FORMER AGENT-AUTHOR IS TRAITOR AND HIS BOOK IS FULL OF LIES, ISRAEL SAYS<BR>
Israel came out on the attack against a former Mossad agent Friday, portraying him as a traitor and his book on the intelligence agency as packed full of lies, a day after the government lost a U.S. court case to ban the expose’s publication.
Canadian-Israeli Victory Ostrovsky, who wrote “By Way of Deception: The Making and Unmaking of a Mossad Officer” with Canadian journalist Claire Hoy, maintains he is a victim of a vicious slander campaign by the Israeli government. Ostrovsky has said unidentified Israeli operatives offered him vast sums to halt the book’s publication and he feared the agency would kill him.”By Way of Deception” threatens to confront Israel with its biggest intelligence embarrassment since Mordechai Vanunu, a technician at Israel’s top-secret Dimona nuclear plant, revealed in 1986 that Israel had stockpiled weapons-grade plutonium. Mossad agents lured Vanunu to Rome from London, kidnapped him and brought the Israeli back home, where he was sentenced to 18 years in jail.
Among the allegations in the book, Ostrovsky says the Mossad knew in advance of the 1983 suicide bombing of the U.S. Marine headquarters in Beruit in which more than 240 Americans were killed. Ostrovsky says the Mossad failed to notify the United States beforehand because it hoped the attack would ruin U.S.-Arab relations.
Avi Pazner, Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir’s media adviser, denied the allegation and said Israel did not know about the plot to blow up the U.S. Marine headquarters.
The book also provides code names for Mossad units, agents and hit squads around the world and in several European cities. Among the names listed is billionaire Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, who the book says is a former Mossad middleman.
The Israeli mass-circulation Ye-diot Ahronot newspaper provided readers Friday with details from the book under a screaming headline, white lettering against a black background – “Secrets of the Mossad. These are the agents. These are the methods.”
Last week, Israel received an injunction in Ontario to ban the book’s distribution in Canada at least until Sept. 17. Israel received a similar injunction Wednesday in the United States, but the victory was short-lived because a New York state appeals court lifted the lower court’s ban on the book’s distribution Thursday.
In attempting to ban the book, Israeli officials have said the government believed there were details that could harm the security of Israel and Israelis. But on Friday, Avi Pazner, Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir’s media adviser, characterized the book as “nothing more than a compilation of lies, half-truths, invention, very few facts and very sick imagination.”
In his book, Ostrovsky writes that a unit known as “Al,” Hebrew for above or on top, operates in the United States with 24 to 27 employees and “is so secretive, and so separate from the main organization, that the majority of Mossad employees don’t even know what it does and do not have access to its file on the computer.”
The book’s other claims include:
-The Mossad bugged the home of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United Nations in 1978 and discovered that Andrew Young, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, was holding talks with PLO officials there. The Mossad leaked the information, forcing Young to resign.
-A French Mossad agent placed a homing device in the Iraqi Osirak nuclear reactor, enabling Israel’s precise 1981 bombing of the facility. The agent died in the attack.
-The Mossad repeatedly forged the signature of former Prime Minister Shimon Peres and brought down the government of Yitzhak Rabin in the 1970s by leaking information about his wife’s illegal foreign bank accounts.