El Al fiasco in SA: request for further information

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Tojiah's picture
Tojiah
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Dec 26 2009 22:37
El Al fiasco in SA: request for further information

I've come across this amazing story about a week ago, and I'd love to get more information about it. From the article:

Jewish Journal wrote:
It all began with a soft-spoken South African aggrieved over the alleged non-payment of a bonus by his former employer, the Israeli airliner El Al.

Fast forward many months and the South African government has deported an Israeli diplomat and reportedly threatened the expulsion of all El Al security officials in the country following claims that they are Israeli intelligence agents.

What happened in short is that this guy, Jonathan Garb, was part of a group of El Al security workers in Johannesburg involved in a labor dispute. After demanding more pay and benefits from El Al, they were told that they were in fact Shin Bet employees, and should direct their grievances there.
They were subsequently fired. While the others simply got legal representation for the continued labor court process, Garb, who was initially represented by Michael Bagraim, the national chairman of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, decided to take all the damning information he had as a security profiler for El Al security - clear knowledge of their racial profiling and their dealings with the Shin Bet, including formal letters telling him that he had actually been a genuine Shin Bet employee -and took this to the media. The result was a diplomatic fiasco for both Israel and El Al, and Bagraim's withdrawal as Garp's attorney, as "[while] his case had nothing to do with profiling or anything like that... you can’t be malicious, trash El Al and at the same time want your job back, [s]o I felt his gratuitous attack on the employer was not acceptable and detrimental to the court case.”
Subsequently, a Muslim group came up, willing to take up Garb's case in lieu of his Zionist lawyer, while he's been ostracized by the local Jewish community.

This is an incredible story of how a labor dispute escalated into the kind of diplomatic fiasco the BDS crowd could only dream of ever instigating. I don't really believe that the South African state was utterly clueless about a foreign security agency, whose personnel were falsely claiming to be genuine airport security, being active in their back yard for more than two decades. They probably had to raise a stink once it got public, though, especially considering that the high-level operatives had their guns registered through the Israeli embassy.

In any case, if anyone in South Africa has some more interesting tid-bits to add, I'd really appreciate it.

Khawaga's picture
Khawaga
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Dec 28 2009 03:48

I'll ask some ppl I know in SA if they've heard about it.

Tojiah's picture
Tojiah
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Dec 28 2009 11:37

Thanks a bunch.

ulandi
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Mar 15 2010 11:11

A documentary on it:

http://beta.mnet.co.za/carteblanche/Article.aspx?Id=3745

Tojiah's picture
Tojiah
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Mar 15 2010 22:26

Thanks, I've already seen that, though. Anything else you can tell me? Do you know what's going on about it right now?