Editor’s note: WorldNetDaily international correspondent Anthony C. LoBaido, until recently based in the Middle East, filed this report on the changing face and mission of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency.
AMMAN, Jordan — In the wake of increasing tensions in the Middle East, the Mossad, Israel’s necessarily active intelligence agency, is undergoing a makeover of both image and mission.
The Mossad’s image has come under fire in recent years. The Jonathan Pollard spy case was just one of many scandals that hurt its reputation. Another came a few years ago when the Mossad tried to kill a Hamas leader by injecting him with poison. The Mossad agents were caught in the act and then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was forced to hand over the poison’s antidote to Hamas.
“This was particularly harmful to the Mossad and Israel in general, because we Jews never let the world forget what the Nazis did to us with their poisons — not to mention Saddam’s biological weapons,” Mossad agent Noam Ben Yehuda told WND. “So, when the Mossad tried to assassinate a man with poison, it left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. It was the height of hypocrisy. Yes, Hamas is a terrorist group that kills our children. But, in this case, it was more a matter of the means we used to carry out an end that made Israel more secure.”
The changing face of the Mossad
In the wake of these recent scandals, the Mossad has undertaken a radical about-face in the way it recruits new agents.
In the past, the Mossad recruited almost exclusively through word of mouth and front companies that screened potential applicants at generic offices set up around Israel and the world. Moreover, the Mossad even set up false foreign intelligence agencies — staffed by men and women from Denmark, Turkey or Spain for instance — to recruit and give assignments to newly “hired” Israeli agents taken in from the cold.
And while Israeli agents carried out real and important missions for the Mossad — whose existence was hidden behind the fake foreign intelligence services — this arrangement occasionally focused on testing the loyalty of Israeli agents.
Agents who refused to carry out fake “spying assignments” against their own nation were quickly promoted by the Mossad, having passed the test of loyalty.
“I was offered a great deal of money, women and a nice car by one of the Mossad’s front foreign intelligence agencies if I would carry out an assignment to spy on the Israeli military,” Ben Yehuda told WorldNetDaily.
“Of course, I refused. I could never do such a thing. They kept insisting and I kept refusing. Finally, one day I was sent on to a high-level meeting in Tel Aviv. I actually thought, ‘This is the end, they are going to kill me.’ But then, once I arrived at the meeting, it was made known to me that I had passed through an initiation, a test to move up to a higher level in the Mossad.”
Recently, the Mossad has substantially opened up the recruitment process. The agency features ads on government websites and in various national newspapers. These ads are state-of-the-art, attractive Madison Avenue-style creations. One newspaper ad promised aspiring Mossad agents a “thrilling career dearest to all of us.”
Why has the Mossad — long held in esteem by Western intelligence agencies for the zeal and commitment of its agents — had to undergo a paradigm shift in its recruitment strategy?
The answer may lay in the fact that the traditional “the-world-is-against-us” soldiering spirit of the typical Israeli citizen has faded somewhat in the new high-tech Internet era. When Mossad chief Shabtai Shavit left his post in 1996, he likely could not have imagined the changes the Mossad would soon embrace.
“We live in a world that is breaking apart and reconfiguring itself in ways that we cannot even begin to imagine,” said Ben Yehuda.
“A world in which corporations have more power than most governments. There are apocalyptic cults, transnational drug lords and private armies to worry about. Even the nature of secrets themselves and how to keep them hidden or unearth them is changing. Israel used to be safe because we had the bravest soldiers and pilots. Now we will only be safe if we have the best scientists.”
A spokesman for former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, the most highly decorated soldier in the history of Israel, recently lamented the difficulties the Mossad has been having in attracting top-notch recruits.
“High-tech companies and the business world attract high-caliber workers with generous salaries, fringe benefits and a social status that the Mossad cannot offer,” he said.
The Mossad’s to-do list
What are the kinds of missions that the Mossad must tackle in the upcoming decades? They are numerous and diverse. On the forefront will be countering the Islamic “jihad” and terrorism aimed at Israel and her allies and interests overseas. Terror bombings as far away as Argentina have given the Mossad nightmares. There is also the difficult quest of countering Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction, which have in part been smuggled out of Iraq and into Sudan, Algeria and Libya, and which regional reports say are now also moving throughout the Mideast ever-closer to Israel.
Monitoring neo-Nazi violence in the West is always a concern to the Mossad, as are apocalyptic cults interested in both Old and New Testament Bible prophecy in relation to Israel. In fact, this year the CIA and Mossad are engaging in a comprehensive global analysis of apocalyptic cults.
Monitoring the drug trade of Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon is another mission the Mossad finds on its plate. Assimilating former pro-Israel Christian soldiers in the now-vanquished South Lebanon Army — or helping them to find asylum in Lebanon’s former colonial ruler France — will also have to be addressed.
Smuggling the remaining 24 to 36 Iraqi Jews trapped in Baghdad — the last remnant of the Babylonian exile of 586 B.C. — will certainly challenge the wits and courage of the Mossad.
In regard to the accomplishment of the latter mission, Ben Yehuda said, “It looks like smuggling — of everything — is a way of life in Iraq. We see crates going every which way, including food, weapons, machine parts, everything. Everybody involved has a reason to look the other way because everybody wants to conceal his own private activities. Being a spy-intelligence agent means you are also an entrepreneur. I hope we can get the rest of the Babylonian Jews out. I have no doubt that we will, although articles like these will make our job that much more difficult.”
Addressing the changes that went on within the Mossad under the Barak regime, Ben Yehuda added, “Barak, of course, he attempted secularization. He supports the Clinton-Gore globalist agenda and it is based in secular humanism. True religious feeling of any sort is threatening to the globalists. I saw huge funds being put into Israel in order to get Barak elected. James Carville was sent over there to keep watch on the money. The technique of winning elections with focus groups and laundered money has been raised to a high art. Since it violated the wishes of the electorate, it created a backlash.”
The ultimate security
For Jewish believers like Orthodox Rabbi David Eidensohn, the ultimate security for the nation of Israel and her people does not rest in America’s military might or Israel’s brilliant scientists, chemists or high-tech farmers.
“As a Jew, who has divinely imparted secrets about the affairs of earth … we see the world heading away from secular stresses to religious ones. The Moslems are pushing up into Russia and, as they gain nuclear weapons, they will not be afraid of China, either. This is the war of the jihad people against America. It is a war against not the U.S., but Christianity,” he told WorldNetDaily.
“The mystical books stress that in the end of days, the secular Jews will battle the authority of the rabbis, attempt to make peace with Ishmael, fail, and after that will be the Messianic era. Zionism was founded to create solutions for the ‘Jewish problem’ and the Orthodox opposed this, saying that there will never be a solution for the ‘Jewish problem’ until Jews behave so honestly and so correctly that Messiah came. As Israelis realize that the Arabs will never make peace, the Orthodox movement is exploding.”
Eidensohn added, “When Rabbi Amnon Yitschok [a former secularist] speaks, tens of thousands of people crowd the stadium. Outside, people hawk tickets for ridiculous prices. Once inside, hundreds of people come forward with their gold and silver nose and earrings and promise to ‘return.’ Israel is now a land pulsing with the Messiah and a large amount of people who are coming to grips with the realities opposed to their fervent secular beliefs.”
If Eidensohn’s worldview is correct, then the changing face and vision of the Mossad may only be successful if Israeli intelligence itself seeks guidance from its Judaic roots.