In the early months of 2010, a prisoner was brought to one of Israel’s most secure prisons, the Ayalon facility in Ramla, and put in a cell designed to hold the murderer of Yitzhak Rabin.  None of the prison personnel were told so much as his name, nor was anything known about his alleged crime.  Held in absolute seclusion, his cell monitored day and night, Prisoner X was a man without an identity—and his captors were determined to keep it that way.  When the story leaked out, the Israeli media began to speculate as to prisoner’s identity and the charges, but the Israeli censor soon moved to quash any discussion of the prisoner by issuing one of the most comprehensive bans in the history of media regulation.  An Israeli judge declared not only that was it impermissible to report on this story, but that it was forbidden to report the act of censorship.

The story disappeared from the media until December 2010, when the Israeli online news site Ynet reported that Prisoner X had committed suicide.  The story was immediately taken down as the Israelis frantically tried to suppress what is apparently a very sensitive matter, but now Australia’s public news network has unmasked Prisoner X as Ben Zygier, a.k.a. Ben Alon, a.k.a. Ben Allen, an Australian in his mid-30’s (the son of Geoffrey Zygier, executive director of the Victoria Jewish Community Council), who emigrated to Israel 12 years ago, changed his name to Ben Alon, married an Israeli with whom he had two children, and went to work for the Mos­sad, Israel’s intelligence agency.

As the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) report puts it,

The story of Ben Zygier raises many questions.  Why was he jailed and why the extraordinary cover up by the Israeli government?  What is this matter of national security?  And what did Australian authorities know?  When Ben Zygier died in that prison what questions were asked by our diplomats and what were they told?

International protocols demand that when a foreign national is jailed or dies, his diplomatic mission must be informed.

Bill Van Esveld of Human Rights Watch noted,

That is such a fundamental obligation, the obligation of one country to notify another when the other [sic] citizen has been arrested, detained, you know especially if they if they [sic] died.  That is so basic that it’s called customary law which means that even if Israel didn’t ratify a treaty saying it has to notify the other country, it still has to do so because that is just such a basic norm of interstate relations.

That Israel doesn’t honor the fundamental obligations of international protocol should come as no surprise to close observers of the Jewish state’s international espionage network, and especially not to Australians.  Three years ago, the world was shocked to discover Israeli agents had manufactured passports from data gleaned from visitors to the country from practically every major Western nation, including Australia and New Zealand, in order to carry out the assassination of an arms dealer in Dubai.  In both Australia and New Zealand the Israelis had been operating a “passport farm,” stealing the information of New Zealand citizens and using it to forge passports.

This latest development has evoked memories of that painful episode in Israeli-South Pacific relations.  ABC reports that

in 2010 ASIO suspected that several Australian Jews were working for Mossad, after changing their names from European or Jewish names to Anglo names.  Then with new Australian passports and Australian accents, they could travel freely in the Arab world and to places like Iran, to destinations where no Israeli could venture.

When ABC filed a Freedom of Information request with Australian authorities, inquiring as to what they knew about this matter and when they knew it, they were refused on “national security” grounds.  One odd note was struck in the refusal, however, because the government referred to a “Mr. Allen,” rather than any of Zygier’s other known names.  It turns out the deceased had been carrying an Australian passport under the name “Ben Allen.”

To say that this “suicide” is extremely suspicious would be a considerable understatement: The conditions prevailing in that high-security cell, which is under 24-hour surveillance, would have made such a feat well-nigh impossible.  Under these circumstances, the refusal of the parents of the deceased to contribute to the ABC story sounds a particularly odd note.  The Israelis responded to the ABC revelations in a panic, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally calling an “emergency meeting” with editors, in the course of which he asked them not to report on the story because, as the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz put it, that would be “very embarrassing to a certain government agency.”  Immediately after that meeting, all mentions of the ABC story disappeared from Israel’s “news” sites, including the above-cited remark from Ha’aretz.

Israel’s war on the world, conducted through her very efficient worldwide intelligence network, is one of those subjects we’re not supposed to talk about.  When FOX News reported, in December 2001, that Israeli intelligence may have had foreknowledge of the September 11 attacks, the story sank like a stone—effectively suppressed by the rest of the media, and by FOX itself, which dropped Carl Cameron’s four-part investigation from its website within days.  The Australian and New Zealand “passport farm” incidents were quickly forgotten, albeit not by the intelligence agencies of those countries, and any further inquiry into the matter of Israeli covert operations aimed at their ostensible allies in the West was tamped down.  That such “farms” exist in the United States is elementary, but we will never get to know any of the details until another Mossad hit squad makes headlines.

A 1996 GAO report revealed that Israel “conducts the most aggressive espionage operation against the United States of any U.S. ally.”  Thousands of Israelis are dual citizens of the United States, giving them a unique opportunity to establish a substantial covert fifth column here—acting in concert with the rather overt fifth column, the powerful Israel lobby, including millions of evangelical Christians, which consists of a number of well-funded organizations free to operate without bothering to register as foreign agents.  As Israeli foreign policy has become more aggressive, isolating the Jewish state from the world community and provoking a series of public spats with her Western allies, it’s hardly idle speculation to suppose the covert arm of this fifth column is ramping up its activities.

That Prisoner X was involved in these operations is indeed speculation, but one can only wonder what else would cause the Israelis to lock up one of their own in absolute secrecy, and possibly to murder him.  The death report says he died from asphyxiation—i.e., by hanging—but there is no way he could have hung himself in that cell, since there was simply nothing to hang from.

The Israelis think they can hush this up, but my guess is that more details will follow shortly.  This is the age of the internet, and Ben Zygier-Alon-Allen’s trail is just waiting to be uncovered.