March 25, 2013, - 3:13 pm

Ben Zygier: Mossad Agent Who Committed Suicide Gave Hezbos Top Secret Info, ID’d Agents – Traitor or Out of His League?

By Debbie Schlussel

Recently, I told you about Ben Zygier, the Mossad agent from Australia, who committed suicide in an Israeli prison. The mainstream media–egged on by the anti-Israel Australian press–implied that the Israelis murdered Zygier in prison and made it look like a suicide. But now that we know more of the story–if a report in Der Speigel is to be believed, it seems like a great tragedy. I’m not sure, though, as I read the mainstream media reports, if Zygier is Israel’s biggest traitor or just a man totally out of his league for a Mossad agent job, who screwed up while trying to serve his country. I vote the latter, and that’s why I apologize to the family of Zygier for accusing him of betraying the Mossad and Israel. Am I right?


Many media reports are painting him that way–as a mole in and a traitor to the Mossad. Which do you think it is? Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida identified Zygier as one of the Mossad hit team members who allegedly killed HAMAS/Iran arms dealing terrorist Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh in Dubai, and claimed that Zygier tried to get asylum in Dubai, in exchange for exposing the whole operation. The report claimed that Zygier was kidnapped by the Mossad before he was able to follow through. Do you believe that story? I don’t, even if Zygier was on the Dubai hit team (which could be true).

Ynet (Israel’s most popular newspaper, Yediot Ahronot) has a very in-depth piece on Zygier, and the story is that Zygier was an ambitious agent who didn’t produce the goods and was fed up in working for front companies trying to investigate European companies doing biz with Iran and Syria, a job that many Mossad agents do. Apparently, Zygier left the Mossad and came back, trying to earn back respect from his Mossad superiors, and it was supposedly his last chance to do so. But he made some dangerous, careless mistakes that cost lives and badly harmed the Mossad because, without the approval of his superiors, Zygier gave classified information to a Hezbollah operative he was trying to turn. He gave the names of Israeli agents working within Hezbollah and other information, in order to “prove” to the operative that he was really a Mossad agent. The Hezbo never had any intention of turning and working for Israel. Instead, he was using the entire episode to gain Israeli intelligence information.


Zygier — who was raised in Melbourne but moved to Israel about a decade before his death — was ordered back to Israel in 2007 because his bosses were unhappy with his work. In 2008 he took a leave of absence, Spiegel said, and returned to Melbourne to finish his studies after trying to recruit new agents for Israel in a bid to restore his standing with his bosses. In the process he came in contact with Hezbollah supporters, Spiegel said, and while trying to convince them to work for Mossad, disastrously spilled highly sensitive information.

This included the names of Lebanese nationals Ziad al-Homsi and Mustafa Ali Awadeh, who were arrested in May 2009 on charges of spying for Israel and later sentenced to several years of hard labour. . . . Israeli security authorities had told Zygier after his arrest that they wanted to make an example of him and demanded a prison sentence of at least 10 years.

Looks like Zygier was out of his league and got played. Should he have served 10 years in an Israeli prison for that? I don’t know. I’m sure in America, when a spy screws up, nothing happens to them. Heck, FBI agent Robert Hanssen, who committed espionage for the Russians, was still granted his government pension.

What do you think of the story? Was Ben Zygier a traitor or was he an Israeli patriot who was sadly also a careless, easily-duped cowboy?

Either way, it is a tragedy, and I feel for his family who will probably be having a less than happy Seder as we Jews celebrate Passover tonight.

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