Sunday, July 04, 2004

The Eli and Uri show...

Sunday carried a story by Cameron Bennett about his attempts to find out more about the Israelis, Eli Cara and Uri Kelman, that were caught while trying to procure an NZ passport by false means. As a result, Cameron looked as bumbling and incompetent as the alleged Mossad agents that he was trying to find out more about.

The first sign of cluelessness came when he described Mossad as being feared in counter-intelligence. Wrong. Mossad does not do counter-intelligence work - that is the preserve of the Israeli Shin Bet.

The whole program was told us little new. The only difference was that what was already known was told to us by among others, Yvonne Ridley, described as a writer for the Observer. Come again? While Yvonne is famous for being caught by the Taliban, she did so as a Daily Express Reporter. Her journalistic career since then has been little more than being hired and fired by Al-Jazeera. A search on the Guardian site reveals that she wrote two articles for them in 2003, both binned in the Travel section, and nothing for them in 2004. If she's following the case for the Observer as was implied, then it's odd that she's done no articles on it when the scandal originally broke back in April. So why was she on? My impression is that Cameron owed her a favour or that he wanted some glamour.

The only interesting thing that was revealed was that one of the duo had visited NZ in 1999 on a C A N A D I A N passport. This strongly suggests they are Mossad as mere methapthetamine traffickers (as has been suggested that these people are) don't go to such lengths to procure false passports. But nothing was done with the information besides mentioning that Israel had promised to give up the use of Canadian passports in 1997 after a bungled assassination attempt in Jordan. Cameron didn't even bother to ring up somebody in the Canadian diplomatic corp to film them have an apoplexic fit on camera. That, at least, would have redeemed the program.

In the future, I think Mossad will be well-advised to get their fake NZ passports from another source. There's some forgers in South Thailand that Al Qai'da can recommend...