Ronen Bergman on Israeli Mossad
Ronen Bergman is one of Israel's leading investigative journalists. The senior security and intelligence correspondent and analyst for Israel's largest daily newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, and an anchor on a leading Israeli television news program, he is the author of three bestselling books published in Israel. He was awarded a PhD by Cambridge University for his dissertation about the Israeli Mossad.
Question: What would surprise Americans about Mossad?
Ronen Bergman: That these people work 9 to 5, have families and have their own agendas.
This place is a hive of case officers that have very sophisticated weapons of manipulating people. That’s their job. And sometimes, instead of just directing this weapon against bad extremist Muslims, they are directing it against their commanders inside the organization.
And that Mossad suffered strong defeats in the past 20 years and Shin Bet is really domestic intelligence service is far superior and is having greater success with fighting organizations in the territory, like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, than Mossad success vis-à-vis organizations that are outside the borders of Israel like Hezbollah. Meaning Shin Bet was successful in understanding how to penetrate and how to recruit people even though these people are working just with the aim of having the 72 virtues in heaven, which makes it very, very difficult to recruit. Mossad doesn’t yet have this sort of capability.
Recorded: Sep 19, 2008
While Americans may think of Mossad as the world’s most elite fighting force, Bergman reminds us that, "These people work 9 to 5."
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