The following is an extract from an ABC Radio program “Rear Vision” titled “The story of the Israeli secret service the Mossad” broadcast this week. Israeli historian Professor Benny Morris and Yossi Melman, journalist and intelligence expert for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, admit that the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and some other western intelligence agencies spy on behalf of the Israeli spy agency Mossad in Arab and Muslim countries. Furthermore, they authorise Mossad to use their national passports in its clandestine spy activities in these countries.
Would Australia like to do something about this? What do you think?
Benny Morris: I think basically [Mossad is] spying in the Arab world, it had a small cell of spies Israeli agents who were sent into Lebanon and to Damascus and Syria, to spy on Syrian and Lebanese and Egyptian military and political activities and policies…
Yossi Melman: …. A third role was to maintain secret, clandestine but very vital and useful contacts with its counterparts, whether it’s the Australian foreign espionage agency, the ASIO, or it’s the CIA or the British MI6 or the German Bundesnachrichtendienst. And they have developed over the years, very, very intimate relations, sharing information and sharing the assessments and even nowadays going into the field, enjoying [in fact what he said is, in joining] the operations in the war against global terrorism.
…. the Mossad is in charge of maintaining these liaisons relations with many, many intelligence services around the globe, what they call friendly organisations, the list is very, very long, Australia is included. They meet once in a while. First of all they send envoys to each other’s countries. There is an Australian ASIO delegate here or envoy or resident if you wish, working for the Israeli Embassy, and for the Australian Embassy in Tel Aviv and there is a Mossad agent or representative working from the Israeli Embassy in your country, in Australia. And so on and so forth around the globe. So on one hand there is very good, intimate, strong co-operation between the security services and they are doing each other favours occasionally, not only sharing information, but also scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours; do me a favour, I’ll do you a favour, and these favours can vary from Can you lend me your agent, for example, or I’m running an agent in country A, and can I join you in running that agent? Sometimes it’s to provide documentation. We need that you will provide us with a cover because we are working the clandestine in country B and we cannot operate in this country, while your documents, passports, travel documents are more welcome in that country. And then we come to that rough area in which you co-operate on the one hand, but on the other hand you don’t tell the other organisation all your secrets, even if you are very friendly and have intimate relations with it.
… Israelis cannot travel everywhere, cannot travel to some Arab countries. We cannot travel to Syria with Israeli passports; we cannot travel with [to] Iran with Israeli passports, we will be arrested on the spot and probably, even if you are an innocent civilian, you will be accused of being a spy. Therefore the Mossad needs to work occasionally by borrowing or fabricating foreign passports.