US refuses to deny spying on Israeli politicians

The United States has refused to deny whether it is spying on Israeli politicians following leaks of secret documents about Washington’s eavesdropping on phone conversations of 35 world leaders.

“I don’t think it’s really appropriate for me in this setting,” to comment on the issue, Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman told Israel’s Channel 10 on Sunday when asked whether the US spied on Israel.

“I think what’s important is what the president of the United States has said, and that is that he is undertaking a review, he wants to make sure that everything we’re doing is appropriate. I’m sure we will be consulting with Israel, a very important intelligence partner of the United States, in how we are going forward,” she added.

The US National Security Agency’s spying scandal shocked the world after a report by British newspaper Guardian, based on documents by American whistleblower Edward Snowden, revealed that the NSA was monitoring the phone calls of the heads of states.

Commenting on the issue, US Secretary of State John Kerry said the surveillance programs have gone “too far” in some cases.

“The president and I have learned of some things that have been happening in many ways on an automatic pilot, because the technology is there and the ability is there,” Kerry said.

“In some cases, some of these actions have reached too far and we are going to try to make sure it doesn’t happen in the future,” he added.

Meanwhile, an Israeli security expert said it is almost a “universal assumption that everyone tries to spy on everyone.”

“Since the US, by virtue of its resources, if nothing else, is the most capable, then it is probably best to assume that it does or has done in the past to Israel what it has apparently done to its other friends and allies,” Mark Heller, with the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, told Fox News.

He also added that getting outraged over spying is laughable, referring to reactions by Germany, France, and Spain among other countries.

“It’s almost a given,” Heller said. “The whole story reminds me of the scene from ‘Casablanca’ when the chief of police is shocked to find out that there is gambling going on in the casino.”

The former chief of Israel’s Mossad spy agency, Danny Yatom, said the United States is absolutely snooping on Israel.

“The Americans rightly see themselves as a superpower, but wrongly feel that they can do whatever they want, including the eavesdropping,” Yatom said. “I can tell you with certain knowledge that [America] has been listening in on its allies, including Israel.”

By Press TV

 

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