Israel Caught Spying Again

Allegations. Denials. Not for the first time has the issue of Israel and espionage in Washington surfaced, as America's closest ally seems to betray its trust. But more damaging is the inescapable fact that if these espionage allegations are proven, US policy regarding the Middle East will have been compromised yet again.
The FBI has launched a wide-ranging investigation into a suspected mole with ties to top Pentagon officials who is thought to have supplied Israel with classified material that included secret White House deliberations on Iran.
This is a well-travelled road. In 1985 Jonathan Pollard, a specialist in US Navy intelligence, was arrested at the gates of the Israeli embassy. Pollard was given a life sentence. Israel later apologised and disbanded the intelligence cell that he operated under. The operative in this present case is believed to have had ties to top Pentagon officials Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith and there are early indications that Israel has reactivated spy cells in Washington.
Considering the close ties between the Bush administration and Ariel Sharon's Likud,(senior officials in Washington proudly proclaim that they are "Likudistas") it is surprising there should be need for espionage. The Bush White House, where Sharon has an open invitation but Yasser Arafat is persona non grata, enjoys a special relationship with Israel that Britain and a host of other nations could only fantasise about.
Washington Middle East policy under Bush is based on Likud's which helps explain at least in part why the US has such a muddled, short-sighted, and factually incorrect view of the region. At best this latest scandal will help Washington re-evaluate its Middle East policies and come to the conclusion that Likud is not an ally to American interests but a burden. But, at least under this administration, that is unlikely.



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