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What’s Really behind the Screaming Headlines about the Arrest of an Octogenarian Spy for Israel?

More likely, Kadish is being used by American officials as a means to loosen
support for Israel as the two countries enter a tenacious period of
negotiations.

What’s Really behind the Screaming Headlines about the Arrest of an
Octogenarian Spy for Israel?
by Lenny Ben David -Wednesday, April 23, 2008 – I*Consult

http://lennybendavid.com/2008/04/whats-really-behind-screaming-headlines.html

American engineer Ben-Ami Kadish was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly
providing to an Israeli “handler” classified data on nuclear weapons, F-15
fighter jets, and the Patriot missile air defense system.

A few important points of perspective are vital: Kadish is 84 years old. The
alleged crime took place some 25-30 years ago (!), between 1979 and 1985.
Today Mr. Kadish lives an open, active life in a New Jersey retirement
village where, according to a community newspaper, he and his wife open
their sukka every year to raise money for local charities and for Magen
David Adom.
According to the New Jersey Jewish News, “Ben-Ami grew up in what was then
Palestine and fought with the Hagana. He also served in both the British and
American military during World War II and is an ex-commander of the Jewish
War Veterans Post 609 in Monroe.”

News accounts suggest that Kadish’s handler was the same man who directed
Jonathan Pollard. Probably to avoid any issue of statute-of-limitations, the
indictment alleges that this Zayde maintained ties to his handler until last
month.

Why now?

Do federal prosecutors really see octogenarian Kadish as a major criminal?
More likely, Kadish is being used by American officials as a means to loosen
support for Israel as the two countries enter a tenacious period of
negotiations. This is a pattern of American pressure that repeats itself.
The tactic is geared to embarrass American supporters of Israel,
particularly Members of Congress, who oppose weapons sales to Israel’s foes,
dangerous concessions to the Palestinians, or the abrogation of previous
commitments to Israel.

During the last 30 years, particularly, in times of tension, American
officials claimed that Israel stole plans for the Sidewinder air-to-air
missiles, diverted nuclear material from a U.S. plant in the 1960s,
illegally obtained krytron triggers for nuclear weapons, pilfered computer
components from Patriot missiles, and used American technology on the Lavie
aircraft that was later transferred to China. The 2005 arrest of two AIPAC
staffers is more of the same, and they were charged under the creaky 1917
Espionage Act statute older than Kadish. For years, unnamed American
spy-hunters have been looking for an accomplice to Jonathan Pollard. Leaks
on these stories almost always took place on the eve of some contretemps
with the U.S. State Department.

Today’s case against 84-year-old Kadish reflects more the impatience of the
U.S. Secretary of State with Israel’s decision to continue building in
Jerusalem and in settlement blocs and to retain security roadblocks. To push
ahead in the illusionary Annapolis process at all costs, the State
Department must de-emphasize President Bush’s letter to Prime Minister
Sharon stating that it is “unrealistic” to seek a “full and complete return
to the armistice lines of 1949.”

With President George Bush on his way to Israel to celebrate Israel’s 60th
anniversary, what better way to deflate the goodwill and cut-down the gifts
the President is supposedly bringing?

Lastly, in the twilight of George Bush’s administration, a presidential
pardon for Jonathan Pollard is again being discussed, at least by Jewish and
Israeli sources. Disclosure of another Pollard-like spy would be an
effective tool to keep Pollard locked up for good.
————-
Bio note: The author, Lenny Ben David is a former diplomat, Washington
consultant to foreign embassies, lobbyist, writer and editor.

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