Growing reports of disquiet among the US counterintelligence community, bolstered by a high-profile article in Newsweek about the extent of technical and industrial espionage have put a lot of eyes on Israel’s spying activities within the United States.
The Newsweek piece goes into great detail quoting intelligence officials and Congressional staffers on the “alarming” level of Israeli espionage within the United States, saying it was far beyond what any other US ally was believed to be attempting.
Israel has responded with an angry condemnation of Newsweek for the report, and a blanket denial of the story, insisting not only that Israeli spy activities aren’t excessive in the US, but that Israel never conducts espionage of any kind inside the United States.
Blanket denials are a common go-to tactic in defusing controversy, but in an era of global espionage the notion that Israel’s particularly active spying community doesn’t do anything at all in the US isn’t remotely credible, and will likely add fuel to the fire. The decision to accompany it with a condemnation of Newsweek for its “outrageous false allegations” also seems a miscalculation, as Newsweek’s report, while the most recent, is far from the only one in the US media documenting Israeli espionage.