View Full Version : Israel Apologiezes to New Zealand for Secret Agents'Fraud

Sunday, July 3rd, 2005, 11:23 PM
June 27, 2005, 9:12 AM EDT

WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- Israel's apology for two of its citizens who illegally obtained New Zealand passports is proof the pair were secret agents, Prime Minister Helen Clark said Monday, a day after the two nations restored full diplomatic relations.

Ties between the countries plummeted last year after the incident, which led to the conviction and imprisonment of two men New Zealand alleges are Israeli agents.

Uriel Zoshe Kelman, 31, and Eli Cara, 50, were sentenced to six months in prison after pleading guilty to the passport charge, but they were released and deported after serving about two months.

On Sunday, Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom released a letter saying Israel wished "to express our regret for the activities which resulted in the arrest and conviction of two Israeli citizens in New Zealand on criminal charges and apologize for the involvement of Israeli citizens in such activities."

"Israel commits itself to taking steps to prevent a recurrence of similar incidents in the future," he wrote to his New Zealand counterpart, Phil Goff.

In response, Goff said the nations should put the issue behind them and "resume friendly diplomatic relations" after 11 months.

"We believe there was a very good reason for the apology. The apology has been offered and I think it speaks for itself," Clark said Monday.

"It is an acknowledgment that these people were associated with Israeli intelligence agencies. That's always been our belief."

But Clark declined to confirm that the agency involved was Mossad, the Israeli secret service.

"We never used that particular ... agency's name, but from the outset we've said we believe the two men were associated with Israeli intelligence," she said.

New Zealand authorities have issued an arrest warrant for a third member of the group, New Zealander Tony Resnick, Clark said.

Resnick, who fled New Zealand, is believed to be hiding in Israel.

Dr. Solar Wolff
Monday, July 4th, 2005, 09:34 AM
Is that apology something like: we are sorry to have hatched this elaborate plot or is this: we are sorry we were caught?