Former Mossad Commander Efraim Halevy said last night (Wednesday) that the Russian cyber-offensive against the US political system was a classic intelligence operation that succeeded, as it played a decisive role in determining the outcome of the elections would be favorable to Russia.
He made the statement while speaking at a seminar held Wednesday evening at the Intelligence Heritage Center near Tel Aviv, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the NILI spy ring. NILI was a pro-British Jewish espionage ring that operated in Palestine during WW1, providing British intelligence with important information regarding Turkish plans and military forces in Palestine.
He said NILI was a prime example of how intelligence was not only about gathering information, but also about manipulating and exploiting the political process, and using information to control the narrative, in pursuit of strategic political aims. In NILI’s case, these were facilitating international support for steps that would culminate in the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine. He said that NILI’s leaders, who met with senior British military and political figures, including Lord Balfour and Lawrence of Arabia, played a major role in the drafting and approval of the Balfour Declaration, and its subsequent adoption at the San Remo Conference, creating the legal basis for the establishment of the state.
He then said that this is true today as it was then, as witnessed by what he described as the Russian intelligence operation against America, which succeeded in producing the outcome Russia wanted. “I’m not saying this in jest,” he said, “the cyber-attack targeting the American political system was a good example of a classic intelligence operation that successfully achieved its aim, which was to covertly manipulate and rig the elections to ensure the outcome was what the Russian leadership wanted.”