The Jerusalem Post
How will Bennett handle Mossad?
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had his first meeting on Tuesday with Mossad Director David Barnea, who fully briefed him on the intelligence outlook and the spy organization’s activities.
On Sunday, Benjamin Netanyahu, in his final speech as prime minister, claimed that Bennett would be more averse to using the Mossad to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program and its other anti-Israel operations.
During Netanyahu’s term, the Mossad was credited by foreign sources with striking the Natanz nuclear facility twice and assassinating Iran nuclear chief Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
Netanyahu also publicly took credit for the agency’s heist of the Islamic Republic’s secret nuclear archives.
The former prime minister was claiming that Bennett and his coalition partners would be afraid to undertake such risky and bold operations which could upset the Biden administration.
In contrast, he said that he had been willing to bang heads with the US in order to stop Iran’s march toward a nuclear weapon.
Barnea is known to be as ready to take risks as his predecessor, Yossi Cohen, who mentored him, promoted him up the ranks and recommended him to Netanyahu as one of two candidates to run the agency upon his retirement earlier this month.
However, it is the prime minister – now Bennett – who must approve operations and decide whether to risk Israeli lives and diplomatic fallout or to use diplomatic means instead of physical operations to resolve major strategic issues.
Bennett has said he will face down Iran, but how aggressively he will use the Mossad to carry out kinetic/sabotage operations versus focusing on collecting intelligence, is unknown.