Israel Spied On US-Iran Talks To Sabotage Them
— Matthew Rose (@MtthwRose) March 24, 2015
The government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly went further than publicly bashing the prospect of a deal with Iran. According to the Wall Street Journal, Israel engaged in espionage against the United States by eavesdropping, obtaining intelligence from confidential briefings, and using informants.
What an ally.
The information acquired was then used by Israel to try and rally support in the US Congress to kill any deal with Iran. The Obama Administration was reportedly most upset by a foreign power using the information gleaned through espionage to manipulate the US political process and sabotage diplomatic efforts by the US government on behalf of the American people:
The spying operation was part of a broader campaign by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to penetrate the negotiations and then help build a case against the emerging terms of the deal, current and former U.S. officials said. In addition to eavesdropping, Israel acquired information from confidential U.S. briefings, informants and diplomatic contacts in Europe, the officials said.
The espionage didn’t upset the White House as much as Israel’s sharing of inside information with U.S. lawmakers and others to drain support from a high-stakes deal intended to limit Iran’s nuclear program, current and former officials said. “It is one thing for the U.S. and Israel to spy on each other. It is another thing for Israel to steal U.S. secrets and play them back to U.S. legislators to undermine U.S. diplomacy,” said a senior U.S. official briefed on the matter.
Combine this belligerent behavior with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s open declaration of being against a two state solution and it seems well past time to let the sanctions fly at the UN – we do not have a partner for peace.
Obviously some of these transgressions were fueled by a desire for Netanyahu to stop a deal before the recent election. But if this behavior is not punished it will continue and become precedent with the US surrendering its sovereign decision making authority. It’s time to reexamine how special the special relationship should be with Israel.