Israeli government denies Secret Service encouraged protests
According to leaked US documents, leaders advocated for officials to take action against judicial reform.
The government of Israel issued a statement this Sunday (April 9, 2023) firmly denying claims contained in leaked Pentagon documents (United States Department of Defense) that leaders of the Mossad (Israeli Intelligence Service) had encouraged officials of the agency and Israeli citizens to participate in protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government in March. The information is from the North American newspapers New York Times e Washington Post.
According to the leaked US documents, the leaders of the Intelligence Service “advocated for Mossad officials and Israeli citizens to protest the judicial reforms proposed by the new Israeli government, including several explicit calls to action that condemned the government of Israel”.
The statement issued by the Israeli prime minister’s office on behalf of the Mossad this Sunday (April 9) described the statement as “false and baseless”.
The country, which elected Netanyahu as prime minister in November 2022 and formed the most right-wing administration in Israel’s history, recorded several demonstrations against the government’s proposal to reform the national judicial system and allow Parliament to have the authority to reverse Supreme Court vetoes.
Current and former Israeli intelligence officials said, according to the New York Timesthat agency rules and long tradition of non-partisanship would have prevented direct involvement of agency leaders in a political crisis.
The Israeli government stated in the statement that “Mossad and its senior officials did not—and do not—encourage agency officials to join anti-government demonstrations, political demonstrations, or any political activity.”.
He further added that “the Mossad and its senior officials have remained uninvolved in the issue of the demonstrations and are dedicated to the value of service to the State that guides [o órgão] since its foundation”.
According to NOWsome employees of the Israeli Intelligence Service, however, requested and received permission to participate in the demonstrations as “private citizens“.
Mossad chief David Barnea, in consultation with Israel’s attorney general, allowed junior officials to participate as long as they did not identify themselves as members of the organization, according to a defense official familiar with agency policy.