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Yossi Cohen and his relationship with the media


Yossi Cohen and his relationship with the media

Smriti Sen Gupta

During his early days in Mossad, Yossi Cohen was dubbed as “the Model”. Not necessarily the most flattering nickname, but Mr. Cohen likes it. He has built an excellent image of being extremely cordial with the members of the media, which was not seen in any of his predecessors.

Soon after Prime Minister Bejamin Netanyahu announced the name of Mr. Cohen as the new head of Mossad in 2015, prominent Jewish news media Israel Hayom and Yedioth Ahronoth lead with the same headline, “Agent number 1,” alongside an almost full-page photo of Cohen, 54, who served as the deputy head of the Mossad from 2011-2013, and was then appointed head of the country’s National Security Council. In a reference to his ostensible good looks and sleek appearance, both dailies also make it a point to note that the new Mossad chief is nicknamed “the model,” no less. More substantively, they note that Cohen’s name has been tied to an impressive array of successful, mostly covert, operations.

According to the Haaretz, “during Meir Dagan’s first year as Mossad head, there were some press reports that were highly critical of the way he was managing the agency. Dagan had been appointed — somewhat surprisingly — by Ariel Sharon, after serving in a political post under him in the Likud party.

“In short, the public verdict on Dagan had been delivered — but in the end, reality didn’t square with the articles and Dagan is now considered one of the best Mossad directors in Israel’s history.

“It’s hard for journalists to judge a Mossad head’s performance in real time. After all, one cannot interview incumbent senior Mossad officials. All of them undergo periodic polygraph tests. Information, if it leaks at all, is passed through go-betweens. Its credibility is often low, its capacity for manipulation high”.

Cohen has known for years how to create an interesting network of connections, suitable to a politician in the making. A leading publicist, a top lawyer, those kinds of people.

People ask, how Mr. Cohen will perform as the director of Mossad? The answer is simple. Compared to any of his processors, Yossi Cohen is an excellent Mossad chief. Former Mossad officials, even those who don’t particularly like him, say that he was involved in some daring and important operations.

In 2018, during the Jewish Shavuot event, Mr. Cohen said, Cohen said “it is a great pleasure to steal from Persians,” Israeli public broadcaster Kan reported.

Cohen was referring to the televised revelation by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on April 30, 2018 that Israeli intelligence had obtained a large trove of documents—amounting to 55,000 printed pages and 183 compact disks of data—detailing Iran’s nuclearization efforts over the years.

At the Shavuot event, Cohen said that after the revelation of the operation, he was approached by his counterparts in other spy agencies who said they were willing to help Israel.

“I told them that they could help by voting for Israel in Eurovision,” Cohen quipped, referring to the recent international song contest won by Israel in 2018.

In June 2018, Mr. Yossi Cohen said, Israeli intelligence services are working with countries which do not have diplomatic relations with the country.

Speaking at the International Conference of Internal Security Ministers at the Orient Hotel in Jerusalem, Cohen said: “Mossad has relations with countries that do not have diplomatic relations with Israel. It is not only entrusted with intelligence information, but also with the operations it carries out. We have to work, come in, come out and do whatever we have to do.”

Israel helps every nation in combating terrorism

There is no doubt that Israel has always been sincerely helping every peace-loving nation in the world in combating terrorism. The world needs to remain grateful to the Jewish State for its commitment in combating militancy and terrorism.

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