Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit is looking into several complaints against former Mossad chief Yossi Cohen regarding violations of moral cleanness, information security, and proper management. The most damaging complaint concerns a report in Haaretz that while Cohen was serving as head of Mossad, he received $20,000 as a gift from businessman James Packer and did not report it. According to Haaretz, in June 2016, Packer came to Cohen’s daughter’s wedding and gave him a gift of $ 20,000 in cash.
Another complaint Mandelblit is looking into is Cohen’s past involvement in a business dispute between car importers Rami Unger and Michael Levy over the franchise of the Korean Kia in Israel. Cohen’s involvement was exposed in testimony given in court by former Special Force Sayeret Matkal Deputy Commander Aviram Halevi. Halevy said that while Cohen was deputy head of Mossad, he asked Halevy to meet with attorney Dori Klagsbald, who represented Unger. The Marker revealed that between 2011 and 2013, Unger donated NIS 1.1 million ($341,000) to build a synagogue across the street from Cohen’s house.
The Attorney General is also examining complaints that the former Mossad head released confidential information in an interview with the TV news program Uvda. In the interview, which received the military censor’s approval, Cohen spoke, among other things, about Mossad’s operation to obtain the Iranian nuclear archive. These complaints against Cohen were submitted to Mandelblit by Yossi Langotsky, a former senior member of the intelligence community, and Yonatan Arnon, a former Mossad agent.
A fourth complaint Mandelblit is examining concerns a love affair that was reported on Sunday by journalist Raviv Drucker on News 13. According to Druker, Cohen provided classified information to a flight attendant with whom he had been in close contact for the last two years of his tenure. Cohen denies this allegation, saying he did not commit any security violation and was not in close contact with a flight attendant.
It should be noted that Yossi Cohen has been groomed by Likud Chairman and former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be his successor at the helm of the party. The fact that Cohen is now in trouble over his association with the same Australian Billionaire around whom revolves one of Netanyahu’s criminal indictments should give Mandelblit pause.
Also, as Likud leaders go, Cohen is not the most extreme right-winger. At a 2019 conference in Herzliya, Cohen announced that Israel had a unique window of opportunity to reach a comprehensive peace agreement with the Palestinians. He represented this as the view of Mossad.