President Rivlin, PM Netanyahu and Mossad Director Pardo Award Certificates of Excellence to 14 Outstanding Mossad Employees
Photo by Haim Zah, GPO     

President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Mossad Director Tamir Pardo, this morning, awarded certificates of excellence to 14 outstanding Mossad employees in 2015.
 
The recipients, young and veteran alike, took part in Mossad core activity and work in different branches of the organization. They strove for excellence in carrying out their duties while upholding the values, goals and mission of the Mossad; some of them did so at tangible risk to their lives. The recipients were carefully chosen by a forum of senior Mossad officers for their significant activities and exceptional contributions to the Mossad and to the State of Israel. They constitute key personalities in the Mossad vis-à-vis meeting operational challenges that occasionally seemed impossible. The pioneering achievements of the technological-operational field have also been recognized within the Mossad.
 
The recipients include one veteran Mossad employee who has become a legend within the organization. With exceptional technological-operational capabilities and uncompromising professionalism, determination and modesty, he has been an example for many generations of officers. Also receiving a certificate is a female officer who led a complex and unique operation against all odds and showed great determination. Additional certificates were also awarded to technology personnel who fulfilled various roles and made strategic contributions to the security of the state and to one officer who spent many years abroad and took part in an impressive and significant operation.
 
Due to personal reasons, Avraham Barzilai, 90, was unable to receive a lifetime achievement prize, which will be awarded at a later date. Barzilai has served the security of the State of Israel for 70 years. He joined the Mossad in 1955 and participated in many operations, including the secret immigration of Jews from Arab countries. He retired in 1995 but continues to volunteer for a range of Mossad positions. His long activity is exceptional and deserving of appreciation.
 
President Rivlin:
 
"The Mossad is considered one of the best intelligence agencies in the world. Some of the operations you have carried out over the years have earned the State of Israel the world’s praise, and proven a powerful deterrent. We have both enemies and friends, who get chills at the very mention of the Mossad. They know, that the long reach of the State of Israel, is not a cliché, but very real. You belong to a sophisticated organization, which stands at the forefront of technology, yet remains an organization of human intelligence. An organization which draws its strength from the power of people, from the talents and skills of the people within it. Your courage and devotion, and no less your faith in the moral clarity of your path, characterize your strength.
 
You safeguard us, even from afar, and it is proper that we should protect you from home. The hate-filled debate which has been directed in a such a menacing way toward the Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked, is to be condemned; it is a despicable and violent discourse, which has no place in the State of Israel, or in Israeli society. We may disagree, we must disagree, we may protest, but the incitement against, and degradation of an elected official, especially by those who educate the public, is not the way. It is the duty of all of us to keep the public debate attentive and respectful. It is the duty of all parts of Israeli society, without exception, and especially in the current climate.
 
Over the past days, I have heard your stories, dear recipients. I have read about the circumstances for which you were chosen, and learned about the complex and dangerous missions in which you have played a part. About the development of technologies, about special abilities, about the secret and different operations you have carried out, and which seemingly will never be spoken about out loud – and I was moved. Over the last months, we have witnessed a wave of terror in Israel and across the world. The people of Israel continue to fight for its existence, while constantly facing threats from near and afar. At this difficult time, we need you; your insight, information, and analysis. I know that your, and your colleagues’, eyes and ears are always open, and you are always faithfully dedicated to the facing the challenges, dangers, and threats of the present and the future. We trust in you.
 
Behind each and every one of you stands a family. I want, on behalf of all the citizens of Israel, and the entire Jewish people, to thank you and your families who stand by your side, as you guard us day and night in every way. I take this opportunity to congratulate the incoming and outgoing Mossad directors. Thank you for all you have done, and for all you are yet to do. We are delighted to have sons and daughters like all of you."
 
Prime Minister Netanyahu:
 
"I would like to commend the recipients. There is a protective and offensive force here. The Mossad is based on people with the ability to think creatively, take the initiative and occasionally take risks; this combination needs to grow constantly. It never fails to impress me. You do things that are so important that they must be kept secret. Secrecy is the secret of our strength against our enemies. It is important that we maintain it.
 
The world is changing and the Mossad is changing with it. Its role and importance in our national security is growing. Today we are under new threats. Due to the rise of radical Islam, we are found, if one can call it that, in a world war against two major streams of radical Islam that grasp at the entire world. We must deal with these threats, which are joined together. We act against those who act against us; all of our enemies should know that we will respond strongly to any attack against us. ‘He that keeps Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.’"
 
Mossad Director Pardo:
 
"Dear recipients, I would like to commend you and express my great appreciation for your unique work, your welcome activity and your significant contributions throughout the year and beyond. You, like all those who serve in the Mossad, work in a culture that is the opposite of what is customary today. Those who serve the Mossad shun publicity and work under the radar. The measure of your success is in maintaining secrecy. The secret of the Mossad’s success is in its being innovative, in its ability to combine operations, advanced technology and innovative intelligence gathering. We are committed to continuing to be ready to face the threats and challenges, which not only have not lessened, but have become ever more complex. The Mossad must continue to fly high, consider the horizon, identify trends and threats in their infancy, and delineate the necessary response and realize it."
 
Next month, Tamir Pardo will conclude his five-year term as Mossad director and be succeeded by Yossi Cohen.