Richard Silverstein gets duped again by a ‘high level Israeli source’

When Richard Silverstein isn’t expressing support for the end of the Jewish statedefending terror groups like Hamas, or engaging in smears and reckless attacks against his opponents, he’s often busy peddling false scoops about Israel based on the flimsiest of evidence.

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Richard Silverstein

While CiF Watch’s exposes on his hateful rhetoric may have been partially responsible for his near disappearance, since Dec. 2009, from the pages of ‘Comment is Free’ (a possibility he openly acknowledged), his notoriety somehow hasn’t prevented him from being taken seriously, on one or two occasions, as a “journalist” by other media outlets.

Bibi’s Secret War Plan: 


In August, 2012, one “serious” news source was duped by a Silverstein “scoop” titled “Bibi’s Secret War Plan”.  

Silverstein’s post claimed to be based on information he received from a high-level Israeli source detailing the possible methods of an upcoming attack on Iran.  However, the “secret document” he had “obtained” was a near verbatim quote from a Hebrew forum which had appeared online days before his post, and which itself was based on mere speculation from open-source information.

Prisoner X:

Today, Feb. 13, Silverstein reported this about the identity of an unknown prisoner who was being held in solitary confinement in an Israeli jail – known as “Prisoner X” – who committed suicide in 2010.

“Back in 2010, I reported that Israel had arrested an unidentified individual, and imprisoned him in total secrecy in an Israeli jail.  …Even his jailers didn’t know who he was.  His jailers apparently did a lousy job of monitoring Prisoner X, as he was called and he hung himself from a bar in his cell.

Now Australia’s ABC network blows open the story.

He was a Mossad agent named  Ben Zygier”

However, the alleged (and completely unverified) identity of Prisoner X, which Silverstein is now reporting, totally contradicts his original Dec. 2010 “scoop”, where he first “revealed” the identity of the ‘secret’ prisoner.

Here’s Silverstein on Dec. 11, 2010:


“Until today, we didn’t know [the identity of] “Prisoner X”…a story I broke [in] June (2010).

[But], through a confidential Israeli source I have exposed his identity.  He is a former Iranian Revolutionary Guard general and government minister under former President Khatami named Ali-Reza Asgari.  Western news outlets reported in 2007 that he either defected or was kidnapped by the Mossad, with the assistance of western intelligence agencies (either the CIA or British or German intelligence depending on the source) in Istanbul.  A conservative Iranian publication first reported last year that Asgari was in an Israeli prison and this wasreported by AP as well.”


Photo and caption which accompanied Silverstein’s post

So, it seems as if Silverstein was again duped by his “high level” Israeli source.

In today’s post, however, Silverstein explained his “error”, thus:

“A word now about the error in my own reporting.  My source was told by an Israeli intelligence official that the dead man was Ali Reza Asgari.  In hindsight, it appears this was a ruse designed to throw the media off the scent of the real story.”

Whilst information on the true identity of the prisoner has not been definitively corroborated, as one Twitterer cheekily observed at the time of his ‘Bibi War’ post, about the credulity of those in the media who take Silverstein’s gossip  as serious “scoops”:  

They’re more likely to obtain incisive Middle East analysis from a man on the street corner with a sandwich board reading ‘The End is Nigh!’.

52 replies »

  1. I think Silverstein’s “high-level source” (if they exist at all) is actually the neighbour of the cleaning-lady of the second cousin once removed of a blogging friend of a secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture. I did once consider writing a blog post documenting his many barefaced lies, but came to the conclusion that he wasn’t really worth the trouble. Nobody gives any credence to his bovine excrement (a.k.a. B****S***), except for the people who hate Israel anyway and who won’t believe anything in Israel’s favour even if you bring them incontrovertible evidence from an independent source. So I saw no reason to give the lying little sod any free publicity.

    • A man was buried alive in a cell, where he was denied access to a lawyer and visits from his relatives.

      THIS is the scandal.

        • Pretz, have you not been reading the press since yesterday? It’s making headlines around the world, and the Israeli press managed to overcome the gag order and publish the story this morning.

      • Nat, this has not been confirmed as true yet.
        I suggest you calm the Fuck down.
        If you need a slap to get you out of the panic attack, one can be provided to you in the reception?

        • Itsik, this is all over the Israeli and the world press, and it was confirmed by several MKs.

          Don’t let your brain be gagged.

