RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment

Excerpt: "It was the first time that Israeli officials have expressed anger since details of U.S. spying on Israel began to trickle out in documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden."

Senior Israeli officials have demanded an end to US spying on Israel. (photo: James Emery)
Senior Israeli officials have demanded an end to US spying on Israel. (photo: James Emery)

Israelis Demand End to US Spying

By Associated Press

22 December 13


enior Israeli officials on Sunday demanded an end to U.S. spying on Israel, following revelations that the National Security Agency intercepted emails from the offices of the country's top former leaders.

It was the first time that Israeli officials have expressed anger since details of U.S. spying on Israel began to trickle out in documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The scandal also spurred renewed calls for the release of Jonathan Pollard, a former American intelligence analyst who has been imprisoned in the U.S. for nearly three decades for spying on behalf of Israel.

"This thing is not legitimate," Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz told Israel Radio. He called for both countries to enter an agreement regarding espionage.

"It's quite embarrassing between countries who are allies," Tourism Minister Uzi Landau said. "It's this moment more than any other moment that Jonathan Pollard [should] be released."

Documents leaked by Snowden and published in The Guardian, Der Spiegel and The New York Times last week revealed that British intelligence agency GCHQ worked with the NSA from 2008 to 2011 to target email addresses belonging to the offices of then-serving Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

Amir Dan, a spokesman for Olmert, played down the revelations. He said the email address targeted was one meant for queries from the public and was not used for sensitive communications. "There is no chance there was a security or intelligence breach caused from this email address," Dan said.

Barak could not immediately be reached for comment.

But top Israeli officials work on the assumption that they are being monitored. Officials use special secure lines for certain types of communications, and for the most sensitive matters, issues are discussed only face to face in secure rooms.

Even so, Israeli officials reacted with uncharacteristic anger toward the U.S., Israel's closest and most important ally.

Lawmaker Nachman Shai, a member of the parliamentary foreign affairs and defense committee, which deals with intelligence matters, called for an urgent intelligence briefing on the reported spying.

Shai called for a "full report about what we know, what we have done, and just to find out."

He added that he was "really surprised that my government, which is very easily responsive on any given issue, on this we keep silent, which is not the right policy and right behavior."

Espionage is a sensitive subject between Israel and the U.S. because of the Pollard affair.

Pollard, a former civilian intelligence analyst, was sentenced to life in prison in 1987 for passing classified material to Israel. Israeli leaders frequently call for his release and say his nearly three decades in prison are punishment enough, but stiff opposition from the American military and intelligence community has deterred a string of American presidents from releasing him.

Since Pollard's conviction, Israel has promised not to spy on the U.S. Ministers stressed Sunday that Israel does not spy on the U.S. president or defense secretary. "I think we should expect the same relations from the U.S.," Steinitz said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a more subdued reaction, saying that Israel continues to press for the convicted spy's release.

"This is not conditional and not connected to the latest events, even though we gave our opinion about these developments," Netanyahu told his Cabinet, presumably referring to the reported U.S. spying. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+18 # RMDC 2013-12-22 19:31
Israel is the one nation that I think we should be spying on. Israel is creating most of the problems in the middle east and Africa.

Many have been calling on Israel to stop its occupation of Palestine for a very long time. It has ignored the calls.

So Israel says it does not spy on the US president or secretary of Defense. Of course not. The Israelis don't need to. they write the talking points for the president and Sec of Def,
+11 # John S. Browne 2013-12-22 21:26
Well, this is one of the biggest pieces of hypocrisy that I've heard in a while. The Israeli govern- ment constantly spies on the U.S., knowing that the U.S. government is also spying on them, and the latter lets them get away with their spying on the U.S.; and they have the gall to call on the U.S. government to stop spying on them?! Please!! They've both been spying on eachother for at least sixty-five, probably more like one hundred or more, years; and, with the advent of computers, more sophisticated computers, and increasing technology, it has only expanded over the decades. Hell, the Israeli government has stolen U.S. secrets, and the U.S. government has let them get away with that as well.

Then you add in the evidence that Mossad agents were caught in New Jersey across the harbor from New York City, observing and literally celebrating the collapse of the two World Trade Center Towers, obviously having, at the very least, advance knowledge that the 9-11 was going to happen, were kept jailed for only three months, were then released and granted return to Israel, bragged about it on Israeli TV, and were allowed to get away with all of that, also!! Clearly this is an insane world, isn't it?!

+8 # John S. Browne 2013-12-22 21:28
The Israeli government, or factions thereof, were involved in perpetrating 9-11, and the U.S. government gives them a pass, as the U.S. government has done for many years about many things, including the Israeli government and military's unprovoked attack on the U.S. naval vessel, the U.S.S. Liberty; but we're not supposed to question any of this. Heck, the "dancing Israelis" point to the fact that the U.S. government, or factions thereof, were also involved in perpetrating 9-11, but we're just "supposed to" ignore and not speak the truth.
+14 # MidwesTom 2013-12-22 23:17
We should demand to see the missing 28 pages for m the 9/11 report. They detail the involvement of foreign governments.
+5 # BobboMax 2013-12-22 23:45
"They've both been spying on each other for at least seventy, probably more like one hundred or more, years"

Israel was founded in 1947.
+3 # John S. Browne 2013-12-23 00:51
Officially, yes, but the Jews were there and seeking to take that land back over, quite a while before that.
+17 # Farafalla 2013-12-22 22:55
Israel should let Mordechai Vanunu live in any country he chooses and they can have Pollard. The heroic person who provided evidence of Israel's nuclear weapons stockpile should be able to live where he wants and not kept under a house arrest that means he's cannot leave Israel. The Mossad abducted him and took him to Israel where he was imprisoned.

