Report: Israel tapped president Clinton's diplomatic calls

British-Israeli political scientist plans to publish claims that Israel has continually spied on US officials; Israeli, US officials decline to comment.

Binyamin Netanyahu, Bill Clinton and Yasser Arafat  370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Binyamin Netanyahu, Bill Clinton and Yasser Arafat 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A British-Israeli political scientist claims to have proof that Israel spied on former US president Bill Clinton's diplomatic phone conversations with Arab leaders, according to a report on Friday by Newsweek.
Political scientist and author, Ahron Bregman told Newsweek magazinethat he had evidence that Israeli intelligence tapped Clinton's diplomatic conversation, most importantly including his conversations with Syria's former president and Bashar Assad's father Hafez Assad.
Bregman plans to make these claims public in his book, Cursed Victory: A History of Israel and the Occupied Territories, due to be published in the UK next week.
In his book, Bregman claims that his accusations of extensive Israeli spying on the former US president are backed by the secret transcripts of the telephone calls, obtained by "private sources."
Aides to former president Clinton did not respond to attempts by Newsweek to contact them. The Israeli embassy in Washington also declined to comment as did a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council.
Newsweek quoted a recently published NSA document stating that Israel's Unit 8200, the Israeli equivalent of the NSA sigint, targets the US to learn its positions on Middle East issue. The report ranked Israel "the third most aggressive intelligence service against the US behind only China and Russia."
If the claims prove substantial, they could imply an Israeli equivalent of the US intelligence whistle blower Edward Snowden. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, however, recently stated in interview with Bloomberg's Jeffrey Goldberg that “Israeli intelligence has not conducted any espionage operations in the United States.”