Israel’s Dublin embassy planned to smear Palestine activists as sexual deviants and Mossad agents

Screenshot of Nurit Tinari-Modai, Israel’s deputy ambassador in Dublin, from a Channel 10 news report on her scheme to smear activists.

Israel’s deputy ambassador in Dublin proposed to her superiors a plan to personally smear Palestine solidarity activists – especially Israelis – to “humiliate and shame them” as suffering from psychological and sexual problems and imply that they work for Israel’s spy agency Mossad.

Deputy Ambassador Nurit Tinari-Modai, who is also the wife of Ambassador Boaz Modai, made the suggestions in a memo to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs that was exposed by Israel’s Channel 10.

The full text of the Channel 10 report has been translated from Hebrew by Dena Shunra, with emphasis added:

Deputy to the ambassador in Ireland: the pro-Palestinian activists are motivated by problems in sexual orientation

By Moav Vardi

Senior diplomat Nurit Tinari-Modai, has come up with a new plan to combat the delegitimization activities against Israel: to fight directly with the Israeli activists who take part in it. [“]You have to hurt their soft underbelly, publish their pictures, with the hopes of local activists understanding that they might actually be working on behalf of the Mossad,” she wrote the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and claimed that their motivation is not ideological.

An exceptional statement by a senior Israeli diplomat is published for the first time today (Tuesday), on Channel 10 News. The deputy to the ambassador to Ireland, Nurit Tinari-Modai, has argued that pro-Palestinian Israeli activists who defame Israel abroad are acting from psychological motivation, including problems of sexual identity. Ireland is one of the sharpest hot-spots of the pro-Palestinian activism against Israel, and some of the people who take part in that activity are Israeli.

In a cable Tinari-Modai sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem she proposes a new strategy: work directly against those Israeli activists, humiliate and shame them. “It is possible to obtain names of the Israelis… you have to try and hit their soft underbellies, to publish their photographs, maybe that will cause embarrassment from their friends in Israel and their family, hoping that local activists would understand that they may actually be working on behalf of Mossad,” writes the deputy ambassador.

“The activity of those activists against the state is, in my evaluation, not necessarily ideological (!) but grounded in psychological reasons (generally of disappointment with the parents, [or] sexual identity problems) or the need to obtain a residency visa in one of the countries in Europe,” adds Tinari-Modai.

This letter was met with fury by senior figures at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “The deputy ambassador has become entirely confused, this result of going against the Israelis will empower the objectors. It would be better to fight against the delegitimization than to propose deranged ideas,” they told Channel 10 News there.

The official response by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is that “the Ministry of Foreign Affairs unrelentingly fights the delegitimization of Israel everywhere, but does not engage in witch hunts. Such proposals are not aligned with the spirit and customary practice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”

Despite denials, this is Israel’s modus operandi

While, as the report says, Israeli officials denounced Tinari-Modai’s plan – perhaps because it was publicly exposed – “naming and shaming” so-called “delegitimizers” is a fundamental part of the influential Reut Institute’s advocacy strategy adopted by the Israeli government and anti-Palestinian lobby groups around the world.

Indeed, Israel’s UN ambassador Ron Prosor publicly enunciated a similar strategy in February 2011 at the Herzliya Conference:

Prosor also presented his idea of what the response should be to those “hardcore delegitimizers” as he put it.

It’s important to out them, name them, and shame them so that respectable organizations don’t coordinate with them,” he said.

On top of the repugnance of these kinds of tactics, Nurit Tinari-Modai’s emphasis on alleged “sexual identity problems” of those to be smeared, indicates an innate homophobia that is at odds with Israel’s efforts – known as pinkwashing – to portray itself as supportive of the rights of people who identify as LGBTQ.

Irish campaigners urge Dublin to tell Israel to withdraw its deputy ambassador

Irish human rights activists are calling on their government to ask Israel to withdraw its deputy ambassador Nurit Tinari-Modai following the exposure of her plan to smear them.

“This type of behaviour is indicative of the mindset of apologists for Apartheid Israel. They have no legal, political or moral arguments. Instead of questioning Israel’s illegal actions and occupation, they opt to attack human rights activists’ characters and motivations,” said Martin O’Quigley, Chairperson of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) in a statement posted on the group’s website.

Urging the Dublin government to take action, O’Quigley added, “that these kind of proposals are being seriously touted by the Israeli Embassy in Ireland is incredibly worrying, and the Irish government should, at the very least, demand Ms. Modai be withdrawn immediately. Support for such intimidatory behaviour, interference and personalised attacks on human rights activists by a foreign diplomatic mission should be unacceptable in a democratic and sovereign country.”

