This post originally appeared on Mondoweiss:
At this year’s American-Israel Public Affairs Committee conference, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the crowd:
So from its first day, the Obama Administration has worked to promote Israel’s security and long-term success. And if you ever doubt the resolve of President Obama to stay with a job, look at what we got done for the United States last night when it came to passing quality affordable healthcare for everyone. (Applause.) And we know that, as Vice President Biden said in Israel recently, to make progress in this region, there must be no gap between the United States and Israel on security. (Applause.) And let me assure you, as I have assured you on previous occasions with large groups like this and small intimate settings, for President Obama and for me, and for this entire Administration, our commitment to Israel’s security and Israel’s future is rock solid, unwavering, enduring, and forever. (Applause.)
Our number one ally in the Middle East, though, doesn’t appear to feel the same way about U.S. security.
Pivoting off a blog post in the American Conservative by Philip Giraldi, the Washington Post’s Jeff Stein reports on how Israeli spies have stepped up their activity on U.S. soil as tensions with Iran have escalated by attempting to recruit American Muslims:
The CIA took an internal poll not long ago about friendly foreign intelligence agencies.
The question, mostly directed to employees of the clandestine service branch, was: Which are the best allies among friendly spy services, in terms of liaison with the CIA, and which are the worst? In other words, who acts like, well, friends?
“Israel came in dead last,” a recently retired CIA official told me the other day.
Not only that, he added, throwing up his hands and rising from his chair, “the Israelis are number three, with China number one and Russia number two,” in terms of how aggressive they are in their operations on U.S. soil…
“Oh, sure, they do that,” the other former CIA official said, waving a dismissing hand, when I asked about Giraldi’s story. “They’re all over the place.”
The FBI did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
But a retired senior FBI counterintelligence official told SpyTalk, “They have always been extremely aggressive, and seem to feel they can operate whenever and wherever they want, in spite of being called on the carpet more than any other country by probably a factor of three times as often.”