steve rosen 248.88.
(photo credit: AP)
Charges of espionage against US Defense Department scientist Stewart Nozette reflect "extreme views" against Israel that could harm US-Israel relations, former AIPAC staffer Steve Rosen told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.
Rosen, AIPAC's former foreign policy chief who was accused, with Keith Weissman, of passing along classified information, said it was revealing that Israel was inserted into the narrative of Nozette's entrapment and subsequent arrest. The case against Rosen and Weissman was dismissed last spring.
"One of the things that our case revealed is the very extreme views that are held by some in counterintelligence agencies of the CIA and FBI about Israel," Rosen said. "They believe that the Mossad spied on the US on a huge scale and they believe that the Pollard case was the tip of some sort of iceberg.
"When you keep repeating that the Mossad is spying on America, Israel is harming the United States, of course it harms the alliance between Israel and the US," he continued. "The current case is even more peculiar because the government of Israel did nothing.
"It's revealing that they used Israel for the sting," Rosen added. "They could have used China, or others. But they chose Israel."
Describing an "obsession" with Israel within certain parts of the CIA and FBI, Rosen said if his own case had gone to trial, details reflecting the extreme views of his investigators would have come out. "There was no wrongdoing," he said, reflecting on the case against him and Weissman.
"But we go through this all the time. There is a faction in the counterintelligence bureaucracies that is fomenting these tales," he said. "They are methodically trying to create the impression that Mossad is under every bed."
Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said the Nozette case is part of a "troubling" pattern of targeting Israel and Jews as potential spies against the United States.
"I am not naÃ¯ve enough to believe that there aren't efforts to obtain information in all kinds of ways," Foxman said. But, he asked, "Why is it that we don't hear of any other country, except for Israel? I find that troubling."
The US Defense Department has repeatedly singled out Jewish employees for possible disloyalty, Foxman said. The situation has escalated, with increasing cases of Jews having difficulty obtaining security clearance. If you have relatives in Israel, speak Hebrew, or practice Orthodox Judaism, he said, "changes are, you won't get clearance. That's the mindset out there."
Weissman's attorney in the AIPAC case, Baruch Weiss, said he knew very little about Nozette, only what he read in media reports.
However, "this case certainly raises the legitimate question of whether this was a legitimate sting or whether it was an unfairly selective sting aimed at Jews to test dual loyalty," Weiss said.