A Palestinian family reacts after Israeli bulldozers demolished their home in the Arab East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina, Feb. 5, 2013. (AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
Newly elected Israeli Knesset member Yair Lapid (l), leader of the Yesh Atid party, speaks to Naftali Bennett, head of the hard-line national religious party the Jewish Home, during a Feb. 5 reception in Jerusalem marking the opening of the 19th Knesset. (URIEL SINAI/GETTY IMAGES)
Richard Curtiss at work in his Washington Report office. (STAFF PHOTO D. HANLEY)
Then-Vice President Dick Cheney (l) and Likud chairman Benyamin Netanyahu, out of office at the time and serving as the official Israeli opposition leader, at a March 23, 2008 breakfast meeting at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III (r) shares candies with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chief Murad Ebrahim during a Feb. 11 visit to the rebels’ stronghold in Sultan Kudarat on the island of Mindanao. (KARLOS MANLUPIG/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
Emad Burnat views his five broken cameras in his documentary of the same name. (PHOTO COURTESY KINO LORBER)
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, December 2000, Page 51
How Are the Mighty Fallen! U.S. Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk’s Lost (and Found) Security Clearance
By Andrew I. Killgore
Martin Indyk, America’s ambassador to Israel, is a Zionist. Israeli newspapers reported that Indyk declared himself such when he went to Israel in 1995 as the first American Jewish ambassador to the Jewish state.
Indyk’s security clearance was lifted by the State Department in September for “suspected violations” of security standards. Despite its restoration in October, a thousand questions arise—along with a sense of astonished awe that such a high-flying star in the Zionist apparat currently dominating Washington could fall to earth, even temporarily. Moreover, the post-restoration ambassador kept such a low profile at October’s Sharm el-Sheikh summit as to be virtually invisible.
Born in London and reared and educated in Australia, Indyk already held high academic and intelligence positions “down under” before moving to Israel. There he is said to have worked for right-wing Likud Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir.
But it was in America’s capital that Indyk—former deputy director of research at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Israel’s Washington, DC lobby, and the first executive director of the AIPAC-spin-off Washington Institute for Near East Policy—leapt to a sudden stardom. In 1993 newly elected President Bill Clinton appointed Indyk chief Middle East adviser on the National Security Council. After having lived in New York and Washington for a decade, Indyk benefitted from a speeded-up process, to acquire U.S. citizenship only 10 days before assuming his new duties.
Following his first ambassadorial assignment to Israel, Indyk returned to Washington in 1995 as head of the Department of State’s Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs. Then, in 1999, he returned to Israel a second time as U.S. ambassador—reportedly at the request of Israel’s new prime minister, Ehud Barak, the successor to Likud Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, with whom Indyk apparently had little affinity.
During his suspension, Indyk was prohibited from reading classified documents and was permitted to enter the State Department only with an escort to assure he abided by his security restrictions.
No evidence was found of espionage or compromise of classified information, assured the Israel-leaning New York Times and Washington Post. Since Jewish American Jonathan Jay Pollard was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1986 for spying for Israel, this disclaimer has become standard, if misleading. But just because unauthorized cameras or eyes perusing classified documents are careful to leave no evidence doesn’t necessarily mean that spying hasn’t taken place.
Indyk’s 1995 declaration that he is a Zionist exemplifies what Georgetown University emeritus professor Hisham Sharabi calls the “verbal paradigm” practiced by Israel and its supporters, obviously including Indyk. The practitioners of this paradigm preserve the premise that “Israeli and U.S. interests coincide” through rigorous mental compartmentalization and a refusal to employ or even listen to words that conflict with their basic theme.
Given that verbal compulsion, it would seem only natural for Indyk to treat the Israeli officers with whom he has dealt over the past five years in both Washington and Tel Aviv as constituting no danger to U.S. interests—and thus to let them see classified U.S. intelligence as a matter of course. That, in fact, is the very basis for Indyk’s recent troubles, according to an article by Israeli military expert Ze’ev Schiff in the Hebrew-language newspaper Ha’aretz.
The trouble with the premise that “Israeli and U.S. interests coincide,” of course, is that it is not true. Israel has its own interests, as does America. Pollard’s espionage resulted in some of our stolen secrets reaching the Soviet Union. Indeed, the holy of holies of all intelligence organizations—sources and methods—were revealed to the Soviet Union by Israel via Pollard.
The intriguing question—assuming Schiff is correct—is why the Indyk case surfaced when it did. Have some U.S. secrets that the always aggressive Israeli intelligence service may have purloined or been given by Indyk come back to haunt or damage the U.S. from a third or fourth party?
If that is the case, and the “Friends of Israel” in the U.S. media cannot keep it quiet, the abiding conflict between U.S. and Israeli interests finally may be revealed. For its own interests, the United States very badly needs that to happen.
To be watched closely.
Andrew I. Killgore, a retired career foreign service officer and former U.S. ambassador to Qatar, is the publisher of the Washington Report.