Newsweek: Israeli spying on US has reached alarming levels

Netanyahu and Obama

Newscast Media WASHINGTON—Israel spies on the United States more than any
other ally does and these activities have reached an alarming level, Newsweek
magazine reported Tuesday.

The main targets are U.S. industrial and technical secrets, Newsweek said, quoting
classified briefings on legislation that would make it easier for Israeli citizens to get
visas to enter America, according to AFP.

Newsweek said a congressional staffer familiar with a briefing last January called the
testimony “very sobering … alarming … even terrifying”, and quoted another as
saying the behavior was “damaging.”

“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, according to Newsweek.

Israel’s foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman on Wednesday denied allegations that his
country was engaged in spying activities on U.S. soil.

“We categorically reject such an accusation,” he told army radio.

Newsweek said that briefing was one of several in recent months given by the
Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, the FBI and the National
Counterintelligence Directorate.

The former congressional staffer said the intelligence agencies did not give specifics,
but cited “industrial espionage-folks coming over here on trade missions or with Israeli
companies working in collaboration with American companies, [or] intelligence
operatives being run directly by the government, which I assume meant out of the
[Israeli] Embassy.”

Israel’s espionage activities in America are unrivaled and go far beyond activities by
other close allies, such as Germany, France, Britain and Japan, counter-intelligence
agents told members of the House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees,
Newsweek said.

“I don’t think anyone was surprised by these revelations,” the former aide was quoted
as saying.

“But when you step back and hear … that there are no other countries taking
advantage of our security relationship the way the Israelis are for espionage
purposes, it is quite shocking.”

Lieberman claimed that Israel had “learned its lesson” from the case of Jonathan
Pollard, a US naval analyst who was arrested in Washington in 1985 and sentenced to
life in jail for spying on the United States for Israel.

He also denied allegations in the Newsweek story that the alleged spying was
connected to Israel’s so-far futile attempts to join the US visa waiver program.

Pollard passed to Israel thousands of secret documents about US spy activities in the
Arab world over a period of 18 months. He won Israeli citizenship in 1995 and was
officially recognized as an Israeli spy three years later.

His arrest sparked a crisis in ties that only ended with Israel promising to end all
espionage activities on U.S. soil.

Source: Tehran Times