Shin Bet chief: Spying on subversives OK

Israel’s Shin Bet director said the security service’s duties include spying on those who seek to undermine the constitutional framework of the Jewish state.

Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin, asked by Attorney General Menachem Mazuz to explain a recent comment in which he described some Israeli Arabs as “strategic threats,” responded with an open letter in which he said the Shin Bet’s role is to combat subversion. Diskin said this includes anyone who would “try to change the state’s core values by nullifying its democratic character or its Jewish character.”

The remarks looked likely to stoke tensions between Diskin and Israeli Arabs, already running high since it was revealed last month that the Shin Bet was monitoring a fugitive Arab ex-lawmaker, Azmi Bishara, as he allegedly passed classified information to Hezbollah during the Lebanon war.

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