Mossad exposes founding charter for first time
By Yossi Melman, Haaretz Correspondent
For the first time in its history, the Mossad has released a document from its archive.
The document - the national intelligence agency's founding charter, outlining the prime minister's directive to set it up - was released following a legal struggle by Haaretz.
Written by prime minister and defense minister David Ben-Gurion on December 13, 1949the document says: "At my instruction an institute has been established to concentrate and coordinate the state's intelligence and security actions (military intelligence, the Foreign Ministry's state department, the General Security Service and others)."
Reuven Shiloah, the Foreign Ministry's special affairs consultant, was charged with organizing and heading the Mossad. Shiloah was to report to the premier and act on his instructions, but administratively the Mossad was part of the Foreign Ministry, the document says.
"I have instructed him to submit ... a budget proposal for '50-'51 within IL 20,000, allocating IL 5,000 to special operations, but only with my advance approval," Ben-Gurion wrote.
The Prime Minister's Office gave the document to Haaretz's attorney Mibi Moser.
Haaretz joined a petition initially filed by Yedioth Ahronoth with the High Court of Justice over a year ago asking it to instruct the Mossad's archives, GSS and Atomic Energy Commission to adhere to the Archive Law.
The petition says the three organizations were breaking the law by maintaining their own archives and keeping them closed to the general public.
Ahead of the hearing scheduled for some six months ago, the three organizations stated they operate their archives according the Archive Law but did not detail how they were doing so and where these archives were.
Haaretz then approached the three organizations and asked them for more details. The GSS said its founding documents were already on the GSS site. The Atomic Energy Commission said it was still considering the request.
The Mossad answered in a letter that its archive was open Sunday to Thursday, 8 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. "But due to the highly sensitive security character of most of the documents, the general public is not admitted to the archive."
"Any request to study the documents in the archive may be referred to our office and it will be considered according to the document's classification," stated the letter, written by the Prime Minister's Office.