FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Israel Continues Spying on the United States

by

As Middle East peace efforts go through another round of failure, information published by Newsweek magazine indicates that Israel has been conducting spying activities in the US. Although the main targets are industrial and technical secrets, they have a connection to national security that makes these activities by a U.S. ally highly reprehensible.

This is not the first time that Israel’s spying on the U.S. has caught international attention. In 1987, the American Jonathan Jay Pollard was convicted for life for passing classified information to Israel. Israel, however, denied until 1998 that it had bought classified information from him. He did that while working as a civilian intelligence analyst.

Israel leaders have apologized to the US for Pollard’s actions. In assessing them, the CIA concluded in 1987 that Pollard, rather than collecting information on U.S. military activities, had rather collected US intelligence on the weapons capability of Arab states, Pakistan and the Soviet Union.

However, prior to his sentencing, Pollard stated that although his motives “may have been well meaning, they cannot, under any stretch of the imagination, excuse or justify the violation of the law, particularly one that involves the trust of government…I broke trust, ruined and brought disgrace to my family.” On March 4, 1987, Pollard was sentenced to life in prison on one count of espionage.

In characterizing the current industrial and technical espionage activities, a former congressional staffer quoted by Newsweek, stated recently, “No other country close to the United States continues to cross the line on espionage like the Israelis do.” Those activities go far beyond what other U.S. close allies such as France, Germany, Great Britain or Japan do, according to some U.S. intelligence agents.

Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s Foreign Minister angrily rejected the accusations against the Israeli government. “We’re talking about lies and falsehoods, simply libel which is baseless and unfounded,” he declared. Adding that his country is not involved in any form of espionage against the United States, either in a direct or indirect way, Lieberman said that Israel “had learned its lesson” from the Pollard case.

Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s minister of intelligence and strategic affairs supports Lieberman’s position. “Israel took a decision 30 years ago and has upheld it ever since, not to spy against the United States, not to recruit agents in the U.S., not to gather intelligence in the U.S.,” he declared.

As the alleged activities were going on, Israel was lobbying to be placed on the short list of countries (38 until now) whose citizens don’t need visas to visit the U.S. However, a major obstacle so far was Israel’s discriminatory and oftentimes harsh treatment of Arab Americans and Palestinians who were trying to enter Israel.

In addition, the Israeli government had failed other requirements for the program. Among those requirements were to promptly and regularly reporting lost and stolen passports, a situation of particular concern since some Iranian nationals were found to have boarded the missing Malaysia Airlines flight with stolen passports.

There is concern in the U.S. intelligence community that the visa waiver program would make it easier for Israeli spies to enter into the U.S. Paul Pillar, the CIA’s former national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia told Newsweek in this regard, “If we give them free rein to send people over here, how are we going to stop that? They [the Israelis] are incredibly aggressive. They are aggressive in all aspects of their relationship with the United States. Why would their intelligence relationship with us be any different?”

Former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Danny Ayalon also dismissed the last round of espionage reports and its effects on the visa waiver program . He said that allowing them to delay approval of the visa waiver were “inconceivable and even insulting.” What is inconceivable and even insulting, however, is that Israel would continue to conduct espionage against the country to which it owes its own existence.

Dr. Cesar Chelala is a co-winner of an Overseas Press Club of America award.

More articles by:

Dr. Cesar Chelala is a co-winner of the 1979 Overseas Press Club of America award for the article “Missing or Disappeared in Argentina: The Desperate Search for Thousands of Abducted Victims.”

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
July 21, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Kevin Zeese
Green Party Growing Pains; Our Own Crisis of Democracy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Red State, Blue State; Green State, Deep State
Paul Street
“Inclusive Capitalism,” Nancy Pelosi, and the Dying Planet
Anthony DiMaggio
Higher Education Fallacies: What’s Behind Rising Conservative Distrust of Learning?
Andrew Levine
Why Republicans Won’t Dump Trump Anytime Soon
Michael Colby
Ben & Jerry’s Has No Clothes
Bruce Dixon
White Liberal Guilt, Black Opportunism and the Green Party
Edward Hunt
Killing Civilians in Iraq and Syria
Matthew Kovac
Is the Flint Water Crisis a Crime Against Humanity?
Mark Harris
The Revolutionary Imagination: Rosa for Our Times
David Rosen
America’s Five Sex Panics
Robert Fisk
Saudi Arabia: the Kingdom Whose Name We Dare Not Speak At All
Jack Heyman
Class War on the Waterfront: Longshore Workers Under Attack
Kim C. Domenico
Marginalize This:  Turning the Tables on Neoliberal Triumphalism
Brian Cloughley
Trying to Negotiate With the United States
John Laforge
Activists Challenge US Nukes in Germany; Occupy Bunker Deep Inside Nuclear Weapons Base
Jonathan Latham
The Biotech Industry is Taking Over the Regulation of GMOs From the Inside
Russell Mokhiber
DC Disciplinary Counsel Hamilton Fox Won’t Let Whistleblower Lawyer Lynne Bernabei Go
Ramzy Baroud
The Story Behind the Jerusalem Attack: How Trump and Netanyahu Pushed Palestinians to A Corner
Farzana Versey
The Murder of Muslims
Kathy Kelly
At Every Door
David W. Pear
Venezuela Under Siege by U.S. Empire
Maria Paez Victor
Venezuelan Opposition Now Opposes the People
Uri Avnery
Soros’ Sorrows
Joseph Natoli
The Mythos Meme of Choice
Clark T. Scott
High Confidence and Low Methods
Missy Comley Beattie
Glioblastoma As Metaphor
Ann Garrison
Organizing Pennsylvania’s 197: Cheri Honkala on Frontline Communities
Ted Rall
What Happened When I Represented Myself as My Own Lawyer
Colin Todhunter
Codex Alimentarius and Monsanto’s Toxic Relations
Graham Peebles
Europe’s Shameful Refugee Policy
Louis Proyect
Reversals of Imperial Fortune: From the Comanche to Vietnam
Stephen Cooper
Gov. Kasich: “Amazing Grace” Starts With You! 
Jeffrey Wilson
Demolish! The Story of One Detroit Resident’s Home
REZA FIYOUZAT
Billionaire In Panic Over Dems’ Self-Destruct
David Penner
The Barbarism of Privatized Health Care
Yves Engler
Canada in Zambia
Ludwig Watzal
What Israel is Really All About
Randy Shields
Matters of National Insecurity
Vacy Vlanza
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness: Through Eyes of an Activist for Palestine
Cesar Chelala
Dr. Schweitzer’s Lost Message
Masturah Alatas
Becoming Italian
Martin Billheimer
Lessons Paid in Full
Charles R. Larson
Review: James Q. Whitman’s “Hitler’s American Model”
David Yearsley
The Brilliance of Velasquez
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail