Mossad Chief: “A woman can lead the Mossad”

A follow-on article to the Israeli business magazine Globes’ interviews with female Mossad agents (mentioned in this post)extensively quotes the agency’s director, Tamir Pardo, on his attitudes toward female operatives. In short: he’s all for them.

A couple of the more interesting quotes:

“Women start at the Mossad at younger ages, because if you bring a 23-year old man and a 23-year old woman to the induction training, the men wouldn’t stand a chance of passing. The men would fail. That is because they mature later.”

“Courage is the ability to overcome fear. Fear is what enables us to function properly. If we find people without fear at the Mossad, it’s something I don’t want to see. It’s dangerous, because such people don’t know caution.”

That last quote is an interesting answer to all those fearless, omnicompetent fictional spies we see on TV and the movies, isn’t it?

The one false note is when Pardo says, “Why are there no women in senior positions at the Mossad? It’s their choice, not the organization’s.” If indeed female combatants are as superior as he says, this doesn’t make a lot of sense. If, however, the senior ranks of the Mossad are still dominated by men who worked their way up the agency in the 1980s and 1990s (when women were still sex toys and window dressing, according to Ostrovsky), then it’s likely there’s still a glass ceiling waiting to be blasted away.

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