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Netanyahu accused of spying on own staff

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lives in constant fear of eavesdropping, digging a destructive chasm between his office and Israel's security services.
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Former Mossad chief Tamir Pardo dropped a bombshell in a May 31 interview on Israeli Channel 12's program "Uvda." Pardo implied that during Israel's preparations for a very important top-secret operation, an order was given to covertly wiretap then-Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz as well as Pardo himself. The report claimed that the directive was issued by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The whole affair is telling of the credibility crisis that has prevailed between Netanyahu and his heads of the various security branches over the years.

Immediately after the interview was broadcast, Pardo found himself facing the same ordeal awaiting every security figure who dares to challenge Netanyahu. The pattern is always the same: First the interview is slandered, then the allegations are denied and finally the whistleblower receives Netanyahu’s infamous "personal attention." Netanyahu seized on something innocuous that Pardo said in jest in the course of the interview. Describing the activities of the Mossad, Pardo called it a “crime syndicate with a license.” Mossad heads have been using this term for generations, and it arguably applies to all espionage organizations throughout the world that do not necessarily follow the law in their widespread surveillance activities with the consent of their governments. Netanyahu used the mention of a “crime syndicate” to attack Pardo, declaring, “Mossad is not a crime syndicate,” as if that were what Pardo really meant.

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