Categorized | ZIO-NAZI, Campaigns, Politics, UK

‘Israeli’ lawyer acts as informant to spy on British journalist

Israeli informants
Marianne Azizi writes:

Criticism of Israel or its policies is now almost illegal in many places around the world, not least in Israel itself, especially when it comes to exposing corruption of public officials. 

In 2017 exposure of malpractices by officials of the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Services had reached a new height with bloggers writing almost daily exposing what is behind the removal of children from their homes and the judicial corruption accompanying this. The state had set up an inter-ministerial team to address the problem and tasked it to do whatever it takes to resolve it. The United States Homeland Security had been enlisted, surveillance took place and the task force set out in a report what it intended to do. 

In February 2017 a wave of arrests took place across Israel and, after three months of interrogations, activists were placed in custody and indicted on charges of cyber terrorism, “akin to ISIS or Hamas”, said the arresting judge. To date, the trial has barely begun, with hundreds of public officials and judges as prosecution witnesses, and it has become a white elephant. Two of the accused spent one year in prison, and the third – over two years in prison, all before the trial had begun. 

As a journalist writing in English, I had shadowed the activists, making videos and writing articles, and was well acquainted with them. In fact, my name was brought up several times in the interrogations, and also in various arrest hearings. I was never invited by the police to give any information, even though I was probably the closest to one of the suspects. I had attended United Nations meetings in Geneva nine times to fight for the civil rights of many Israelis, at their request. It never occurred to me that I might be the ”biggest threat to the existence of the state”.

Working on a new book on activism in Israel, I met a lawyer who had contacted me on social media in response to an appeal I had made for legal advice. Shortly after meeting him I informed him about the book I was writing, and he agreed to be quoted. We had become good friends for a number of years. I learned that he was an anti-establishment person, naming and shaming official miscreants on social media, and writing things I would never have dared to write myself. Little did I know that he had been recruited as an informant for the Israeli Security Agency Shabak (also known as Shin Bet) and admitted as much in a recorded interview. Here is what he said, in his own words:

I was regularly investigated by police during my divorce, but in fact they were really taking me in for further instructions. I had been told to get “close” to you, and feed back regularly on your activities or who you were in contact with. Now I am not scared anymore, and I want to tell you the full story of what happened… in the final outcome I was told to extract myself from you, and I would be highly rewarded.

You think I was a good lawyer? No, all my personal cases were won behind the scenes, I was set up to win or lose. After “smashing” judges and other public officials on social media, nothing happened to me. On my return I was their sweetheart – all my debts were paid (substantial), and I won my hearings in less than 30 minutes. I was rewarded for the extraction, as they wanted me out of the way for the “next steps”.

The lawyer, the father of five children, had undergone a painful divorce. He continued:

I made the mistake of doing this for years without informing you – and this was a mistake. I was required to find out if you were connected to BDS [the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement] or rich Palestinian groups, and also to get closer to the bloggers and dig information, which I did. I fed back information in encrypted messages and emails. You saw I had more than two years of child support debts, and a travel ban, plus various indictments from judges and police. But it was all set up. Everything disappeared when I returned home. I was told to treat you appallingly in the last few months of our friendship, to make you feel you were going crazy. I met with Shabak agents [he names one], and was told to continue to be abusive to you. They wanted to know exactly what was involved in the new NGO we set up to expose family and children injustice in court, and what was said in our meetings in the UN. When we were followed, how do you think I knew? I recognised the agents.

I asked him if he could be compromised again. He replied:

Of course, it could happen. I hope it won’t. I did the work I was told to, and I am out of it. And see no reason why I should be asked again. But, of course, there are no guarantees in life.

Within a few weeks of this shocking confession, which he made, as he put it, “willingly and unsolicited”, he contacted me again to insist he still wanted to be part of our NGO project and that I should seek funding via a new website. I refused, not least because I was aware of Israeli funding regulations. He added:

You have my full permission to publish this, but no one will read it, as no one really cares anymore. I suffered in this role for years, and I know that no one will read this revelation, I don’t think you can actually write! Now, I don’t give a damn anymore, I don’t care if you live or die. I got my rewards. I didn’t want to do it, but they gave me no choice, and with my army elite training I felt I was the perfect match. I was abusive at the end of our friendship, mentally and emotionally, built trust in the game [sic].

Based on this, as well as reports and other activities, it seems clear that the Israeli state wants to implicate me in the trial mentioned at the outset of this article, under the pretext of violations of funding regulations or involvement with BDS, which may save them face in what should be the biggest trial in Israel’s history. The state has used tracking, surveillance and informants to arrest the bloggers exposing corruption. While the said lawyer-cum-informant had often insisted that I was paranoid when I said I was being watched, it turns out that he was the insider watching me.

The full recording of the lawyer’s confession, lasting several hours, is in safekeeping, and the full details will be given in my forthcoming book, which covers the heroes and villains of Israeli activism during the last decade. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list for the book, please email Marianne Azizi on azizimarianne90@gmail.com.

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