- 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.