A Jewish boy in the northeastern U.S., I was raised on tales of the brilliant exploits of the Israeli intelligence agencies. So whenever Jonathan Pollard returns to the headlines -- as he has with President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel -- I can still remember my horror when he was arrested for passing secrets along to Israel in 1985. The teenage me could hardly believe that the Mossad might steal my own country’s secrets as well as Syria’s battle plans.
In a country of hard men, Meir Dagan, the recently retired head of the Mossad, Israel’s foreign intelligence service, is one of the hardest. He is the Siberian-born son of Holocaust survivors, an ex- commando who has arranged the assassinations of many of Israel’s enemies.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in his first public comment on a spy affair involving the alleged prison suicide of an Israeli-Australian Mossad agent, defended his country’s intelligence services.
Hezbollah’s launching of a pilotless spy plane, which was shot down by Israel’s air force in the southern part of the country in early October, has been seen as more evidence that the Lebanese militia is preparing for war.
Israelis and Palestinians probably won’t agree anytime soon on clear borders for a new state, leaving them to maintain current political arrangements for another generation, former Mossad Director Efraim Halevy said.