The Strange Case of the Alleged Israeli Spy

Debbie Schlussel - - April 22, 2008

I begin this by saying I am absolutely against spying on America. It's against the law and a betrayal. We are supposed to be loyal American citizens and support our country. We do not spy on it for third parties.

But America, sadly, has a very spotty--and biased--record with regard to whom we prosecute for spying and how tough a sentence we seek in relation to the damage to America's national security.

Jonathan Pollard--a man in very poor health--has been in prison for over two decades for spying for an ally, Israel. Much of the information he gave Israel was info America pledged to give Israel per treaties both countries signed, but which America didn't give. He also was accused at trial of disclosing information to the then-Soviet Union, which we now know was the work of Aldrich Ames. Pollard was sentenced to

life in prison


Contrast that with Chinese and Muslim spies--including the glaring case of Hezbollah spy Nada Nadim Al-Aouar Deladurantaye Valley Prouty. They spied for America's enemies and, despite the irreparable national security havoc they wreaked, they received light sentences.

Prouty (who was technically not Muslim, but spied for them) will do less than six months in jail, if that, despite giving sensitive info to terrorist groups. Another man, a U.S. citizen with several aliases including Noureddine Malki and Almaliki Nour, served as a translator for our troops in Iraq and tipped off Al-Qaeda insurgents to our troop movements. This resulted in many IED explosion murders of our troops. The man was to be sentenced recently, and prosecutors were only seeking ten years in prison for him.

Now comes the case of Ben-Ami Kadish. Today, this 84-year-old man was indicted and arrested for allegedly spying for Israel . . . over 20 years ago, in 1985. Apparently, he had the same Israeli handler as Pollard, Yosef Yagur.

Kadish, it is claimed, shared nuclear secrets with Israel. (That's strange, since by that time, Israel already had fully developed nuclear weapons.) Also alleged is that he shared info on F-15 fighter jets (which Israel has long since had) and the Patriot Missile (which America gave to Israel during the first Gulf War). In related news, Kadish has also been charged with industrial espionage for sharing Atari and BetaMax technology with Israel in the late '70s/early '80s.

There's the obvious question: Why now? If authorities really believed Kadish was a spy for Israel, why didn't America indict him then--when they went after Jonathan Pollard?

The conventional story is that America always believed there was a second Israeli mole, other than Pollard, and that the key to finding out his/her identity was the handler, Yagur. But Yagur left for Israel when Pollard was caught. If he was going to talk--which he wasn't--he'd have talked then. I find it hard to believe that he, suddenly, went to American authorities and spilled "the goods" on Kadish.

And that's not the case. The indictment details recent surveillance on Kadish and Yagur. So, it's quite obvious the government knew about Kadish for years and has been watching him . . . and doing nothing until now, more than two decades later.

Frankly, I find the case very odd and absurd. If you knew a man spied in 1985, why are you suddenly indicting him now, when he's barely alive?

I'll tell you why.

We are, thankfully, in the last throes of the Bush Administration. After 6.5 years of failing to be the counter-terrorism President and--instead--wasting it on pressuring Israel, Bush and Condi Clueless want to give it one last, brute-force, old school try.

Making Israel look bad--and like it's just another "enemy" that spies on America--is a brilliant PR move. It's a great way to pressure Israel into giving up the store to the Islamic world's favorite football, the Palestinians.

Using a doddering, ailing 84-year-old widower--not so brilliant. Just a shame.

If Ben-Ami Kadish was truly a spy against America--and perhaps he was, he should have been prosecuted . . . in 1985.

Now, it's just ridiculous and reminds me of the FBI digging up a farm to find Jimmy Hoffa (when the oldest available suspect was 93). I can't wait to see the forthcoming excuses about why they waited 23 years.

The government has been pursuing a trumped-up "espionage" case against two pro-Israel lobbyists who worked for the AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), for several years now. The case--which has dragged on and on--even has the judge publicly doubting the case.

My view is that, since that case failed to adequately demonize Israel into capitulation, this is the next best thing that's been waiting in the hopper.

And I believe it will go nowhere.

Much worse, the PR campaign for the "Get Israel" crowd is failing in this case on the first day. Carl in Jerusalem has a video report on the indictment. Where's the video of this frail old man being arrested? That is must-see viewing and surely tells all about the validity of bringing this case, so many years later.

It's embarrassing. Which is probably the word that encapsulates this entire non-sensical case.

If he is found guilty, I wonder if he will get the six-months-or-less sentence that Hezbollah spy Prouty will get.

And I'd love to see how much money and resources are being spent on this versus current cases of Muslim spying. We are in the fight of our lives against Islam, and instead, we are using our energies to fight an ally who did something wrong 23 years ago.

What a waste of firepower.


FYI, in case you were wondering about the photo above, Kadish fought for the U.S. and Britain in World War II and that pic is from the Jewish War Veterans, his local post of which, he was the commander. He also fought with the Haganah to help in Israel's founding.