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Netanyahu rejects US reports that the Mossad stirred up Israel’s judicial overhaul protests

Israeli premier: The report is ‘completely false, absurd’

Thousands of Israelis protest the government's planned judicial overhaul, at the Azrieli junction in Tel Aviv, Apr. 8, 2023. (Photo: Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

American media outlets, including The New York Times and The Washington Post, published a story alleging that Mossad agents from Israel's intelligence agency, encouraged and prompted Israelis to protest against the Israeli government’s proposed judicial overhaul.

The media outlets cited “leaked U.S. intelligence” and alleged that the secret service organization’s leadership “advocated for Mossad officials and Israeli citizens to protest the new Israeli Government’s proposed judicial reforms, including several explicit calls to action that decried the Israeli Government, according to signals intelligence.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office released a statement on the Mossad’s behalf, rejecting the media reports as decidedly false.

“The publication in the American press is completely false and absurd,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in the statement. “The Mossad and its officials did not and do not encourage employees in the organization to go to demonstrations against the government, to political demonstrations in general or to any political activity.”

“The Mossad and its incumbent officials did not deal at all with the issue of the protests, and have remained loyal to the value of stateliness that have guided the Mossad since its establishment,” the statement concluded.

Netanyahu reportedly spoke to Mossad Director David Barnea and was satisfied with Barnea’s explanation and confirmation that the U.S. intelligence report was inaccurate.

According to former Israeli military intelligence chief, Tamir Hayman, the managing director for the Institute for National Security Studies, U.S. intelligence may have confused the Mossad’s current leadership with the organization’s ex-chiefs, who co-signed a letter asking Israeli President Isaac Herzog not to assist the Israeli government in its judicial overhaul. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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