Funding Israel’s Spooks

In case you’ve been dying to know how the Mossad and Shin Bet (Israel’s CIA and FBI, respectively) are funded in the state budget, Haaretz is there for you with an explanation of how Israel keeps its secret agencies’ money secret.

Apparently, the appropriations are masked in a line item called “General Reserves.” When needed, the money is transferred to a section of the defense budget titled “Defense Ministry Miscellaneous.” This despite the fact that both agencies report directly to the Prime Minister’s office, and the Defense Ministry has no authority over them.

The FY13 General Reserves budget is NIS 7.076 billion ($1.96 billion, based on 3.5951 shekels to the dollar), most of which (according to Haaretz) is dedicated to Mossad and Shin Bet. The amounts allocated to each agency are, natch, secret.

I know you want to know how Doha 12’s Refael Gur gets paid. Read all the juicy money details here.

On another note: if you were counting on your Uncle Mordecai to get you a cushy job at Shin Bet, start working up Plan B. A headline attached to the Mossad/Shin Bet money story (above) hints that the Israeli PM is restricting Shin Bet employees’ ability to hire their relatives. It’s behind Haaretz’s pay wall, so I don’t have the details. If one of you can get in, please post the particulars as a comment.

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