Alleged spy's family here 'shocked' by the news

Relatives say they only learned about the allegations against the 85-year-old American from media reports.

Kadish court 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
Kadish court 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Ben-Ami Kadish's family in Israel say they only learned from media reports about the allegations against the 85-year-old American suspected of spying for Israel. "We're shocked. We didn't know anything about it," Ehud Kadish, Ben-Ami's brother from Moshav Neve Yarak, near Hod Hasharon, told Yediot Aharonot. On Wednesday, Ehud and his wife Ronnie said they knew no more than the media did, and refused to be interviewed. Ehud and Ronnie are veteran residents of Neveh Yarak. Their son, Dr. David Kadish, who also lives on the moshav and is a well-known educator who does volunteer work with community youth, refused to speak as well. The couple has one more son who served as a regiment commander in the IDF. Another son was killed in a car accident more than a decade ago. "The Kadish family is a distinguished family in Neve Yarak. Throughout the years, they have done so many things for the community they live in. It's a big surprise for all the residents here," one moshav resident told The Jerusalem Post. "However, it seems weird that this affair is being published more than 20 years later and so close to the Israeli discussions about the need to demand the release of [Israeli spy] Jonathan Pollard." According to a short interview the family gave to Yediot on Tuesday, Ben-Ami last visited Israel more than three years ago. The two families kept in touch via phone calls and e-mails from Ronnie. "I'm worried about his health. He's an old man. He hasn't been answering my phone calls for several days now. I heard about it on the news, and ever since then, the phone hasn't stopped ringing," Ronnie told the paper. She added that she was trying to locate her brother-in-law's children, two of whom live in California. The third severed ties with his family several years ago. Ehud added that he had no idea how his own name had been tied to this affair. "This is silly what they say, that we worked on the same things at the time," he said. "I worked for the aerospace industry, and he worked on completely different things."