New Mossad Director, Tamir Pardo
You read it here first. And no Israeli media site had the guts to break the gag. I find it interesting that Bibi Netanyahu disclosed his choice precisely one day after Yossi Melman, Haaretz’s military-intelligence correspondent, using information I provided, vented his spleen that he could not disclose Tamir Pardo’s identity, despite the fact that I had already done so and Alon Ben David had already done so as far back as last June.
UPDATE: A reader reports in the comment thread that Ben David removed his tweet sometime after Melman wrote his story yesterday (you can still see it in Google cache here). I swear the behavior of some Israeli reporters reminds me more of frightented lemmings than journalists. By the way, Alon, you can restore the tweet now. Pardo’s name is official and you won’t get into trouble with the censors for naming him, even last June.
Anyway, Bibi has made it official, the new Mossad director-designate is Tamir Pardo, a veteran of the Entebbe raid who served under the prime minister’s brother, Yoni. Pardo rose through the intelligence agency ranks to the number 2 position under current director, Meir Dagan. Dagan has a history of driving away his number 2s and several resigned in anger during his tenure including Pardo, who eventually left the intelligence community entirely and delved in business ventures with Israeli gambling entrepreneur, Noam Lanir. The new spy chief lives in the small central Israel moshav of Nirit, within the Green Line.
Bibi apparently decided that Pardo deserved the job and the deep family bonds can’t have hurt the latter’s candidacy. One wonder what happened to the two other far better known candidates, Amos Yadlin and Yuval Diskin, who seemed more logical choices for that reason. Haaretz reports that at least one other candidate rejected Bibi’s offer of the job. It doesn’t seem as plum an assignment for some as one would expect.
Pardo began his career with Mossad as a technician and rose to head the Operations division (Neviot) which, according to Yossi Melman was assigned the task of penetrating espionage targets to plant bugs and obtain photographs.
One of the director designate’s primary assignments will be to continue efforts to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program, the effects of which may be seen in yesterday’s news that two Iranian nuclear scientists were attacked by car bombs and one was killed. This is the third such attack on Iran’s scientific community by unknown assailants. Interesting to note that Hezbollah’s operations chief, Imad Mugniyeh was murdered by a similar method of car bombing in Damascus. It would seem to be a method of choice for the Mossad or whoever the killers might be, when they can’t get close enough to drug and kill the victim (a la al-Mabouh).
My exposure of Pardo’s identity shows once again the utter pointlessness of many customs of Israeli intelligence secrecy. A cursory reading of the media coverage about Pardo when he was merely “T.” and a search of Google Books turned up his real name. What kind of national security state is this? I’ll bet they even classify the type of toilet paper the Mossad chief uses for fear it will reveal some hidden vulnerability.
The truth is that when everything is secret, the concept loses any real meaning and both citizens and those outside Israel believe the concept is little more than a laughingstock, a fig leaf to conceal any deed or fact the intelligence agencies prefer to remain hidden.
Another negative impact of such secrecy is that candidates whose identities are hidden cannot be vetted properly either by the politicians who appoint them or the media. So Pardo or any other potential intelligence director may have skeletons in his closet and they will not be known until he is already in the job (or given Israel’s level of secrecy, they may never be known).
No one in reporting this story has mentioned the likelihood that Pardo is of Sephardic origin, since his last name originates in Castille, Spain. If I’m right, he would be the first Mossad head of Sephardic background, an important milestone.
37 thoughts on “New Mossad Director, Tamir Pardo – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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I’m just so surprised that Israel would even enter this sort of arena with Iran, who undoubtedly THRIVES in non-conventional warfare. I understand the importance of taking out scientists for their objective (which is to stop Iran’s nuclear program, civilian or not), and granted, I am not in the intelligence community or with the information that someone else may have had, but why this?
