Yesterday Amir Oren published a piece in Haaretz about the Iran deal and the view of some of Iran analysts working for the Israeli military intelligence. Among other things, in the article he states:
“There are those in the Intelligence Corps, including those in the research division dealing with Iran, who have a very positive view of the nuclear agreement. “
Last night I was interviewed alongside Amir for the i24 news program, where Amir discussed his article in more details. He also mentioned an unprecedented intelligence sharing offer being made by the U.S which would give Israel access to raw intelligence material which no one else except the US would have. Netanyahu has not accepted this offer.
And how some in the military intelligence community are very concerned about the damage being caused to the Israel – US relations.
“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.
This new story reminded me of a quote which I read, by Meir Dagan the former chief of the Mossad.
“What message does it send when our prime minister says that we don’t need information from the talks and that we have our own sources? Is he implying that we are spying on the United States?”
What this statement possibly tells us is that there were already concerns in Israel that Netanyahu’s statements alone, for whatever reason, could make the Americans think that Israel was spying on them.
The fact that this concern was aired in Israel 3 weeks before the Obama administration made the accusations is certainly noteworthy.
These are just assumptions. But what is not an assumption is that every week many of us think Israel – US government relations can’t get any worst, and every week reality proves us wrong.