Spies tried to infiltrate Citizen Lab and trick them into talking about their research on Israeli spytech company NSO Group

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/01/25/flametech-cpw-2.html




Well, I mean, that is how you know it’s field-tested.


Weasels gonna be weasels. It’s just deep inside their demented DNA.


MSA. Gilad Erdan’s Ministry of Strategery and Assholery. Or Ministry of Silly Affairs. Whatever.
The same one that was supporting assholery against British MPs (yeah, you know, like Putin trying to affect the political process of a foreign country). And got caught. So probably they got caught again, and should really think harder about the contractors that they’re hiring. Hey, can’t they get some Mossad help, fer bogsake? Where’s the damn professionalism? Bozhe Moi!


I am wondering whether this gentleman genuinely thought Citizen Labs were racist or if he just sort of warned them that “whatever your motives, we can easily make you look racist”.


the Israeli Right is allergic to criticism. They honestly don’t understand the difference between questioning the actions of the State of Israel and actual antisemitism. In their minds the State is ethnic Judaism.

So, both.


Well to be fair, some times it is hard to differentiate between antisemitism and criticism of Israels’ government, because often times the person doing the criticizing is both.

Other times, it’s American Jews horrified at the Occupation & how fascist it’s turned Israel.


I’m guessing that when my Jewish friends gripe about Netanyahu’s latest atrocity, they aren’t anti-Semitic.


Look guys, obviously there is a difference between the state and government of Israel and the general Jewish population of the world. Obviously there is fair criticism one can make of the government of Israel.

But you and your friends must also acknowledge that there are people who curse the Jewish state with one breath, and the Jews in general with another. The criticism of Israel is a dog whistle that is deemed as more publicly acceptable among antisemites. Just go read a few youtube comments about a video about Israel and tell me you think most of the negative ones are confined just to Israel’s governement.



And yet the Israeli Right, and often the American Right, use that as an excuse to dismiss any criticism of the State of Israel from anyone. Therein lies the problem and that’s what the NSO plants were trying to do in this case. The existence of ani-Israeli antisemites is beside the point of this particular case in point.

A State and its government/agents/contractors can’t simply dismiss criticisms of their policies on the basis of the fact that some racists use it as a dog-whistle, though that doesn’t stop some from trying.


what kind of shitty spy doesn’t carry cash

I always bring cash to first dates so if it’s particularly horrible I can slap down some bills and make a break for it


There is even weirdness on the far right where groups that are strongly pro-Israel, are also anti-Semitic, or at least support other groups that are.

e.g.: Gatestone Institute, Breitbart (until last summer).


No worries, it’s not the evil Russians, just our best buddies. That’s why there’s no big media flap about it.


There seems to be an ongoing anti-Israel biast (well paid for usually) in western-based liberals. A tiresome left-over “sour grapes” from the British after their failed Mandate.
So a few points on this:

  1. AP has been sheeling for Al-Jahzeera for decades.
    Al-jayzeera is basically Iran’s mouth piece.
  2. Israel has been running it’s own version of Fact Checker to counter the some of the slander propagated by bought-for-journalism.
  3. The concept that an Israeli-run company tried to cover up a Saudi government-run political murder is beyond looney toons. Really, For a country that repeatedly declares for total eradication of the Jewish State ?
  4. Nataniahou may go down as one of the greatest nation builders Israel ever had. The liberal Israeli side is so chocked up with envy, they literally will do anything to bring him down. Including jumping into bed with hostile regimes.
  5. While we are at it, shall we discuss some of Canda’s ongoing arm sales and information brokering? The Five Eyes center the CSE in Ottawa Onterio . Trudeau’s government’s decision to sign off on the sale of more than 900 armoured vehicles to the Saudies. For example.

What do you feel the AP has done wrong in this particular story? It feels legitimate to ask “hey, you’re pumping this guy for information and your company doesn’t exist. What’s going on?”

I despair that anything where there is an Israeli company involved, suddenly it’s all about the country - when pretty much every other country has shitty companies, perhaps Israel does too?


It was the Harper government that signed off on that. The rest of your post contains many other factual errors. Welcome to BoingBoing.


I could see it being a product of the whole “end times” theology, which is popular in evangelical circles. They see the State of Israel as a fulfillment of biblical prophesy, but for the Jewish people, there’s no happy ending for them in the narrative.


Fair point. I am just wary of ever getting on a dogpile that includes Nazis. YMMV. Israel is like abortion - when exploring it, nothing is black and white, and there are asterisks all over the place when making points.

They need Israel to be the figurehead of the world Zionist conspiracy. They need the “monster” to seed fear, hate, and to be what the “cause” is all for.

Although there is a hierarchy to hate. I used to smoke cigars with a guy who was a parole officer in a prison. He said that any Jewish people were under the protection of the White Power groups. They may not like them on the outside, but on the inside they are at least still white.

That is one of the reasons for the Evangelicals to have such rabid support. They need Israel to be a thing, and many if not most of them are hoping God hurries up and Raptures them so they can get the heck out of here.

Probably some overlap with Evangelicals and racists, but I wouldn’t assume them to be one in the same most of the time.