Although they were the subject to a multi-agency investigation for their links to Israeli intelligence, Israeli "art students" and mall kiosk vendors, who have been extremely active in the United States in the months before and years after 9/11, have always maintained they are merely Israelis who want to travel and "see the world" after completing their military service. Practically every Israeli working as door-to-door art salespeople and mall vendors are working in the United States illegally, violating their tourist visas.
After the detention of Israeli art students by U.S. authorities hit the media in early 2002, Mark Regev, the then-spokesman for the Israeli embassy in Washington who now serves as Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's spokesman, denied that any Israelis arrested in the United States were espionage agents. Regev categorically stated, "Israel does not spy on the United States," as if convicted American spy for Israel Jonathan Pollard never existed. Israeli sympathizers and propagandists within the U.S. corporate media all canted the same meme about the Israeli art students being spies: "It is an urban myth," they dutifully repeated ad infinitum.
However, in employment advertisements run in Israeli newspapers in 1979, it is quite clear that the hiring of Israeli students after their military service to subsequently be sent to the United States was a Mossad operation tied directly to the Israeli government. Those interested in Mossad spy work in the United States were directed to send their personal details to a post office box in Tel Aviv or the Israeli Consulate General in New York. The consulate is the largest Mossad station in the United States, with Washington, DC and Houston in second and third place.
Newspaper ad recruiting Israeli students for espionage work in the United States. Source: Covert Action Information Bulletin, Dec. 1980.
The advertisement read:
REQUIRED: STUDENTS TO WORK IN THE USA
- Completion of military service in a combat unit (command position)
- Good health, profile 82 at least.
- Must be studying in the United States and/or planning to fo there in Summer 1979 or beginning of 1980. Candidates must have been accepted at an educational institution in the United States.
- Candidate must pay travel expenses.
- Those interested should write and enclose a personal biography, personal information, identity card number.
In U.S.A.: General Consulate/Israel in New York
800 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10017
---Only Qualified Persons Will Be Answered ---