‘True scandal’ – Mossad encouraged anti-government protests, says US intel

“That’s a line the Mossad is not supposed to cross, and you could expect repercussions,” says analyst after spy agency reportedly took sides in political conflict.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Employees of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency participated in the anti-judicial reform protests and its officials encouraged Israeli citizens to join the mass anti-government demonstrations, according to confidential intelligence documents from the Pentagon that were leaked online.

Some of the Mossad’s most senior and high-ranking staff “advocated for Mossad officials and Israeli citizens to protest against the new Israeli Government’s proposed judicial reforms, including several explicit calls to action that decried the Israeli Government,” the document reads, according to a New York Times summary of the trove of leaked information.

Junior Mossad employees were given permission to take part in the demonstrations, but were instructed not to reveal that they are affiliated with the storied spy agency, the document added.

Senior intelligence officials denied the report in the statement to the New York Times, which confirmed the authenticity of the document as a genuine analysis by U.S. military intelligence.

As an intelligence agency focused on national security, the Mossad is meant to be a nonpartisan body that does not meddle in internal policies or government matters. The alleged endorsement of the anti-government protests by the Mossad would mark a serious change in the entity’s modus operandi and seriously undermine trust between the government and the body.

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“If accurate, this is a dramatic change in procedure by Mossad’s leadership and puts Israel in unprecedented territory,” Natan Sachs, Director of the Brookings Institution Center for Middle East Policy, told the Washington Post.

“If they were organizing against Netanyahu’s reforms in their official capacity, then it’s a true scandal,” Sachs added. “That’s a line the Mossad is not supposed to cross, and you could expect repercussions.”

Framed as a grassroots movement by the mainstream media, senior government officials – including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – have cast doubt on the origins of the protests, which have seen hundreds of thousands of Israelis take to the streets in recent months.

A senior confidant of Netanyahu said that the protests are being paid for and organized in part by an Israeli NGO that receives generous funding from the U.S. State Department – a claim which was later backed up by a Washington Free Beacon investigation.

In a statement, the Mossad vehemently denied the report.

“The publication in the American press is completely false and absurd,” the Mossad said.

“The Mossad and its officials did not and do not encourage employees in the organization to go to demonstrations against the government, to political demonstrations in general, or to any political activity.”