If the intention is to have Iran try to retaliate and get caught or something, whoever invented this strategy CLEARLY does not understand the Iranian regime’s psyche or the methods in which they produce their policies. They’re not simply going to strike back in Israel. They will hurt Israel’s overseas interests so that they don’t get caught inside Israel red-handed. In the meantime, they will rightfully claim that this was an act of terrorism within their borders because their nuclear program, whether we all like it or not, is at least 95% or more compliant with the NPT. Instead of just attack you, they will prosecute you while stabbing you under the table.
Now, you know. I hope some Mossad analyst realizes this and consults an actual Iranian the next time they want to benefit Israeli interests. Meir Dagan certainly didn’t.
If you are not in the intelligence community, don’t you think it’s quite pretentious to make such claims about Iran’s foreign policy concerning Israel? It is Israel’s intelligence community you are going against here.
Yes, absolutely. I’m merely a commentator on an internet blog. But, he who fails to gather insights, lacks full perspective. Why wouldn’t someone take heed of what I have to say? You don’t have to attack me for trying to help.
One more thing, you should look to see what I truly assessed. Was I making claims about Israeli’s intelligence capabilities or rather commenting that I think Mossad made a mistake based on my great knowledge on how the Iranian regime operates.
Even though we still don’t know for sure it was the mossad, let’s assume for argument’s sake it was:
I am convinced that Israel has tens of intelligence analysts who read in Fars every word publicised, listen to every word spoken both publically and privately, and have the common sense needed to understand the psyche of the Iranian leaders at least as much as Persianadvocate.
After the analysis, any operation will need the go ahead of a chain of command of many analytical operatives and politicians up to Bibi.
I’m sure they thought of every scenario of retaliation including indirect attacks against Jews anywhere (remember Beuenos Aries?).
They may not be to your liking, but they’re not dumb!
“I am convinced that Israel has tens of intelligence analysts who read in Fars every word publicised, listen to every word spoken both publically and privately, and have the common sense needed to understand the psyche of the Iranian leaders at least as much as Persianadvocate.”
Base on decades of observation, I am not convinced of that at all. I AM convinced that Israel’s analysis is seriously lacking in common sense, and starkly lacking in anything like understanding of the psyches of Iranian leaders, or anyone else it considers an enemy.
“they’re not dumb!”
If you say so. My observations suggest otherwise.
Oh, and as for Buenos Aires there’s no actual – you know – evidence that Iran did that. But then what is evidence compared to tons of self-serving speculation and propaganda?
I have a number of quarrels w. the assumptions you make: first there may be analysts tasked with understanding Iran & its leaders but they simply don’t. And if they do, their superiors are ignoring what they’re telling them. Second, after the al-Mabouh & Mavi Marmara disaster the fact that such an operation needs to be approved up the chain of command is absolutely no guarantee that a disaster will be stopped before it happens. Neither Bibi, the IDF senior command or intelligence community have any sense about how to conduct themselves in such a way as not to do severe long term damage to Israel’s interests (at least as I and many hundreds of thousands of other Israelis & Diaspora Jews believe).
The fact that they “thought of” vengeance attacks against Diaspora Jews and went ahead w. these foolhardy adventures anyway is further proof of their delusional thinking. As far as they’re concerned, if the recent Yemen based airline attack had succeeded & the package had been found to have a Chicago synagogue address this would only burnish Israel’s image in the world’s mind as a staunch advocate against terror. Rather than the msg. that should be learned, which is that Israel’s homicidal behavior is what stokes Islamist hatred against Israel.
As for not being dumb, they’re quite good and clever at what they do within a very narrow range. But Satan in Paradise Lost was clever too. It didn’t help him much. Israel is good at things that will serve no useful purpose in guaranteeing long term peace in the region: it kills people, it eavesdrops, it makes nuclear weapons, it oppresses Palestinians, etc.
“remember Beuenos Aries?”
No, I must have forgotten it when I gave you my analysis.
Did the Mossad, who think of everything and know everything about Iranians that the Iranians don’t even know, throw that around?
