August 5, 2014

Via Al Jazeera America: Israel 'spied' on Kerry during peace talks, Der Spiegel reports:

Israeli intelligence spied on United States Secretary of State John Kerry during the latest failed round of Middle East peace talks, the German newspaper Der Spiegel reported Sunday, threatening to worsen already tense relations between the two countries.

“During the peak stage of peace talks last year, Kerry spoke regularly with high-ranking negotiating partners,” Spiegel said. “Some of these calls were not made on encrypted equipment, but instead on normal telephones, with the conversations transmitted by satellite. Israeli intelligence agencies intercepted some of those calls.”

Israel’s government then used information obtained from the calls during peace negotiations, Der Spiegel said, relying on several anonymous intelligence sources for its investigation.

The allegations could exacerbate already tense relations between Washington and Tel Aviv.

I'm not surprised by the spying given our track record and the fact that this is going on everywhere now. This on the other hand makes me ask why we call Israel an "ally." With "friends" like these, who needs enemies?

Tensions apparently boiled over between Israel and the U.S. when the White House did not directly blame Hamas for the disappearance of an Israeli soldier on Friday after a failed attempt at a 72-hour cease-fire.

In Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reportedly angry Saturday call to U.S. ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, the prime minister demanded that Washington defer to his judgment on how best to deal with Hamas, sources familiar with the call said.

Netanyahu allegedly told Shapiro and the White House “not to ever second guess me again” after the U.S. insisted that Israel agree to a truce with Hamas.


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