Opinion

A spectacular security failure

The fact that convicted felon Omri Goren was hired as a cleaner in the home of Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz is nothing short of mind-boggling.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz (right) speaks with IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi during the Israeli military’s “Lethal Arrow” exercise in northern Israel, on Oct. 27, 2020. Photo by David Cohen/Flash90.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz (right) speaks with IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi during the Israeli military’s “Lethal Arrow” exercise in northern Israel, on Oct. 27, 2020. Photo by David Cohen/Flash90.
Yoav Limor
Yoav Limor
Yoav Limor is a veteran Israeli journalist and columnist for Israel Hayom.

It is unbelievable that in 2021, a convicted felon with an impressive criminal record and several prison sentences can still get hired as a cleaner in the home of Israel’s defense minister.

It is astonishing that it did not occur to those in charge of security to do a background check on an individual who would regularly come into close contact with one of the most protected leaders in Israel.

In this aspect alone, Omri Goren has done a great favor to Israel and its security services: he revealed their failure free of charge and without severe consequences. It is not hard to imagine how much damage could have been caused had information from the defense minister’s home—classified material and recorded conversations—been shared with Israel’s enemies.

As for Goren, there is nothing to discuss. Anyone who offers to spy for Iran should be imprisoned. And it doesn’t matter that Goren failed. The act itself warrants severe punishment, including for the sake of deterrence. Anyone who entertains the idea of spying on Israel should know that a lengthy prison sentence awaits him should he choose to do so.

Gantz was assigned special security, at a cost of millions of shekels. It seemingly included everything: fences, checkpoints, cameras, security guards. The only thing that was missing was background checks on individuals roaming free around his house.

This incident is serious and should not be taken lightly. It warrants a thorough investigation by the Israel Security Agency (which has already begun), but also demands accountability. Interrogators should treat the incident as if damage was done, and in the process, check existing weaknesses in the security system.

Israel has had its fair share of spies and assassinations. It was supposed to bring about more alertness than ever. The fact that this did not happen is alarming, certainly in light of Iranian efforts to harm Israeli officials.

This time, no one was hurt. Next time, who knows.

Yoav Limor is a veteran Israeli journalist and columnist for Israel Hayom.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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