LEAKED DOCUMENTS: Mossad Allegedly Supported Judicial Reform Protests in Israel

According to leaked United States intelligence documents, Israeli spy agency Mossad secretly urged people to join protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s judicial reform proposal. 

Per a Middle East Eye report, these documents were initially published in “early to mid-February.” They asserted that Mossad’s leadership had “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”.

The intelligence document does not specify who issued the order to urge Mossad employees and civilians to join the protests. That said, the intelligence document alleges that the intel came from signals intelligence. In other words, the US spied on Israel. 

This recent wave of leaks form a part of several US intelligence documents posted online and sent to the Washington Post and other media outlets. The FBI is still investigating who is the responsible actor behind the leaks. At face value, the document’s authenticity is generally viewed as credible, though some of the information they contain may not be fully accurate in terms of the facts concerned.  

On April 9, 2023, the office of the prime minister criticized the report about Mossad’s alleged behavior and labeled the allegations as “mendacious and without any foundation whatsoever”. 

“The Mossad and its senior officials did not – and do not – encourage agency personnel to join the demonstrations against the government, political demonstrations or any political activity,” the statement highlighted. 

“The Mossad and its serving senior personnel have not engaged in the issue of the demonstrations at all and are dedicated to the value of service to the state that has guided the Mossad since its founding.”

The dissemination of these documents comes following pro-Netanyahu Israelis blaming the US for secretly facilitating the protests against Netanyahu’s regime and funding the demonstrations. 

In March, the son of Netanyahu, Yair, asserted that the US State Department was “behind the protest in Israel, with the aim of overthrowing Netanyahu, apparently in order to conclude an agreement with the Iranians”.

American authorities have denied these assertions and said that any claims the US government was “propping up or supporting these protests… is completely and demonstrably false”.

Since January, Israel has faced a surge of intense protests and strikes after the Netanyahu regime put forward a judicial reform plan that would diminish the Supreme Court’s power and strengthen the Israeli parliament (Knesset). 

In March, Netanyahu put the judicial reforms on hold to allow for all parties to discuss these measures until late May — when the right-wing coalition government will push the bills forward again.  

US president Joe Biden sharply criticized the plan and called on Netanyahu to “walk away from it.” 

Israel is at a weird point in its history. Due to demographic shifts that have seen the country’s religious population grow substantially in the past 40 years, the country has taken a right-wing, ethno-religious drift. The labor Zionism that used to dominate Israeli politics from its founding in 1948 up until the early 1990s has largely receded as a result. 

The implications of such a demographic shift could be profound, as the country may move towards an illiberal theocracy in the near future. How US-Israeli relations will look like will be anyone’s guess. 

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