I don’t want to step on Mossad’s toes here. They might steal another 4-5 country’s passports and send a group of 30 to kill little old me.
BTW, they should know I’m American. 🙂
The IDF isn’t above delivering near fatal bullet wounds to American citizens when they demonstrate there on behalf of Palestinians. So be careful. The U.S. gov’t will do precious little on yr behalf as well so as not to rock the boat.
I don’t need the US government, but will make it clear on every forum, every place in the world that I expect them to protect me, and I have 300,000+ Social Networking friends and an equally strong, but smaller, core constituency that knows me in person. If I get harmed, Israel seals its long term demise. Go ahead, martyr me dumbasses! LOL I could live and be less significant, this will at least offer me a chance to do something!
I live in the most populous area on the East Coast in a building that would literally require Mossad to engage in a 10 plus man act again (cameras for the building, elevators, hallway, foyer, outside of the building, doormen, security, elevators). Indeed, if they wanted to get me their best chance was when Dagan met Corzine in an apartment not far from where I used to live. It’s so funny that they were that close to me 🙂
Anyway, I’m waxing poetic. Mossad would not even bother lifting a finger against me if they actually vet me lol 🙂 I’d like to see our State Department remain silent about an international incident WITHIN our borders.
Err the FBI.
I have many friends in the FBI, too 🙂
Cool it PersianAdvocate, your narcissism is beginning to show.
Duly noted. would appreciate a whole redaction of the above comments.
I’m sorry if it sounded like an attack, I did not mean it to. I am a great believer in Occam’s razor, and Iran’s reluctance to show to the world its nuclear program is reason enough for me to doubt its peaceful intentions, nevertheless after having suffered so many sanctions. As for the Mossad making mistakes – it is possible, but I think their rule of thumb is “better safe than sorry”. Can you blame them?
But, Shai, you can’t use Occam’s Razor without employing the scientific method. You have a hypothesis, sure, but are you going to risk millions of lives before it even becomes, nominally, a tried and tested theory?
“Better safe than sorry” is a very shortsighted and naive game plan, particularly when the world wholly objects to that Israeli mentality. It should be stated more aptly, “Better safe today than sorry today, but definitely more sorry tomorrow”
The failure to address this naivety and CHANGE this behavior is what is causing Israel’s continued (but wholly denied) isolation. Even we Americans see Israel as a liability rather than a future. Young people who can’t fathom why we are so indebted to this tiny State who shares none of our values are not only angry, but they are misinformed. Not a single student in America was taught values that go anywhere along the line of how Israel has behaved since its inception. I grew up in a predominantly reformed Jewish white town with a great school and we learned about Palestinians. The message that the typical Gentile in America sees is one that is wholly conspiratorial, particularly when the double standard is visible and people like Stephen Walt are writing about it. It’s fact.
Today, you will see more comments on the internet saying, “Saudi Arabia and Israel can send their own young to die” than anything else re: WikiLeaks. Don’t believe me? Ask Mossad, they have Excel spreadsheets for everything.
We share the same opinion on this. But what would you do were you an Israeli decision-maker? It is the millions of lives of Israelis you are concerned about here, not internet commenters who would shrug as Israel and Saudi Arabia sends their young to die.
I would serve the youth and reformists as much as the conservatives. I think plenty of Israelis have great insights on how to create peace but they are being sidelined for hardliners.
If war is the solution, then what’s the point of having mouths, brains, and the ability to communicate with one another? Maybe we would have been born with lasers on our heads? I know I could use one…
I’m looking for a practical answer. Stopping the Iranian nuclear plan is what Israeli decision-makers believe to be “serving the youth and reformists as much as the conservatives” (at least I’d like to believe so…)
And head-mounted laser guns would be pretty great.
Head mounted lasers IS a practical solution.
And what makes Israel’s intelligence community a sacred cow & unassailable?? I & many others doubt them every day and the world is better for our skepticism.
