Thursday, April 24, 2008

Digging Up the Past - 2

The arrest of Ben-Ami Kadish on charges of spying for Israel from 1979 to 1985 is a matter of the FBI settling old scores. The charges might also diminish Israel credibility in US eyes for several reasons. First, when Pollard was arrested in 1985, Israel claimed Pollard was its only spy in the US. Second, Israel's commitment at that time to no more spying in the US seemingly included no further contact with other spies there -- if such existed. Yet according to the allegation of obstruction of justice included among the charge, an Israel government official recently helped Kadish concoct the story he told FBI investigators Third, Rafi Eitan, who headed the agency that "ran" Pollard and Kadish, happens, for entirely unrelated reasons, to be a minister in PM Olmert's cabinet. That might be too great an irony for American officials at a time they are increasingly aware of the discrepancy between what the Israel government says it is doing to improve conditions for West Bank Palestinians and what the Israel army, housing ministry and other agencies are actually doing.

Of course, one wonders why the FBI saw fit to bring charges against an 84 old, stemming from activities that ended 23 years ago. Israel journalist Yoel Markus believes it both part of a long time FBI campaign against Jews in sensitive US security positions and a move that assures George Bush does not release Pollard next month as a gift to Israel on its 60th anniversary. He does acknowledge, however, that Kadish, who worked for free, even more than Pollard, who was paid, provides evidence for FBI suspicions of American Jews' having dual loyalties. Given the post 9/11 paranoia, Kadish's exposure is likely to discomfort American Jews even more than Pollard's.

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