O’Quigley also pointed out the heightened atmosphere facing those campaigning for Palestinian human rights in Ireland: “in recent weeks, there has been an unprecedented attack on both the campaign for a cultural boycott of Israel and the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) in the Irish media, much of it based on inaccurate and misleading reporting. These attacks have often been highly personalised against individual IPSC members. While this would fit with the modus operandi of the Israeli Embassy, whether or not the embassy has influenced such reporting is impossible to say. However, there is no doubt that the Israeli Embassy can only have been happy with the skewed misrepresentation of the campaign.”

As David Cronin wrote in May, Irish newspapers had declared “open season” on Palestine solidarity activists.




If she is a fair representative of the cream of her country's ambassadors (good will ?), beware of Israeli diplomats !


If she means to be a Zionist advocate, I wish they were more of this kind. Compared with her, Dersh might be considered as a Cicerone of the 3rd millennium.


I wonder where she was a few years ago when her husband, Boaz Modai was making harassing midnight telephone calls to a female junior in the Israeli Foreign Office.

HE BOAZ MODAI was the subject of a restraining order as a result. YOU COULD NOT MAKE IT UP -the sordid details are here!


No surprise here. Israel has a bee in it's bonnet about Ireland's consistent opposition to the treatment of Palestinians.

We know all about overt and covert oppression and the Israelis knows this too. They know we can recognise the tactics others can't see.

They also know that we are not anti-Jewish but they use that line always to undermine us.


'an innate homophobia that is at odds with Israel’s efforts – known as pinkwashing – to portray itself as supportive of the rights of people who identify as LGBTQ.' Please grow up. Israel really does protect gays and others. Israel really does give refuge to Arab gays and others. Israeli really does have laws that give full and equal rights to gays and others. Israel really does have regular gay pride marches. Given Israel's record in providing rights fort women, for religious minorities, and for racial minorities, are you going to suggest that Israel is insane and makes laws and practises equality just to show off? Egypt gives no rights to gays. Nor any North African country. Nor Syria. Nor Lebanon. Nor Iraq. Nor Iran. Nor any Muslim country at all. They don't do pinkwashing, but prefer to beat homosexuals up, to torture and imprison them, and, in some cases (Iran, Saudi Arabia) hang them or behead them. Which of these is the better country? Israel or those gay-hating others? If you were gay, would you choose to live in an Arab country or Israel. The pinkwashing argument is lacking in one thing: evidence. All the evidence shows the opposite.


Israel really does give refuge to Arab gays and others.

This is actually false. Israel does not grant refuge to Arabs on the basis of sexual orientation. See… and… The often quoted study “Nowhere to Run” also found no evidence that Israel grants refuge on this basis.

If you were gay, would you choose to live in an Arab country or Israel.

Do I have a choice? As far as I know, I cannot freely live in Israel as a non-Jew, gay or not.

Israel persecutes Arabs for being Arab. It really doesn’t care if they’re gay.


Dear Benjamin,

Hundreds of Palestinians and other Arabs have taken refuge in Israel and live there. Now, I grant you that official refuge is not easy to come by and that citizenship for non-Jews is very hard. But the contrast between other ME countries and Israel is staggering, and pinkwashing just doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Gays may be perfectly open within the Israeli armed forces: is that a sign of 'pinkwashing'? Israel's laws giving rights to gays are more complete than those in the US and many other Western countries, let alone in any Muslim country.

Why doesn't Israel give official refuge easily? Because the gay issue is unimportant but security is a major concern. The West Bank and Gaza are riddled with terrorist groups, and the possibility of infiltration by potential suicide bombers or gunmen has to trump other concerns. When the Palestinians make peace their priority, matters like refuge can be taken care of.

However, large numbers of non-Jews have lived and still live freely in Israel. The problem is getting citizenship, and that's hard in any country. An English friend of mine has a Japanese wife. The British authorities refuse to accept her as a British citizen. Israel was created as a refuge for the Jewish people, who had just lost 6 million in the Holocaust. Other people have their own countries (including the Palestinians, who were offered a country and rejected it). In order to maintain the role of Israel as a refuge for Jews from all round the world, Israel uses Jewishness as the main criterion for citizenship. But 20% of its citizens are Muslims and Christians.


Demands that she is "Kept in Place" must be made. She's been exposed, the Israeli government is distancing themselves, she's an idiot and totally inept. You couldn't ask for a better opponent.