Photo: AFP
Ayalon Prison
Photo: AFP
Zygier 'was betrayed by both contries'

Ex-Mossad agent: Zygier's handling scandalous

Man who served alongside Prisoner X has harsh words for Mossad agents; criticizes frequent passport swapping, solitary confinement

"I find the decision to dispatch (Zygier) to Australia on several occasions to change his name and passport, (and) the circumstances of his incarceration in solitary confinement scandalous," Yedioth Ahronoth quoted former Mossad agent, currently known as Michael Ross, as saying, Sunday.


Ross, who was born in Canada, made aliyah and converted to Judaism, served in the Mossad for 13 years, seven of which he claims were in the same unit with Ben Zygier


Related stories


On Saturday, Ross published an article in the Daily Beast, in which he claimed the Prisoner X fiasco is "one of the many scandals" that can be attributed to the Mossad and the way that Australian handling of the case.


  • For full coverage of the Prisoner X affair click here


Ross's piece was written as a response to another article, written by pro-Israeli historian Professor Gil Troy.


Tory argued that "Zygier was the author of his own demise – both figuratively and literally – and that his treatment at the hands of the state was decidedly unscandalous and in accordance with all the norms associated with a liberal democracy."


הדמיית הדרכון

One of Zygier's alias passports


Ross, who returned to Canada after leaving the service and published a book called "The Volunteer," about his years with Mossad, does not mince words when it comes to criticizing the Mossad's conduct.


"I find the circumstances of Zygier's incarceration in solitary confinement –ostensibly as a means to "protect him and others" for reasons of national security –scandalous," he wrote.


"This was an exceptional case requiring an exceptional solution and I see little in the way of critical thinking on behalf of those who decided to remand him in solitary for an indeterminate time."


According to Ross: "The management of Zygier's cover by his Mossad commanders is no less scandalous.


Affair exposed by Australian press (Photo: AFP)

Affair exposed by Australian press (Photo: AFP)


"The decision was made to dispatch him to Australia on several occasions to alter his name and passport. These decisions were all made on the heels of a very public scandal that put Australian Jewry and their travel documents under the spotlight in 2004."


Ross also laments the allegations that Zygier was not psychologically apt to serve in the Mossad and "lacked the mental toughness for the job."


According to Ross: "Zygier was living his cover for almost a decade and it was up to his commanders and the unit psychologist to look for signs of burn-out and the fatigue that occurs in people much as it does in aircraft that is flown too hard, too fast, and for too long."


Ross's Daily Beast article does not spare the Australians either.


"The other scandal is the churlish and clearly vindictive behavior of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO), who decided to leak Zygier's name and details to a journalist presumably with a view to embarrassing its ally into "good behavior."


"There are flaps and deconfliction issues all the time between allied intelligence services, and they are worked out behind closed doors," he writes.


"I don't know how much Zygier betrayed," Ross concludes, "but it's painfully obvious that he was betrayed by both countries, each in their own reckless way."



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פרסום ראשון: 02.24.13, 13:21
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