Israel’s News1 site reveals that some years back Israeli intelligence apprehended an Israeli who was an agent of the former Soviet Union (which would imply that he was unmasked sometime on or before 1989). They made a deal. Instead of prosecuting him, they “turned” him and he became a double agent and fed false or misleading information to the Soviets.
The article continues:
The identity of the double agent, which was revealed to us, is forbidden to publish. We speak of someone well-connected and respected who travels in the highest circles and does business among them. The exposure of his identity, if and when such restriction are lifted, would almost certainly surprise many.
…The decision not to arrest him or bring him to justice was made, due to the nature of the case, at the very highest level in Israel. The name of the double agent is familiar and known to be among the highest echelon.
When confronted with the charge, the individual said the story was foolishness and not worth taking seriously. A non-denial denial.
With stories like this it’s important to gauge who might leak the information and why. Of course, the Mossad and Shin Bet have had more than their share of bad PR over the past few months and a story like this burnishes their image. The reporter who wrote the story, Yoav Yitzhak, has a fairly reliable reputation and uncovered the financial scandal that caused Ezer Weitzman to resign the presidency. So this story certainly deserves some credibility.
News1 has provided a possible clue to unmasking the identity of the spy. It features a photo with his face removed by Globes photographer, Tamar Matsafi. The fact that Globes is a business publication and the reporter notes that the spy engaged in business deals would tend to exclude some of the most likely suspects involved in Israeli politics like Avigdor Lieberman and Natan Sharansky. But it might include prominent Israeli businessmen from the former Soviet Union like Lev Leviev, Arcady Gaydamak or Leonid Nevzlin. I encourage anyone with access to Israeli photo archives to comb through them and let me know if you find prior publication of this image with the face intact.