Israel spies on U.S. more than any other ally

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Paul Pillar
Paul Pillar

Ah the unending gifts of the special relationship! Jeff Stein reports at Newsweek that Israel spies on the U.S. more than any other ally. “Alarming” and “terrifying” are the words used by a congressional aide who has seen the evidence of Israeli theft of US secrets. “Key components for Israel’s nuclear bombs were clandestinely obtained here,” Paul Pillar tells Stein, echoing Grant Smith.

Notice how this story has emerged in the context of the visa exemption that Israel seeks from the U.S. for its citizens. If they’re coming over here without needing a visa, what’s going to stop them from even more spying, asks that congressional aide.

According to classified briefings on legislation that would lower visa restrictions on Israeli citizens, Jerusalem’s efforts to steal U.S. secrets under the cover of trade missions and joint defense technology contracts have “crossed red lines.”

Israel’s espionage activities in America are unrivaled and unseemly, counterspies have told members of the House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees, going far beyond activities by other close allies, such as Germany, France, the U.K. and Japan. A congressional staffer familiar with a briefing last January called the testimony “very sobering…alarming…even terrifying.” Another staffer called it “damaging.”

The Jewish state’s primary target: America’s industrial and technical secrets.

“No other country close to the United States continues to cross the line on espionage like the Israelis do,” said a former congressional staffer who attended another classified briefing in late 2013, one of several in recent months given by officials from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the State Department, the FBI and the National Counterintelligence Directorate…
As Paul Pillar, the CIA’s former national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia, told Newsweek, old habits are hard to break: Zionists were dispatching spies to America before there even was an Israel, to gather money and materials for the cause and later the fledgling state. Key components for Israel’s nuclear bombs were clandestinely obtained here. “They’ve found creative and inventive ways,” Pillar said, to get what they want.

“If we give them free rein to send people over here, how are we going to stop that?” the [anonymous] former congressional aide asked. “They’re incredibly aggressive. They’re aggressive in all aspects of their relationship with the United States. Why would their intelligence relationship with us be any different?”

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At the National Summit on the US-Israel relationship, Phil Giraldi said that over 100 investigations into Israeli espionage in the US had been quashed. He had an exact figure, it was > 100

Every Congress person that aids and abets this form of Israeli assault on our secrets is a traitor to this country. Every Israel Firster should be expelled from this country.

I think that Americans should make a concerted effort to create a groundswell in the US to demand the Congress condition the aid given to the Israelis on their agreeing to halt any and all spying — military, political, industrial, all of it — and to include a provision that automatically ends the aid if they are found to be spying. I have no illusions of the quislings in Washington passing such legislation, nor do… Read more »

As the adage goes, with a friend like Israel, who needs another enemy?

Israel costs the USA a lot, literally:

It is good that this fact is getting out. It has been common knowledge in Congress (and, obviously, in the Executive Branch) for years. Amazing how that has not seemed to matter. Some politicians don’t care, others are afraid to express concern.