UK Spied on Israeli Diplomats? Really Snowden? Tell Us Something We Didn’t Know!
Christof Lehmann (nsnbc) : Another wave of sensationalized Snowden Leaks reportedly reveals that British intelligence spied on Israeli diplomats and military officials in 2008 and 2009. So what’s new? Nothing! Anybody who believes “allies” aren’t spying on each other or that State media and embassies don’t house intelligence operatives better wake up and smell the coffee.
The new “leak” was, in “best Snowden practice” responsibly leaked to “select media” after documents, as Snowden previously explained, were carefully vetted so as not to harm the security of the United States. In this case, the reports came from the French Le Monde and Israel’s Haaretz.
One of the files from 2009 allegedly noted that “Britain’s GCHQ intelligence-gathering apparatus defined Israel as ‘a true threat’ to the Middle East. … The Israelis constitute a true threat to regional security, notably because of the country’s position on the Iran issue”.
The GCHQ gathered data on the “second-highest ranking official in the Israeli foreign ministry”. Neither Le Monde nor Haaretz identified these persons by name. Also reported was that the UK also gathered surveillance data on the Palestinian Authority. The GCHQ reportedly tapped the phone of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in December 2008, weeks before Israel launched an offensive the following month.
During those two years, the UK reportedly spied on the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Secretary General and several Palestinian diplomatic delegations, including former Palestinian prime minister Ahmed Qurei and Israeli-Palestinian parliamentarian Dr Ahmad Tibi.
The two newspapers also reported that the documents show that the GCHQ also monitored emails between Israel’s ambassadors to Kenya and Nigeria and the private Israel defense company Ophir Optronics.
So what’s new? Nothing!
Spying on diplomats, military personnel, politicians and other “persons of interest” from other countries, including so-called “allied countries” is one of the primary functions of every country’s foreign intelligence service. Everybody is doing it – sometimes it causes some “embarrassment”, but anybody who believes that it is an “extraordinary scandal” better wake up and smell the coffee.
From a journalistic perspective it would be far more interesting and pertinent to report on the fact that every major State media has intelligence assets embedded within its core of foreign correspondents. Another no-news would be to report that every single embassy has intelligence staff and assets embedded.
Open source intelligence can be more revealing than the sensationalized “leaks” to selected media after being “carefully vetted”. Here’s a goodie that should be interesting for citizens of both the UK and Israel.
In 2013 the former French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas admits, the war on Syria was planned two years before “The Arab Spring”. Dumas states in a TV interview, that “top British officials” confessed that they were preparing a war on Syria and asked “If I wanted to participate”. The former French Minister of Foreign Affairs appeared in a TV interview with the French TV Channel LPC, saying:
“I am going to tell you something. I was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business. I met with top British officials, who confessed to me, that they were preparing something in Syria. … This was in Britain not in America. Britain was organizing an invasion of rebels into Syria. They even asked me, although I was no longer Minister of Foreign Affairs, if I would like to participate. Naturally, I refused, I said I am French, that does not interest me. … This operation goes way back. It was prepared, preconceived and planned… in the region it is important to know that this Syrian regime has a very anti-Israeli stance. .. Consequently, everything that moves in the region…- and I have this from a former Israeli Prime Minister who told me ´we will try to get on with our neighbors but those who don´t agree with us will be destroyed. It is a type of politics, a view of history, why not after all. But one should know about it”.
Rest assured that the GCHQ also is aware of this statement by the senior French statesman. Le Monde or Haaretz didn’t make a “big deal” of that statement and producers and editors at the BBC would probably eat their shoes before they made it available to the public. So, do we need Snowjobs? If they result in the release something that’s really new? Yes! Until such time, the public has a greater benefit from statesmen like Dumas who show some courage and integrity – after they have retired of course. nsnbc wouldn’t mind if Roland Dumas “leaked” the names of the top-British officials to nsnbc. We can be contacted at +4571486488 or SkypeID: nsnbc.international.
CH/L – nsnbc 09.12.2016