Pollard sold secrets that weakened the United States with respect to one country, Israel. Vanunu revealed the truth about a nuclear Middle East that is central to the saber rattling over Iran. Vanunu is a hero, Pollard is a snake.
-9 # Rick Levy 2013-12-23 00:28
"Heck, the "dancing Israelis" point to the fact that the U.S. government, or factions thereof, were also involved in 9-11, but we're just supposed to ignore the truth."

Why can't you moronic anti-Semites get your stories straight? You are conflating this myth with the actual incidence of Muslims dancing in the streets after the Boston Marathon terrorist attack. See
+6 # John S. Browne 2013-12-23 01:02
Look into it instead of spouting such lies falsely claiming that the truth is supposedly "lies". It is a known fact that was well-publicized.

Additionally, the last thing I am is an alleged "anti-Semite". I love Jews and all peoples; I just don't love the extremist Jews who control the Israeli and U.S. governments, as well as global government, known as the Zionists and/or Likudniks. Speaking against their extremism is NOT anti-Semitism. [And, in case some(one) try (/tries) to make it look "otherwise", I speak out against ALL violent extremism, including that of extremist Muslims, too.]
+12 # cymricmorty 2013-12-23 03:34
"Additionally, the last thing I am is an alleged "anti-Semite". I love Jews and all peoples; I just don't love the extremist Jews who control the Israeli and U.S. governments..."

Neither do I love the Christian extremists in the U.S. government who support the Jewish extremists.
0 # John S. Browne 2013-12-23 09:40
I agree. They are nothing but counterfeit "Christians"; especially the Catholics, which make up the majority of the so-called "Christians" in both houses (as was said in Shakespeare's, Romeo and Juliet, "...A pox on both your houses!..."), and a majority of everyone in Congress (in other words, the U.S. Congress has been taken over by Catholicism, when the U.S. was created to ONLY be a Protestant country---anti- Catholic because the founders of the U.S. were part of the Protestant Reformation, and they knew from personal experience in England and Europe just how dangerous Catholicism is).
+12 # Texas Aggie 2013-12-23 01:05
There is a huge difference between being antiSemitic and being antiIsrael, as surely you realize. That you conflate the two is difficult to defend.
+6 # Texas Aggie 2013-12-23 01:03
The US being caught spying on Israel is a reason to RELEASE Pollard??? Seems to me that it should be a reason to keep him in jail forever. If spying on them causes them such travail, then shouldn't they also expect them spying on us to upset us?

As for the deal to never spy on each other again, there is a gentleman named Franklin who is proof the Israelis don't seem to be too eager to honor their pledge.
+10 # Pancho 2013-12-23 03:38
Larry Franklin, who indeed was spying on the U.S. Department of Defense, was working for Israel and I think it was Doug Feith and Richard Perle, who were in the forefront of the Likudniks who promoted the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. Congresswoman Jane Harman offered to make a deal for Franklin with the DOJ to get Franklin off the hook if AIPAC supported her for the chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee and was caught dealing with them on an NSA wiretap.
+1 # indian weaver 2013-12-23 07:20
Good. Glad to hear it. Serves Israel and other "allies" right to be burned by their big buddy. Trust is lost. Even if not stated, we all know once lied to and deceived, trust doesn't return for a long time, if ever. When you are lied to and cheated, how often do you continue to relate to the liar? Me neither.
+2 # indian weaver 2013-12-23 07:25
In general I am impressed with the quality of discussion here. One can learn a lot just in these blogs sometimes.
0 # Nel 2013-12-23 08:59
Israel needs not spy in the USA, it has the NSA doing the job.
+5 # CDW 2013-12-23 11:39
Is this an Andy Borowitz column????

Israel squeals like a stuck pig about U.S. spying, but then has spies in the U.S. passing on our secrets.

This column is hilarious.
+3 # bigkahuna671 2013-12-23 14:27
This is truly the kettle calling the pot black. The Mossad spies on everyone, and I mean everyone, even their own mothers. I even heard there's a Mossad agent disguised as a reindeer who has infiltrated the North Pole in order to find out who's on the naughty-nice list so they can blackmail them and Santa. My, my, what's the world coming to when a jolly fat dude can't even keep his own personal list without some nasty government trying to get into it. Anyway, if the Mossad was really smart, they'd just check with the NSA 'cause I'm sure they've figured out a way to have access.
+2 # Glen 2013-12-23 17:16
Perfect comments, bigkahuna. I was thinking the same thing while laughing. Well, OK, maybe not the great joke you came up with concerning Santa. Maybe Israel is the unruly brother, Krampus, of Santa.
+1 # bigkahuna671 2013-12-23 19:30
Much appreciated, Glen. I just got word it might not be a reindeer, but an elf. So...if you hear an elf with an Israeli accent, be very, very careful.
0 # Glen 2013-12-24 06:20
Will do on the elf, although what I see most at this time of year are ghosts of christmas past. After your warning it became clear that last night I saw christmas future: Santa, along with his "helpers", is the biggest spy and has access to just about everyone's home and business. Can't recall the accent, however. Maybe a whiff of ameroisraelichinese.

Ya never know.

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.