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Posted Friday, February 18, 2005

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[The 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

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
National News

Ruddock denies [Israeli] 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 from Australia.

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 subsequently cancelled.

RuddockMr 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 Australia.

Meanwhile, the Australian Jewish News also reports that Australian Jewish leaders have opposed the Israel's Foreign Ministry replacement for Amir Laty.

They 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 the appointment.

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.


Photo shows Scher (left) with a George Shteinberg

Israeli rejects 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 appointment.

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 26-year-old daughter.

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.


Beazley '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 government.

"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 the briefing.

RuddockAttorney-General Philip Ruddock says his daughter's friendship with Laty was irrelevant to the man's departure from Australia.

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 on."

Asked why Mr Laty was expelled from Australia, Mr Ruddock said: "That's not a matter about which we're commenting.

"He was asked, well, he left and I think it's a matter of just simply acknowledging that he departed Australia."

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 Canberra.

But government sources deny the two were intimately involved, saying they were only acquaintances and their relationship "purely platonic".

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 America.

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 Ruddock said.

"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 governments."



Our dossier on Mr Irving's exclusion from Australia by Philip Ruddock, on the grounds of "character."
The Global Vendetta against David Irving
Australia's twelve-year battle to keep David Irving from returning to speak to ordinary Australians | Ruddock's letter to David Irving (one of many)
Apology still required from Israel 
New Zealand Freedom in sight for jailed Israeli spies | "Alleged" Mossad agents to be released early | Jewish spies leave NZ after serving half their prison term; but their $100,000 donation to Cerebral Palsy Society (ordered by court) has not yet been paid |
Yet another fake-passport factory found in NZ: who is behind it?
Arrested anonymous New Zealander NZ Herald: NZ Foreign Minister Phil Goff likely to face Israel at UN debate | Israel - a stormy relationship: Passport to a world of trouble (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3: How Israeli security tries to win friends and influence people ) (David Irving and NZ items: on p.2)
New Zealand judges allow businessman accused of a 3-year campaign of racial hatred against Muslims to keep his name secret: "Detective Inspector Harry Quinn today said the man [was] of European ethnicity... but he refused to say if he followed any particular religion. " [second story] »»»
In from the cold: Mossad spy Eli Cara (jailed for passport fraud in New Zealand) becomes top Israeli credit-card (Visa) executive
Archives show Israeli spy's passport sparked 1974 secret British row: The use of forged British passports by Mossad assassination squads
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 his way to a niece's wedding in America" (and a funeral?)
Fake New Zealand passports sequel Australia secretly expels Israeli diplomat -- neither country will say why

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