New Israel intelligence unit spies on Western leftwing groups
March 22, 2011 4 Comments
By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Israel’s Military Intelligence has set up a new unit tasked with infiltrating and monitoring Western leftwing organizations that criticize Israel’s policies on the Palestinians. The unit, whose name remains unknown, was reportedly established earlier this year by the research division of Israel’s Military Intelligence Directorate (MID). It has been given the sole task of targeting Western groups that routinely criticize Israeli policies, campaign for economic boycott or divestiture from Israel, and try to bring war crime charges against senior Israeli government officials. Israeli daily newspaper Ha’aretz quotes “senior Israeli officials and [MID] officers” who claim that these worldwide campaigns “delegitimize Israel and question its right to exist”. They also suggest that there are links between organizations lobbying worldwide against Israel’s policies on the Palestinians and “terror groups”. The paper reports that the new unit was set up in the wake of the official Israeli investigation into the bloody events of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in June of 2010, when Israeli commandos killed eight Turkish and one American citizen in international waters. Rumor has it that Israeli military and intelligence officials were taken aback by the large numbers of volunteers on the flotilla ships —over 600 people in total— which included citizens of most Western countries, including many Americans. The activities of grassroots pro-Palestinian groups in the West, which have been gaining momentum in recent years, were seen by the Israeli government as representing a “dangerous blind spot” in its intelligence collection. This led to the creation of the new unit, which Ha’aretz says is in close and frequent contact with the office of the Prime Minster.