The Shin Bet security agency, ordinarily known for monitoring Palestinian and Israeli terror threats, is now looking to hire fluent Chinese speakers.
In an ad posted to its website, the Shin Bet said it was seeking a highly qualified “Chinese-speaking field coordinator” to fill “challenging” intelligence-gathering positions.
Candidates must speak fluent Chinese — the ad didn’t say whether Mandarin or Cantonese — and have good English, and also hold an undergraduate degree. They should also be veterans of combat units or former army officers, the ad said.
According to Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, the agency seeks to monitor and gather intelligence on Chinese foreign workers in Israel in order to ascertain that they are not communicating sensitive information to Beijing.
China, a close ally of Iran, exports tens of thousands of foreign workers to Israel each year, where they work in construction, the hospitality industry and a variety of other occupations.
But fearing that the People’s Republic might send spies to Israel under the guise of laborers, the Shin Bet has apparently identified the stream of workers as a potential threat that it now seeks to monitor more closely.
Israel last week hosted China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Beijing in May.