And not a friend, and not an enemy

Neither friend nor foe

The self-disclosure and remorse of the Shabak agent in the Yitzhar settlement offended even those who were not involved in the settlement movement and did not share the radical views of the Hill Youth. Indeed, it’s not good for a young man to “knock” for money. on his comrades and brings them under administrative arrest and other sanctions. An organization that forces a citizen to become an informer, taking advantage of his unstable mental state and difficult economic situation, certainly does not arouse sympathy. But is it fair to say that the Shabak, or rather its 'Jewish Department', is acting against Jews, as the agent's main whistleblower, a resident of Itzhar Akiva Cohen, said?

The Shabak every month prevents dozens of terrorist attacks, reveals new radical Palestinian cells, keeps its finger on the pulse of the anti-Israeli activities of the autonomy. It is his operational work that we owe to the relative calm in the country, thanks to his secret agents and informants, buses and mined cars do not explode on our streets. Do not indulge yourself in the illusion that all Arab informers love Israel and want to live in peace with the Jews. They are recruited using psychological pressure, bribery, blackmail, threats and other ugly methods & ndash; the way intelligence agencies operate around the world.

In this sense, our counterintelligence is no different from others, and in the Arab sector it behaves much harsher and more cynical than in the Jewish one. Nevertheless, this does not evoke our protest, but approval and admiration. Moreover, we demand that the Shabak fight against terrorism even more actively and without sentimentality. For the most part, we turn a blind eye to the interrogation with partiality that is carried out in the SHABAK, & ndash; after all, this is about preventing deadly attacks, and all means are good here. We do not forgive punctures like the recent scandal with an employee of Gantz & ndash; he turned out to be a repeat offender and collaborated with Iranian intelligence. In this case, we insist that such an organization should know everything about everyone.

But our approach changes radically as soon as the activities of the Service begin to somehow affect the Jewish population of Israel. We are categorically opposed to the state using Shin Bet technologies to control the observance of quarantine. We do not want the SHABAK to interfere in our lives, because we are not terrorists and do not pose a threat to the state and other citizens.

But everyone can say this about himself. The task of the security service & ndash; not to trust words and external impressions, but to obtain and verify information. Is it any wonder that, in fact, we are all under the hood of the Shabak, that he knows all our movements, contacts and personal data? We repeat once again: this is how the secret services of all countries are arranged, and even in Israel, where security is in the first place, there are no and cannot be secrets for them.

To the Shabak's credit, it should be noted that he does not allow even the police to use his base, in particular, when investigating criminal cases. Our special services are fighting exclusively against the terrorist threat, no matter who it comes from. And if they plant agents among the settlers, then they believe that they also pose such a threat. This is precisely what the residents of Yitzhar and other right-wing activists are outraged. The Shabak is at war with the Jews who are defending their right to the Land of Israel, is the Shabak declaring them terrorists? He is our enemy!

Alas, the concept of 'Jewish terrorism' does exist in the Jewish state. But it was not invented in the SHABAK. Who is the friend, who is the enemy, who is the terrorist & ndash; all this is determined in our country at the political level. A department for the fight against political radicalism in the Jewish sector was established in the Shin Bet. back in the 60s of the last century. At the same time, the practice of introducing agents into ultra-right organizations, yeshivas, settlements beyond the “ green line '' began. This activity cannot be called unjustified: the sorties of the “ youth of the hills '' and their predecessors against the Arabs can provoke riots and clashes right up to a new intifada. The Shabak is trying to prevent such actions to the best of its ability and to keep right-wing activists under supervision. This mission is not always successful & ndash; Suffice it to recall the ambiguous role of Agent Champagne in the assassination attempt on Rabin. But for all that, the employees of the Service only carry out the order, and the orders are issued by the people who sit in the government. We could once again be convinced of this, watching the recent debates over the participation of the Shin Bet in quarantine enforcement.

Without entering into disputes with the ideology of right-wing radicals, we can tell them one thing: you are looking for enemies in the wrong place. There is no point in demonizing or idealizing intelligence services & ndash; they are only an instrument in the hands of the state. For the citizens of Israel, no matter what views they hold, the Shabak is not a friend or an enemy – it is just an organization that does its job and tries to do it in good faith. Her job is unpleasant, sometimes just disgusting, but necessary.

Author //: Ira Kogan

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