Nothing makes Israel’s intelligence community a sacred cow. I would say the same about any country’s intelligence community. I think it’s safe to assume they are better informed than PersianAdvocate is, that is all.
Shai, I would bet you that I know some qualitatively good information and have some great insights that Mossad could use. I almost guarantee you someone read my original posting and it stirred something. I bet you also that they would take my perfectly rationale reasonings and the plan that I have that would most benefit them, discard it out of religious zealotry having nothing to do with Judaism, shoot me in the face, shoot themselves in the foot, and then spend all of their political capital and resources trying to cover up the news stories before calling it day LOL
That is the problem, you see. You won’t even recognize help when it’s being offered. I’m a friend of Jewish people (literally and ideologically). I am even going to a Hanukkah Happy Hour today which includes Mazel Tov Martinis. You’re welcome to show up. 🙂
Also, Shai, from one young person to the next: I am tired of living our fathers’ wars. Their problems aren’t ours. I came up with my own conclusions about life rather than being indoctrinated. It’s important that we all do.
That statement is not worth much when you don’t provide any background. I personally tend to be a trusting person so I’ll take your word for it.
I’m afraid I can’t make it to the east coast from Israel on such a short notice, but I would have gladly joined you!
And I agree about putting the past behind us. I would’ve preferred it if people didn’t care about Palestine (the land), including my fellow Jews. I care about Israel because I was born & raised here, but that is all that my connection to the place amounts to.
Shai, that’s a rather shallow reason. Sorta like saying, I like Guantanamo because I was born and raised here.
The paradox we all face is the duality of a moral concept with an immoral application. Is it moral for the worldwide Jewry to have a homeland? I believe so. I can tell you nearly EVERY Iranian (except for the uneducated, and we can’t help them but to inform and hope they’re not stubborn) fully supports Israel and wishes the Iranian government was in no way meddling in that country, influencing the politics, etc. etc.. After all, look at our history: we hate foreign meddling. We also have a lot in common with the more positive aspects of the worldwide Jewry, including naming our streets after poets, our emphasis/reverence of intellect and knowledge, and most importantly, a shared and contiguous history that is reaffirmed over and over by historical documents from the Iranian Empire of yore.
If you were to take a sociological look at the United States, you would see that where ever there are Jews, there are Iranians (Muslim, Ba’hai, Jewish, Zoroastrian, etc.) Indeed, whether Israel is at war with Iran or not, here in America I can’t help but to hang out with Jewish people because we get along so damn well. Their mothers care about them as much as mine does — and it basically comes down to that (I am NOT saying that this is why the current conflict in Israel continues).
Let’s take a step back and be Martians. What country in human history has served as a safe haven for Jews since the emancipation from the Babylonians? We can look at historical documents all we want, but I can introduce you to a VERY large and beloved population right in Iran that are each living proof of this event. Indeed, they are the descendants of the original Israelites who were in captivity, and they still live in Iran. Their lives there are not any worse than any other Iranian. We really do not separate ourselves along those lines. In Iranian culture, an Iranian Jewish doctor will get the utmost respect while a pious Iranian janitor with no formal education is at the bottom rung of the ladder. This is the stark reality, if you want to know it. But we do not have this anti-Semitism. The first time I ever even knew what that was, was when one of my friends told me some other kid in our elementary school was one.
and that was in America, btw. Not in Iran.
I find this a unique opportunity to discuss with a young Israeli the “fifth column”, as it was recently referred to by someone else, of Iranian-American support for Iranian policies and I am hoping that, by grace of luck, a policy maker in Israel reads t as well.
The so-called fifth-column, young Iranian Americans rallied under the flag of Freedom, and also the anti-war factions, have been viewed a wedge to Israeli efforts to attack Iran by some of the people that respond to me on the Internet who claim to live in Israel. However, this is far from the reality.
Indeed, we do exist and we have been protesting Israeli led efforts to sanction and attack Iran, but I believe we have been widely misunderstood. It is this perspective that I find missing in Israeli policy and I hope to fill that gap now.
