Photo: Avi Moalem
Yossi Cohen. (Photo: Avi Moalem)
Photo: Avi Moalem
A preview of the new Mossad chief's priorities: Iran and threat of asymmetrical warfare
In December 2014, Yossi Cohen gave a lecture to students at the Or Etzion yeshiva and military boarding school, where he spoke about his perspective on state and security matters. Footage from the lecture was shown on Israel's Channel 10 News.
Yossi Cohen, the next director of the Mossad, has given mostly general and polite statements to the press since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Monday that he will be the one to replace current Director Tamir Pardo. But some information about his ideas regarding matters of state and defense can be gleaned from a lecture he gave at the Or Etzion yeshiva near Kiryat Malachi in December 2014.



In a video recording of the lecture, shown on Israel's Channel 10 News on Tuesday, Cohen said: "The Iranian nuclear threat has to be, and is still, the top international priority, and I'll say in brackets – with the state of Israel at the lead."


Foreign news sources have attributed a series of assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists to Israel, as well as the implantation of the Stuxnet computer virus in Iran's nuclear facilities, thus harming its nuclear program.


Incoming Mossad Director Yossi Cohen. (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
Incoming Mossad Director Yossi Cohen. (Photo: Moti Kimchi)


Cohen also spoke of the decreased chances of conventional war, saying, "What is a conventional war? Battles of tanks against tanks aren't predicted to develop in the next five years in our opinion. There isn't anyone to fight with (that way) either. The Syrian Army is almost non-existent, the Jordanians won't fight us, Hezbollah doesn't have tanks, and Egypt is a country with a peace treaty that I hope can create stability."


"That's why the threat of conventional warfare without nuclear weapons and complex missiles goes down in comparison with the challenge of asymmetrical warfare. What is asymmetrical warfare? We come with F16s, F15s, modern tanks, Merkava 4s (Merkava is the main, Israeli-created battle tank used by the IDF. The name Merkava means "Chariot" in Hebrew), maybe 5s too, APCs, with very accurate missiles and warheads and so on – with only terrorist organizations facing us."


Outgoing Mossad Director Tamir Pardo. (Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO)
Outgoing Mossad Director Tamir Pardo. (Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO)


Cohen, who is himself an alumnus of Or Etzion, told the students that about the strength of his religious-Zionist education: "There is educational continuity from the day you're born, through your religious elementary school, through Bnei Akiva (a Jewish religious youth movement), your high school yeshiva and into the religious Nahal group. It kept me in a very tight structure of religious-Zionist education, which deepens its hold the longer time goes on."


Of his joining the Mossad, Cohen said: "And then there's a plot twist. The Mossad wasn't necessarily part of my dreams. The Mossad came to me, and in simple words enlisted me into its ranks. The contact happened where it happened, at the university I studied at in London at the time. I agree completely and with little resistance to meet the challenge and enlist to be, in fact, a Mossad fighter."





פרסום ראשון: 12.08.15, 23:49
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