Shin Bet warns of expected foreign attempts to meddle in Israel’s elections

The Director of the Israeli Security Agency, Shin Bet, warned of expected attempts by foreign countries that will seek to influence the outcome of the upcoming national parliamentary election, scheduled to be held on the 9th of April. The comments by the Shin Bet Director Nadav Argaman, that were made in a public event in Tel Aviv, were initially bard for publication by Israel’s Censor; yet shortly thereafter, it was confirmed and cleared for publication. Argaman did not mention any country by name and underscored that the Shin Bet was prepared to protect Israel from foreign attempts to meddle in the election campaigns. That said, a Research fellow of the Israel Democracy Institute, Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler claimed that Russia was the unnamed threat. According to her, “What we do know, Russia is probably trying to influence elections in Israel, just as it tried to do that in America, during the Brexit election period at the UK, the election period in France and perhaps last week in Germany.” She further asserted that “I don’t think that the Russians would try to support one political side in Israel. Frankly, I don’t think Netanyahu needs Putin’s support in order to win the elections. I think what the Russians are trying to do, and we’ve seen it both in America and in Europe, is to destabilize the political system and reduce public trust in liberal democracy as a system.” It is important to note that Dr. Shwartz Altshuler did not provide concrete evidence to her allegations and that TV7 was not able to confirm any of the allegations directed toward Moscow.