          • Not really.
            There is not one ounce of proof what happened.
            There are questions.
            And all of a sudden the Aussie FA spokeperson just said that actualy the Aussie Consulate in TA were informed.
            So who’s talking shite?
            Looks like the Aussie FM for one.
            This is nothing but a wannabe conspirecy theory…

          • I noticed you pivoted quickly away from the central point of this post because A) Richard Silverstein being a stupid, stupid, stupid man who believes all information he receives as long as it makes Israel look bad is so obvious even someone like you can see it and B) inasmuch as RS is an idiot, he doesn’t have much to do with what is bugging you beyond having gotten his story wrong and then implicitly admitting he screwed up because he’s so dumb that he was easy to fool.
            The details of the prisoner story aren’t clear, but suffice it to say that based on the CiF-Haaretz-BBC-972+ track record (and the fact that the current Jerusalem NY Times correspondent kind of sucks at her job), I’m not going to take their half-baked and half-assed conspiracy theorizing at face value. If the ABC, which has a track record of getting their facts straight–in other words, you should never try to apply to work for them Nat–comes up with a clear story, I’ll pay attention to it.

          • Nat, it was not confirmed by anyone.
            Various MK (both in 2010 and now) have asked “Shailta” about the matters.
            Do you understand what a “Shailta” is?

      • He was NOT denied access to a lawyer, he was apparently represented by Avigdor Feldman, one of Israel’s top lawyers – at the request of his family. And it seems the Australian authorities were also informed.

    • A man was buried alive in his cell, and the military forbade the press from even mentioning his name. This happened in 2013 Israel.

      Does THAT disturb Mr Levick? Not for a minute, it seems.

      • Again with the copying and pasting?
        Your trolling is getting progressively worse.
        Nice touch on the lies though… almost credible.
        Now scurry off.

        • That a blogger published an information which turned out to be false makes Mr Levick indignant.

          That a man was detained in a cell cut off from the world, that he was denied access to a lawyer and visits from his family, that the Prime Minister of Israel summoned the press to censor them… does not seem to make Mr Levick indignant: he barely mentioned it at all.

          • Do you seriously think no one would hold you up to your lies, trolling scum?
            What happened to “buried alive”, eh? Realised you went a bit over the top with your smears?
            Secondly, how could anyone censor anything, when you yourself admitted that the Israeli press is all over the the story?!
            You can’t even troll properly!
            Also, since you are Dutch, after all, care to comment on this little “scandal”?
            You killed a Russian national. And you have no shame.
            Clear off, troll.

            • There’s military censorship in Israel, 101. Happily, the Israeli press corp does everything it can to override that medieval rule.

              • Hey guess what, Nat. There’s security censorship in practically every country in the world. Certainly including the UK. It’s this horrible old habit nation states have of not wanting their national security or the lives of their agents compromised by having sensitive material made public.

                Disgusting, isn’t it, that countries should want to protect their interests. So “medieval”.

                • It also apply to various legal proceedings to protect the accused until found guilty and even beyond in case of minors.

                  Amazing, right Nat?

                • Israel seems to be the only democracy which has goofy military censorship. You know, goofy, as in Netanyahu summons Israeli journalists to demand they censor themselves while every Israeli is busy reading the story online.

              • So… They can override it, or can’t they?
                You claimed they couldn’t, and you aver that they can.
                Which is why I still can’t understand why anyone would actually PAY you to troll. You’re an idiot! Who isn’t even qualified to properly wreck threads…
                Now, anything on why your homeland, the Netherlands, killed a Russian asylum seeker? We’re waiting.

          • That a blogger published an information

            What’s your native language btw? Just curious.

            Mine? English.

      • Haven’t you been reading what is written to you, idiot?
        What SHOULD disturb Mr Levick (and probably does) is that such notions can be miscontrued as “facts” whenever Israel is concerned, as well as the (distinct lack of) quality contribution here by an oaf like you. Is CiF Watch a charity which acts as a mouthpiece for the bizarre, bad or frankly unhinged?

      • He wasn’t buried alive, he was allegedly in solitary. And gagging orders are hardly unique to Israel in cases of national security. In any event, more humane than say Gaza-style treatment of those who commit treason (you know, summarily shot in the street, body dragged around by a motorbike). Not that you’d ever get an anti-Zionist to acknowledge the barbarity of Arab legal systems.

