," he said.
Mr Laty's departure has not been explained by
the Federal Government.
He has reportedly said he may have been asked to
leave Australia because of his friendship with the
Federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock's
Mr Ruddock says any relationship his daughter
had a former Israeli diplomat is not relevant to
the man's departure.
The matter has prompted a political row over the
reasons behind the Mr Laty's expulsion.
'satisfied' over daughter-diplomat row
February 18, 2005
THE federal opposition will not
comment on the expulsion of an Israeli diplomat
alleged to have been a spy, Labor leader Kim
Beazley said today.
Mr Beazley declined to comment, due to national
security reasons, on the quick departure of Amir
Laty late last year.
He said both he and his party had been briefed
on the situation, and he was satisfied with what
the government had to say.
When asked if Mr Ruddock should at least confirm
whether Mr Laty was asked to leave Australia, Mr
Beazley said that decision was up to the
"It's up to the government what it decides to do
about that," he said." They have briefed us
properly and I am satisfied with that."
Earlier, Labor foreign
affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd said they had given
ASIO an undertaking not to divulge details of
Philip Ruddock says his daughter's friendship with
Laty was irrelevant to the man's departure from
Amir Laty, who was attached to the Israeli
embassy, claimed he was expelled from Australia
because of his friendship with Mr Ruddock's
youngest daughter Caitlin.
Newspaper reports today say Mr Laty, aged in his
30s, was thrown out of Australia after befriending
Ms Ruddock. It has not been explained why Mr Laty
was expelled from his position but it is understood
ASIO believed he had been involved in spying.
Mr Laty was due to have Christmas dinner at the
Attorney-General's Sydney house just three days
before his expulsion, according to the reports.
He told an Israeli newspaper it was his
relationship with the 26-year-old Sydney
accountancy lecturer that was behind the decision
by then Israeli ambassador Gabby Levy to
recall him home on December 23 last year.
"I don't believe that
it is appropriate to look at whether my daughter
had relationships with anybody," Mr Ruddock told
Brisbane radio 4BC.
"Any acquaintance she may or may not have had
with this particular gentleman was totally
irrelevant to his departure from Australia, and his
departure is not something we're commenting
Asked why Mr Laty was expelled from Australia,
Mr Ruddock said: "That's not a matter about which
"He was asked, well, he left and I think it's a
matter of just simply acknowledging that he
The Attorney-General would not comment on the
reported Christmas dinner plans.
"This is an adult daughter, 26, who doesn't live
at home, and I'm not commenting on matters relating
to her acquaintances," he said.
"It's totally irrelevant and I think she's
entitled to some privacy."
Labor received a confidential briefing from spy
agency ASIO on Mr Laty's case, but could not reveal
what was said at the meeting.
Opposition foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd
said he would not comment on any details of the
case or its broader implications.
"The problem that arises is that any question
about diplomatic impact goes to the circumstances
surrounding this individual's case and that's why
I'm reluctant to comment more broadly as well," Mr
Rudd told ABC radio.
"I'm not about to be in a position of breaching
the undertakings we've given to ASIO."
Labor's defence spokesman Robert
McClelland, who was also at the ASIO briefing,
told ABC radio the opposition would not be pursing
the government over the matter.
The public was unlikely to hear any more about
the case, he said.
According to the Sydney-based Australian
Jewish News, Mr Laty also told Israeli Foreign
Ministry officials his expulsion was linked to his
relationship with Ms Ruddock.
The former consul had a reputation for pursuing
women in high places, including Ms Ruddock, whom he
first met six years ago while studying in Beijing,
according to newspaper reports.
The two are said to have renewed their
friendship in 2003 when Mr Laty was posted in
But government sources deny the two were
intimately involved, saying they were only
acquaintances and their relationship "purely
Mr Ruddock also refused
to comment on a newspaper report that Israel was
reconsidering its latest diplomatic appointment
to Australia following complaints the official
was involved in a sex scandal in South
Jewish leaders in Australia have protested at
the appointment of Aryeh Scher as a senior consul.
He was censured by Israel's Foreign Ministry for
improper conduct in Brazil.
"I can't comment on overseas appointments," Mr
"I'm not the foreign minister, but in any event
appointments are made by foreign governments and
unless people are persona non grata and are
declined recognition, the decisions are up to their
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by Philip Ruddock, on the grounds of
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In from the cold: Mossad
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Nice folks Israeli
air traveler who "forgot" the secret plastic gun
carried in his hand luggage
"The largely plastic pistol failed to show up on
X-ray scanners at Ben Gurion Airport. The court
heard that Lehman, who holds dual British and
Israeli nationality . . . had been on
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Fake New Zealand passports sequel
secretly expels Israeli diplomat -- neither
country will say why