Ronen Bergman on 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."

A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."

Surprising Science
  • A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
  • It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Keep reading Show less

We are heading for a New Cretaceous, not for a new normal

The climate change we're witnessing is more dramatic than we might think.

Image credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA
Surprising Science

A lazy buzz phrase – 'Is this the new normal?' – has been doing the rounds as extreme climate events have been piling up over the past year. To which the riposte should be: it's worse than that – we're on the road to even more frequent, more extreme events than we saw this year.

Keep reading Show less

New study reveals what time we burn the most calories

Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.

Photo: Victor Freitas / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
  • While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
  • Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
Keep reading Show less