Silhouette of a woman [file].
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Having multiple women in the top echelons of the Mossad is a positive development, two former Mossad deputy chiefs told the Jerusalem Post on Sunday, hours after their appointments were disclosed.
Earlier Sunday, Yediot Ahronot reported, and the Post then confirmed, that two women will now be division heads of the Mossad – the first time in history more than one women made it to the top level at the same time.
Division heads are the Mossad's equivalent of a major-general in the IDF: officers who could be in charge of the entire navy or air force, and who sit on the Mossad’s executive council.
There have been women in the past who reached the division-head rank, but never two at the same time.
Former deputy Mossad chief Naftali Granot told the Post
, “I welcome the trend to appoint women to senior positions in the organization and it is also fitting to note that the two women are highly qualified and experienced, which will definitely contribute to the advancement of the organization’s goals.”
Former deputy Mossad chief Ram Ben Barak echoed those comments, telling the Post,
“this is very good, there should even be more in the future.”
He said he was not at all surprised, stating, “this is the 21st century. Until now maybe there were fewer women in key positions as it was harder to balance work with being a mother, but now there are more husbands who are supportive” in sharing handling childcare, meaning more women are choosing to stay in the spy organization long-term.
Ben Barak also agreed that the particular women were “undoubtedly qualified” for their high-ranking positions.
Asked when the country might see its first female Mossad chief, he said that it “will very likely happen in the future, though probably not yet the next round.”
One woman, S, was recently appointed a division head by Mossad Director Yossi Cohen, and Y, the other woman, was already a division head.
Until now, Aliza Magen is the woman who rose to the highest rank in the Mossad, reaching deputy chief during the term of former Mossad chief Danny Yatom.
The Mossad has always been viewed as more inclusive of women relative to other organizations within the defense establishment, with women serving in every area, including dangerous operations.
However, under Cohen, women have received even greater attention by the spy organization.
In January, the Mossad put out its first-ever recruiting announcement focused even more on new female recruits than male recruits.