‘The Forged Passport Affair’ – What is Truth?

May 25, 2010 No Comments by

25th May, 2010

An Israeli embassy staffer was expelled from Australia this week over what can be called ‘the Forged Passport Affair.’ Four Australian passports were used in the slaying of Mahmoud al Madbouh, founder of the Al Qassam Brigade. (Israel believes al Madbouh, a senior Hamas activist, was involved in the abduction and killing of five Israeli soldiers).

The Al Qassam Brigades website quickly responded to the story: “Australia’s Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said investigations were still under way. ‘I made it crystal clear to the ambassador that if the results of that investigation cause us to come to the conclusion that the abuse of Australian passports was in any way sponsored or condoned by Israeli officials, then Australia would not regard that as an act of a friend,’ Smith said.

The website report continued: “In an interview with Australian radio, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd also emphasized the severity of the situation. ‘We will not be silent on this matter. It is a matter of deep concern. It really goes to the integrity and fabric of the use of state documents, which passports are, for other purposes,’ Rudd told Australian radio. ‘Any state that has been complicit in use or abuse of the Australian passport system, let alone for the conduct of an assassination, is treating Australia with contempt and there will therefore be action by the Australian government in response,’ said Rudd.”
Israel has made no confession of guilt. In fact, Foreign Minister Avigdor Leiberman last February said, there was no evidence that could convict Israel.
The Australian Liberal Party used the recent decision as an opportunity to slam Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Foreign Minister Steven Smith. The Libs claim the government’s decision was a ploy to win approval from Arab countries.

I guess they have to say something but as an Australian passport holder, I would expect my elected officials to take some action. But I also would like to hear some evidence that explains why Israel was singled out.

If it was an assassination conducted by the Israeli secret service, it highlights for me, how different it is for homeland security forces, when murdering terrorists live next door.

It’s fine and cosy to sit back and decide what should be done when the bad guys are on the other side of the world. Israel lives with the threat of rockets and missiles landing in their towns and villages every day.

So while I want my Australian government to defend the sanctity of my passport, when I lived in Jerusalem, I sure appreciated the way the Israeli government and its servants protected my life at the risk of their own.

So let’s not be smug when calculating blame in this situation. Walk in the shoes of the other. A killer died. At least that protects the innocent.

Ron's Rave

About the author

Ron Ross worked as the first Sports Editor at WINTV. In Wollongong. He ran The Hamburger Hut an outreach and discipleship program for youth. He served with Youth With a Mission in Hawaii, Philippines and Australia. He was senior pastor of the Noosa Baptist Church, Queensland for 9 years. He reported news from Jerusalem for five years and is now the Middle East correspondent for United Christian Broadcasters and travels regularly preaching and teaching.
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