A super-majority of Iranian-Americans born after the revolution, living in the United States, have undoubtedly felt the harsh realities of prejudice and racism. Everyday, we see news articles that go beyond calls for Iran to more strictly comply with the NPT. They are smear pieces meant to build animus, or what we call “Iranophobia” in the United States. For a people who are very proud of their culture, but are so friendly to the West (unlike our regime that oppresses us), our feelings were wholly hurt by movies like “300”. We see these as insults to our culture, our identities — and mind you, we are as proud of these as you are rightfully about your heritage.
I loathe it when I go to a Halloween party in NYC and people’s eyes get wide when I tell them I’m Iranian as if Ayatollah Khamenei just walked into the room. The double-stab? The diaspora wants to drag that mans bloody carcass through the streets and we are being biased against as if we WERE him.
Additionally, and probably more importantly, there exists a large double standard in international politics when it comes to the Iranian nuclear program and this has diminished our freedom movement efforts. The IRI has many, many gaping flaws. The biggest one being their oppression of our people. For many reasons, Israel’s bellicose stance towards Iran’s nuclear program has tightened this oppression, created a possibility of eliminating the divide between reformists and hardliners in Iran, and given the regime an opportunity to score some keen foreign policy points. You see, where one lies about the Mullahs and they are able to point this out, they gain the moral higher ground — one that did not exist when false accusations and falsified information was not produced. You offer them a chance to solidify power in the country. Indeed, this exact thing has happened.
So, you see, we actually view Israeli policies as a wedge to our freedom movement. Thus, we’re all over the Internet and America telling everyone about the nuclear double-standard (which, the Palestinian issue has relevance to in realpolitik), the history of the “PERSIAN Gulf”, and then additionally pointing that most of us ARE Jews.
I dream of a day when these discussions would be strange to have. If the Iranians and Israelis pooled their resources to create a golden era in the Middle East, there would be no stopping them. There is a real chance of reform in the IRI or perhaps even revolution, but the Israeli policies are not helping them as of now and the time has come for us to adapt to the current circumstances, align, and take control of our future: one that excludes death.
I didn’t say I LIKED Israel because I was born here. I inherently CARE about it because of that. I like it for many reasons.
Is this a proposal to absorb the world Jewry? I’m not sure what this is supposed to mean.
I’m sorry about how you feel in America. Being discriminated against is never a good thing.
Re: Israeli policy and effect on Iran/ians: Do you have a rational explanation to why Iran won’t fully reveal its nuclear program plans? This is all that matters to Israeli policy makers. There is a phrase that you are taught here in the IDF – “If there exists a doubt – there is no doubt”. It means what it means. As long as Iran gives the world reasons to doubt its peaceful intentions, negative implications will take place. It’s not just Israel that feels threatened. Iran needs to make itself non threatening. Only then will young Israelis (and policy makers alike) cease to support the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists.
Good question. I can offer you several rationales behind their approach, but I am not connected with the nuclear program and cannot assure you or anyone else anything of that nature. I’ll tell you, however, that they don’t use the same cost-benefit analysis you presented as per the IDF. I can understand that sort of mentality, for say, a soldier in the midst of combat. I cannot understand that mentality for an entire country, particularly when there is no doubt that considerable lives will be lost.
There are other options that provide better results. One is to OVERTLY supporting the Green Movement by providing it real funds and training. The analysts are shortsighted. They don’t think beyond tomorrow. “No outside interference!” they call. It really is not that simple. We need outside support and lots of it. But the reason it has to be done overtly is to show transparency for trust and to also clearly and unequivocally announce the leaders of this Green Movement. That is half the battle: who the leaders will be. We can get into this discussion later. Obviously, the implications are that the leaders are trusted by a super-majority and always unequivocally promise to turn Iran into a full-fledged Democracy.
