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Rafael Epstein on Prisoner X


Last year Melbourne-born Ben Zygier was revealed as ‘Prisoner X’, the Australian citizen held in Israel’s maximum security Ayalon prison for ten months before he was found dead in a ‘suicide-proof’ cell at the end of 2010. Did Ben Zygier work for Mossad? Was he involved in the misuse of Australian passports? Was he a whistle blower? Or was he simply a young man, way out of his depth?

Today, Walkley award-winning journalist and ABC 774 Drive presenter Rafael Epstein explores these questions, and asks how someone from Melbourne, from his own Jewish community, could end up in Ben Zygier’s position.


We love exploring ideas at the Wheeler Centre, and encouraging others to do the same. That’s why every Thursday lunchtime we hand the microphone over to the great thinkers, dreamers and orators of our time.

With a dazzling range of passionate speakers and unusual topics, our soapbox provides a platform for the eclectic, topical and enlightening stories you won’t hear elsewhere. This is the most memorable lunch break you’ll have all week.

If you’re in need of sustenance of body as well as mind, the MOAT lunch cart will be serving delicious $15 lunchboxes in the performance space from 12.20pm.


Rafael Epstein

Rafael Epstein is a journalist who has worked in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Timor, Indonesia, Europe and the Middle East. He has covered national elections in the UK and Australia, East Timor’s vote for independence in 1999, the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, the 2005 London ... Read more


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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.