      • Buried alive Nat? What nonsense are you believing?And what has this to do with Silverstein’s treble takes on a story he has probably made up – a clear sign of a fantasist , Nat. Er wait a mo… Nat, you’re not Silverstein are you?

    • Richard Silverstein blogs on his own website, NOT on the Guardian’s ‘CIF’.

      What;s this story doing on ‘CIF Watch”???

  2. My father -in-law who has more contacts and insider info than any man I know , could write a better accurate blog than this shmeral Silverstein – I always said he is a stool pigeon (he doesn’t know it) used to put out information that the Gov want to be out there …and he falls for it every time : He would make a very good story for a film called “Silverstein , the informant that never was” A mixture between the pink panther and Mr. Bean

  3. My husband just this minute asked me “have you ever heard of a guy called Silverstein? Because he’s explaining all about this mysterious Australian prisoner”. I explained to him about Tricky Dicky and he was quite shocked. I’ve just shown hubby this article to prove my point. He had no idea.

    I was equally shocked that my nearest and dearest had never heard of the fellow and thought he was a genuine journalist – which just goes to show the danger of Dicky and his lies. It’s not only the foolish and gullible who accept what he says at face value. The average person who is not on the internet almost 24/7 like me, or who doesn’t read blogs like CW or Israellycool, has no idea what Dicky is really about.

    We need to get this message out to the MSM, not just amongst ourselves.

    • Anne, the story of the man who was buried alive in is cell was in the New York Times this morning, and in nearly all newspapers, the world over. No need to read Silverstein, there’s no stopping the scandal now.

      • We don’t know if it’s a scandal or not because no real and verified facts have emerged.

        Meanwhile Silverstein is busy spouting off lies and exaggerations as shown by Adam Levick.

        I also think that the fact that the man’s family has not complained loudly and publicly speaks volumes.

        • Of course… Netanyahu summoned the press and the military had several articles deleted from Israeli newspapers websites yesterday because nothing, but really nothing at all happened.

        • I find it distinctly bizarre that anyone at all would give Silverstein house room, let alone air time to spout his conspiracy nonsense. Doesn’t say much for those who want him on air. Must be a quiet day for what passes for news.

      • Now, numpty Nat, the NY Times is hardly neutral where Israel is concerned, is it? Since the story is distinctly suss, then whether Silverstein falls for the stupid guff, as you have done, is immaterial really. It shows you both for precisely what you are.

  4. Psst, Nat….

    Have you heard the latest scoop about the new brigade in the IDF, the Chazeri Brigade, which uses specially trained pigs in warfare? They are trained to go in before the infantry and tanks and plonk themselves on the thresholds of civilian dwellings so as to keep the women and child indoors and out of harm’s way. .

    Only the heartless and mindless jihadis can overcome their internalised disgust towards pigs and try to escape. The civilian population remain frozen and immobile indoors and dare not cross the threshold if a pig has been squatting there.

  5. Nat, you need to read what Miss Vaknin spoke about on this lunch show in Galat”z:,7340,L-4344995,00.html

    “The censor said there was no request to impose a gag order on the questions MKs Gal-On, Ahmad Tibi and Dov Khenin asked Justice Minister Yaakov Ne’eman with regards to the affair. ”
    “The MKs in Israel are part of the elected echelon, and I have no intention of interfering in what was said,” Vaknin said. “I was asked if their questions should be omitted from the Knesset minutes because there is a gag order on the affair, but I said, ‘this is inconceivable’.”

    Further more:
    “I identify with (MK) Zahava Gal-On, who said ‘I am exercising my right to raise difficult questions,'” Chief IDF Censor Brig. Gen. Sima Vaknin told Army Radio Thursday morning,

    And here’s something Nat would be shocked at:

    “Yedioth Ahronoth quoted Mossad Director Tamir Pardo as saying in closed conversations on Wednesday that “It is unthinkable that someone will dare to try and restrict the right of Knesset members to act or infringe upon their immunity.
    “If someone would have asked me, I would say that they should not dare to hurt (the MKs’) independence and work,” Pardo reportedly told various sources.
    According to the sources, the Mossad chief added, “We live in a democratic state, and we all have our roles. We have our role, the courts have their role, and the lawmakers have theirs.”

    But what Nat should have focused her attacks is on big mouth Miri Regev!

    Knesset Member Miri Regev, a former chief military censor and IDF spokeswoman, said MKs Gal-On, Tibi and Khenin should be prosecuted for exposing the affair.