Thursday, July 15, 2004

Israeli Spies

International spies, here in li'l ole New Zealand! How exciting ;)
Details available from NBR, NZ Herald and The Press. Some excerpts:
Prime Minister Helen Clark launched a blistering verbal attack and slapped diplomatic sanctions on Israel last night after two suspected Mossad agents were imprisoned for six months for illegally trying to obtain a New Zealand passport.

"The Israeli agents attempted to demean the integrity of the New Zealand passport system. The Israeli government was asked for an explanation and an apology three months ago. Neither was received."

"This type of behaviour is unacceptable internationally by any country. It is a sorry indictment of Israel that it has again taken such actions against a country with which it has friendly relations."

Helen Clark said it was not the first time Israel had sought fraudulently to obtain passports from another country.

"Israeli agents caught in an unsuccessful assassination attempt in Jordan in 1997 were found to be carrying fraudulent Canadian passports," she said. "While we regret the need for it, New Zealand has no option but to take the actions that it has in response to a deliberate breach of its sovereignty."

The response of our government has been to:
  • Suspend high-level visits to and from Israel.

  • Decline permission for Israel's President to visit later this year.

  • Implement visa restrictions on all Israeli government officials visiting New Zealand.

  • Suspend Foreign Ministry consultations with Israel.

  • Delay indefinitely the appointment of a new Israeli ambassador.

  • Ha, this even makes me feel patriotic - I imagine it'll do wonders for Clark and the Labour party in the polls...


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