Intelligence: The Enemy Within

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May 27,2008: Israel recently revealed that it had arrested and indicted an Israeli who had been born in Iran. The suspect had gone to the Iranian embassy in Turkey, to obtain a visa to travel to Iran (where many Israelis from Iran still have kin). But while he was there, he had passed information to Iranian intelligence officials. Israeli officials would not reveal any more, but it is known that Iranian intelligence regularly tries to get Israelis, with family in Iran, to do intelligence work. The Iranians can threaten to harm family members in Iran (where Jews have lived for over two thousand years), if intelligence information is not provided. It's believed that some past cases of persecution of Jews in Iran (including imprisonment and execution) were related to these intelligence gathering activities. Israel does not have any restrictions on its citizens visiting Iran, but it does warn those with kin in Iran, that they may be subject to pressure by Iranian intel operatives, and all such contacts must be reported to the Israeli government.

Iranians are not the only problem in this department. Some Jewish-Americans, especially academics, are anti-Israel (or at least agree with Iran, and most Arabs that Israel is the bad guy in the Israel-Palestinian dispute). Recently, a Jewish-American academic was barred from entering Israel, and banned from doing so for ten years. Israeli intelligence feared that the academic, who had earlier met with Hizbollah officials in Lebanon, might also be used by Iranian intelligence for information gathering, or for some propaganda campaign.

It's become very fashionable in academia to take the side of the Palestinians, and treat Israel as evil incarnate. This makes anti-Israel academics susceptible to pleas from Iran, or the Palestinians, to "do anything" to help. Often all that is asked for is information, and enough small bits of data can be very valuable to a skilled intelligence operative.

 


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