Only AIPAC knows for sure:Does Israel need to spy on the US? [Archives:2004/768/Opinion]

August 30 2004

This observer has often pointed out that the many organizations and NGO's that are active on behalf of Israel in the United States are more than just public organizations or advocates for the “pioneering spirit” of the Kibbutzim life in Israel. The Israelis have enjoyed tremendous access to highly sensitive defense information, which no other US “ally” enjoys. Thus, one is really amazed that the Israeli Government finds that not sufficiently worth appreciating and still insists on penetrating all the corridors of US officialdom, especially in the strategic departments like the Department of Defense or Department of State. Even its overzealous supporters and friends in the highest government offices are bound to be under the watchful eyes of Israeli agents, who may themselves be fellow employees of these officials, albeit with double loyalties – traitors in any language.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced this week that a Pentagon analyst was found to be passing on secrets obtained, while carrying out his duties, to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, one of the many dubious organizations that are supposedly lobby groups for Israel. AIPAC in turn dutifully passed the info to Israel. Incidentally, the name of the agent has yet to be exposed! This is not the first time AIPAC has been involved in such presumably illegitimate snooping work. They were also involved in the John Pollard case (although the news reports about the most recent case did not mention this at all). In that case, Pollard, a Naval Intelligence Analyst was arrested for passing “large volumes of classified material to his 'Israeli intelligence handlers' (The New York Times of 8/28/2004) – AIPAC”. That was back in 1985. But, the amazing thing is that why should Israel really have to spy on the US, with Israel now having the best friend Israel could want for a US Administration at the helms?. The White House and most of the neo-con clique have gone out of their way in accommodating Israel, not just in terms of policy adjustments that suit Israeli whims, but even to the extent of engaging the United States in a senseless war in Iraq, which was vigorously pursued by Israel's friends from George W. Bush down to the Defense Policy Board members, including Douglas Feith and Assistant Defense Secretary Wolfkowitz. While the Defense Department tried to assure that policy influence was not involved in this spy case, one should not forget that Douglas Feith as far back as 1996 signed a paper, “titled 'A Clean Break,' issued by a Jerusalem-based policy group that called for the toppling of Saddam Hussein in order to enhance Israeli security”, NYT. Thus it is clear that Israel was more than just looking for “defense information”. The FBI noted that the analyst was very much interested in US policy towards Iran although they did not divulge the actual details of the intelligence services he was providing Israel.
The outcome of this snooping case is not clear, since the White House should really, first of all, rightfully feel somewhat insulted by this development, but the NYT states, “As a result, the investigation is likely to give rise to questions about whether Israel may have used the information to influence American policy in the Middle East.” That is really putting it mildly. Of course, Israel will use the information accordingly. While the DOD tried to assure that the “Analyst” was not at a “policy making level”, he was certainly as close as anyone needs to be, since Mr. Feith (the agent's boss) is at present a bona fide member of the most influential policy making team in the US Government .
Yet, in all likelihood, Israel will get away with it, just as it did in the Pollard case (the Israelis have aggressively lobbied all the US Presidents since then for the release of Pollard, so he can be given a well-deserved hero's welcome as one Israel's finest). As for AIPAC, in all likelihood, it will continue diligently coordinating with probably hundreds of Israeli agents implanted throughout the US Government, to whom the FBI has yet to expose.
While we are on the matter of pro Israel lobby groups, it is worth noting that several elements of the American lobby working on behalf of Israel (they come in all kinds of shapes, sizes and influence) have launched an aggressive campaign against the American Presbyterian Church. On July 2, 2004, the 216th General Assembly of the Church issued its decision to initiate a process of selective, phased divestment from multinational corporations doing business in Israel. The first company targeted in this process was Caterpillar Corporation, because Caterpillars have been used extensively in the demolition of Palestinian homes and the construction of such humiliating security apparatus as the so-called security wall. The Presbyterians are now being charged with the highly criminal offense of being anti – Israel. The Presbyterian Church has gone to great lengths to explain that as a God serving institution, it simply cannot remain closed-eyed to the inhumane treatment that the Palestinians have been subjected to. The Church found no moral justification to support such inhumane treatment, but rather considered such repression as bordering on apartheid and ethnic chauvinism. Yet, the Israeli lobby in the US seeks to portray such sensible moral feelings, with all the slanderous and vicious name calling jibe at their disposal, ready for release whenever anyone seeks to uphold the need to reimplant high morals in the Holy Land, something that Israel has literally done away with. Even the olive trees of the Holy Land are helpless against the destructive force of the Caterpillars. Needless to say, the importance of this development is further enhanced by the overwhelming voting in favor of the decision at the Presbyterian Assembly with 431 in favor against 62. It is high time American officials realize that indeed a great number of decent citizens of the United States do still have a feel for what is right and wrong and for the kind of friends that America should really have.