Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, September-October 2008, page 14

Lobby Watch

Israeli Spying on the United States

By Andrew I. Killgore

ACCORDING TO the MSNBC News Service for April 22, Ben-Ami Kadish, a former U.S. Army mechanical engineer, was arrested on charges that he had sneaked classified information about nuclear weapons to the Israeli Consulate in New York. Kadish’s Israeli handler, Josef Yagur, was also the handler of Jonathan Jay Pollard, who is serving a life sentence for spying against the United States.

Yagur, under cover as a science attaché at the Israeli Consulate, fled the United States after Pollard was arrested in 1985 and has not returned. The fact that the 85-year-old Kadish and Yagur have recently been in touch with one another leaves the suspicion that Kadish may still be active, perhaps as a “spotter” of potential spies for Israel.

“Ben-Ami Kadish faces four counts of conspiracy, including allegations that he conspired to disclose U.S. National Defense documents to Israel and that he acted as an agent of the Israeli government,” the FBI and U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia said. Whether he will ever come to trial remains to be seen. The trial and conviction of Pollard would seem to indicate yes. But Pollard, pursued by the FBI, fled directly to the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC, and actually got inside the front gate. Not recognizing the spy for Israel, the Israeli guard released Pollard to the FBI.

Steve Rosen, former foreign policy director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and Keith Weissman, AIPAC’s former Iran specialist, were indicted three years ago, on Aug. 4, 2005. Abbe Lowell, Rosen’s lawyer, and John Nassikas, attorney for Weissman, have filed one delaying motion after another which have been received favorably by AIPAC aficionado Judge T.S. Ellis. Lowell and Nassikas, whose legal fees AIPAC has promised to pay, have sought to so delay the case—or force the government to reveal national secrets—that the trial may not take place at all.

This raises the question of whether Zionist penetration of American institutions has become so comprehensive that it literally is impossible for our government to take action that Israel opposes. According to the May 22 issue of the Jewish weekly Forward, Abbe Lowell has called on AIPAC and other Jewish groups to support Rosen and Weissman with material assistance and jobs while they fight the charges against them. So far, however, Jewish groups have taken a hands-off attitude.

Rosen and Weissman are charged under the Espionage Act of 1917, a law that forbids disclosure of government secrets—obviously on the outdated assumption that only U.S. government employees would have access to them.

There is a long pattern of Israeli espionage against the United States (see accompanying box). Except for Pollard, however, prosecutions have been rare. Nearly all similar cases have been settled generously for Israel by “diplomatic” or “political” means. But in the Rosen and Weissman case the security and intelligence components of the U.S. government seem, so far, to be determined for a showdown.

The MSNBC item on the Kadish matter has a senior Israeli defense official telling Reuters, “I find it hard to believe that, after the Pollard case, we would recruit an American spy.” Assuming that the defense official, for once, is telling the truth that the freewheeling Israeli spy masters would have hesitated to recruit American government employees, they obviously would have thought of using AIPAC instead—as is now clear that they did.

After all, why not use the once-removed-from-government AIPAC to subvert government employees, get the illicit classified information, then pass it on to the Israeli Embassy (and to certain passionately pro-Israeli Washington Post journalists)? This enabled AIPAC to harness the freedom-of-the-press argument and claim that “everybody does it” around Washington, DC. The disingenousness of AIPAC’s case is indicated by accounts of Rosen and Weissman changing tables three times at one luncheon to avoid what they must have suspected were the prying eyes of the FBI.

Andrew I. Killgore is publisher of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.