Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Remains of Ben Zygier


At The Conversation ( "The enemy of trusted journalism is disinformation and spin")  what hopefully is the last gasp of the "Prisoner X" affair is being exhaled and this tragic business can finally be put to rest and the family left in peace. No doubt the conspiracy theories will continue forever and for certain it will be slyly integrated into the eternal disinformation campaigns against Israel and the Jews. That always happens.

Associate Professor Felix Patrikeef took on the job of writing two short pieces for The Conversation in  an information vacuum that was being filled to the brim with disinformation in the general media and overflowing with malicious spin.

The first was on 22 February when the "affair" was at its peak and the whole Australian political class was in an orgasmic rapture of rancid speculation especially in the Fairfax/ABC mindgroup.  At its worst journalists pontificated about the dual loyalty of the Australian You Know Whoooos. They do that. They have always done that. 

The second was posted three days ago. It is striking how fundamentally the political climate surrounding the "affair" has changed in these weeks. There is only one reason for this. Der Speigal published an article which among other things killed stone dead  the more lurid and ugly analyses at least in public or polite company where  "progressives" still believe it expedient to suppress open displays of antisemitism. Then the ABC hammered the last nail when the Foreign Correspondent team, the same unit that broadcast the original story, broadcast an update last Monday. 

So what have we learnt? That Israel sometimes uses clones of foreign passports to provide cover for its agents on national security missions while abroad? Duh. So does every other  intelligence and security agency in the world  including the Australian  Security and Intelligence Service as an Australian politician got into strife for publicly almost admitting when the Dubai affair broke.  What else?

On 15 February this blog  said this when there really wasn't a lot to talk about but a certain element of the Australian media and political classes were absolutely preoccupied with talking about it anyway. What to say? 

What does the Prisoner X tragedy prove?

Nothing at all really.

 As if there has never been a death in custody in an Australian prison.

As if Australian law does not provide not only for the prosecution of persons employed by Australian security agencies for divulging secret information but also for the trial proceedings to be in secret AND even for the prosecution of court officials who keep a record of those proceedings.

That the Australian and Western media have demonstrated how much and how intensely they absolutely love a dead Jew?

Not that either. We already knew that.

Contrast the treatment of this affair with how the same political classes are coping with the news that the Boston marathon outrage was an attack by political Islamist ideology. 

This is a job for Che Gorilla who as usual took it upon himself to venture forth into the The Conversation on the ground he is the only non-human primate in this outfit and therefore really the only one qualified to engage intellectuals especially on their own turf. He knows his way around a jungle when he sees one. 

Che Gorilla

Human Rights Activist
This is the second piece from Professor Patrikeef on Prisoner X. Much has changed since the first was posted at The Conversation on 22 February. Almost nothing was known then as you would expect about national security matters in both Australia and Israel. However nothing of any particular interest is known now. What is interesting is how Australian commentators and observers including in the universities have handled the saga.
The first article was mainly about the al-Mabhouh Dubai operation and the small part that an Australian passport was able to play in neutralising this dangerous international criminal and terrorist while he himself was on an operation. In a vacuum this was within the range of reasonable informed speculation I suppose but as it turned out there was no connection between Zygier and the Dubai incident and the subsequent diplomatic fallout.
Now we can only speculate about why an intelligence asset that the Israelis were cultivating, and who Zygier apparently stupidly betrayed, only served three years instead of fifteen ( or indeed taken out the back and shot after "debriefing" -- this is Hezbollah after all), and whether he was a real asset or a double (or triple) asset or just an asset in progress. Or a double asset in progress or ...
As for Ben Zygier? Now that we know what we should have known in the first place, that his death was suicide just as the Israelis said it was (why would you put a man you intended to liquidate in a high security "suicide proof" cell that was supposed to be under video surveillance?). Like every death in custody it was a tragedy but was the result of at worst pretty typical organisational bungling and incompetence that you can see anywhere in the world and not the result of malice or foul play. How boring.
What's more he was treated humanely, had full access to his family and lawyers and was receiving due process. How very boring.
A barometer of how Israel is treated by the "progressives" and others in Australia is in the comments threads of the two pieces.
There were 68 comments under the February article and they ranged the full range of speculative malice. This was cold blooded murder back then. Prisoner X had been "imprisoned without trial" and "tortured". There was"substantial evidence of the collusion of Israeli institutions & authorities - including the courts - in covering up and denying Zygier due process. "
"lets face it - he was executed"
"No shadow of doubt - you can see Netanyahu's own fingerprints on Zygier's neck under the gravestone"..

Not much room for speculation there.
And now that it is known to be all crap you can gauge the loss of interest here. 11 comments only and a few of those are by the usual anti-Israel fanatics.who spend their time scanning the internet for opportunities to vent undisguised Jew hatred.
In a news vacuum speculation mushrooms but it is now a law of nature that when the matter concerns Israel or anything remotely connected in the public (and academic) mind, such as Islamic militarism and terrorism, the speculation will quickly gurgle into elaborate, malicious and utterly baseless conspiracy theories.
Evidence is irrelevant.
Compare and contrast this with the Boston Marathon bombings for instance where once again The Conversation provides a classic counterpoint. To have even suggested that the bombings might have been inspired by political Islamist ideology before it was known for sure that the attack was indeed inspired by political Islamist ideology was to invite condemnation for "Islamophobia". Moreover it was perfectly acceptable to more than speculate about a well funded conspiracy of the you know whoooos to wage an Islamophobic campaign of hate against all Muslims.
Not much room for speculation there either.
A discussion of this phenomenon at The Conversation is here.
cross posted Geoffff's Joint

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