The second? Resolve the Palestinian problem. That will pretty much just about solve ALL of Israel’s problems, fyi.
Training? What sort of training? Military? How do you even execute such a program?
The Palestinian problem is indeed the cause to many of Israel’s conflicts, but I wouldn’t say all. But no doubt once solved it would greatly improve Israel’s situation.
This seems to have devolved down to a two-way discussion between Shai and PersionAdvocate. Nothing against, but they also seemed to have closed out other regular contributors who normally would be expressing opinions if they could get in a word edgewise.
That said, I think both of you have been missing the main points of contention. This should not be a discussion of Jews vs Iranian culture or vice versa. It is a question of real politik: why are the Americans and Zionists, in open collusion threatening to aggress Iran with war? In my opinion, the possible nuclear weapons program in Iran has nothing to
with it. Palestine has nothing to do with it. The Palestine situation could be settled in five minutes if US/Israel had any real desire for peace. Therein lies the problem. They don’t want peace. They want perpetual war, which is profitable to the oligarchs who control both. They want control of the natural resources in the rich Middle East. Not that they actually need them for themselves, rather to keep them out of the hands of their competitors for power, the economically rising China, India and their alliy, Russia. The very same thing that is happening in the Middle East is now also happening in Africa and South America. Does anyone take note of the slaughter taking place cn those continents?The American hegemon, along with its little brother, israel, are defiantly attempting to control the world. Unfortunately, they are doing a good (I would say, bad) job of it. Why does the US have seven hundred military bases around the world, Israel being the largest and most aggressive, and military personnel in every country? Iran is not a military threat to the US or Israel. It is a defiant neighbor who refuses to bow to the will of the hegemon. Therefor it must be brought to heel. The US believes it can impose its will on anybody through military power. The surest way to ruin its imperium in the long run. Persian culture, as well as other ancient cultures, will surely outlast upstart (300+ years?) America’s reign. America will be but a blip in history, if it allows our species to survive to write that history.
Feel free to chime in 🙂
I know that Israel is only concerned about Iran’s natural hegemony. I took Shai’s bait to advance the argument and to throw some ideas off an Israeli youth to see if I can show him we’re not much different and the call to war is silly.
I agree with you re: the oligarchy and the MIC (+ corporate interests). FAR greater men than I have challenged this very thing. The naivety of our superheroes was in thinking that they were bulletproof in the face of these creatures of death — these men with a “collective death for the world”. One has to be a student of history in their approach so as to not fail where other greats have fallen.
The Internet is an uncontrollable (until they try to Tier it as Google and Verizon are spending BILLIONS right now to achieve). I cannot say if it is a divine intervention, but I will tell you, without it, all hope would be lost. “He who controls the images; controls the people.” -Goebbels
Shai, if you want to know the most RIGHTEOUS, PRACTICAL, ACCURATE (and well worded) answer, I point you to John F. Kennedy’s commencement address to American University in 1963: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Historical+Resources/Archives/Reference+Desk/Speeches/JFK/003POF03AmericanUniversity06101963.htm
No other answer even comes close.
Yes, indeed, an inspiring speech, If he were only here today to see what has become of it: “The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war.” Hah!
Gene, he was a man that attempted to solve the problem he saw before him, albeit somewhat naively (naively, or maybe there were just TOO many pressures on him to deal with an internal enemy). I can tell you that some of the statements he makes in that very speech indicate he had no clue what was coming to him. Mind you, if you look at the video you see some guy just jump up behind him and take a picture (something that would NEVER happen today lol). No security.
He didn’t fail. He warned us all. He left pieces here and there, just as other great men did, and we need to open our eyes, recognize that, and compel humanity — rational men and women — to fulfill the mission he started.
He was just so genuinely good and in the public eye that he did not think anyone would touch him. The President didn’t know that these people were willing to kill to avoid peace. John Lennon didn’t know that. Martin Luther King, Jr. didn’t know that. The list goes on.
A genuine leader.