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New Mossad Chief’s Mission: Depoliticization

13 20 0

On Tuesday morning, David Barnea got into his car, accompanied by his bodyguards, and traveled 13 kilometers from his home to his new office, on the third floor of Mossad headquarters at Glilot, north of Tel Aviv. The tasks facing the espionage agency’s 13th director are numerous and they span the globe. But the most urgent one of all is not gathering intelligence on Hezbollah or planning a special operation to thwart Iran’s nuclear program.

Barnea’s most important challenge is within his own house: He must return the Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations, to use the Mossad’s official name – an agency with plentiful resources and insufficient oversight – to what it was before the tenure of his immediate predecessor, Yossi Cohen. The idea is not to erase the institution’s achievements under Cohen’s five-and-a-half-year term. But Barnea must reinstill within the organization the values of modesty, secrecy, disregard of political considerations and the avoidance of elbow-rubbing with tycoons and politicians.The Mossad must return to being an organization with thousands of employees, rather than seeming to be a one-man show.

Since its founding 72 years ago, the Mossad has known upheavals that reflect the changes in Israeli society. Its first two directors, founder Reuven Shiloah and Isser Harel, were political appointees.

They served the prime minister, David Ben-Gurion. But they also marked the path and left their respective........

© Haaretz

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