How the “New York Times” Divulged Vital Israeli Secrets

June 16 2017

Last month, a scandal broke out when it became public knowledge that President Trump shared with the Russian foreign minister highly classified information—provided by Israel—about Islamic State’s plans to get bombs onto airplanes. The president was soon accused of jeopardizing Israeli and American intelligence operations against Islamic State (IS) by providing specifics about intelligence-gathering to an unfriendly nation.

What specifics in particular? Relying on information provided off-the-record by current and former U.S. officials, the New York Times undertook to disclose them. Israel, it reported, had been conducting an extremely sophisticated cyber-intelligence operation against IS that gave it access to detailed information about terror plots.

Now that this information has been published, writes Elliott Abrams, IS will surely be able to identify and guard against the “tool” that Israel is using to spy on its operations. Other countries, too, will likely be able to protect themselves against similar espionage, forcing Jerusalem to cease making use of a piece of software that likely took years to develop and could have otherwise yielded much more vital information.

It’s hard to tell how much damage was done, [by the president’s comments to his Russian guests], because he did not reveal how the information [about IS] was acquired. That task was left to the New York Times and to the American officials who leaked highly classified information to the Times. Those officials committed a crime. . . .

I don’t know whether the president’s disclosure infuriated Israelis, [as the Times reports], but I know that the Times’s unprincipled and irresponsible disclosure damaged not only Israel but our own safety. It helped IS. . . .

The officials who leaked to the Times leaked information of the highest sensitivity and classification, which is why I called it a crime. That leak, and the decision of the Times to print the story, endangers Israeli security and American security. To what end? What is achieved? . . .  [I]t’s just a small part of a campaign against Trump. And it seems advancing that cause, for the leakers and the newspaper, trumps our security and that of an ally.

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Read more at Pressure Points

More about: Cyberwarfare, Donald Trump, Intelligence, ISIS, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security, New York Times

 

The Palestinian Authority Is Part of the Problem, Not the Solution

Jan. 31 2023

On Thursday, Palestinian Authority (PA) officials announced that they had ceased all security cooperation with Israel; the next two days saw two deadly terrorist attacks in Jerusalem. But the PA has in the past made numerous threats that it will sever its ties with the Israeli government, and has so far never made good on them. Efraim Inbar poses a different set of questions: does cooperation with Palestinian leaders who actively encourage—and provide financial incentives for—the murder of Jews really help Israel protect its citizens? And might there be a better alternative?

The PA leader Mahmoud Abbas seems unable to rule effectively, i.e., to maintain a modicum of law and order in the territories under his control. He lost Gaza to Hamas in 2007, and we now see the “Lebanonization” of the PA taking place in the West Bank: the emergence of myriad armed groups, with some displaying only limited loyalty to the PA, and others, especially the Islamists, trying to undermine the current regime.

[The PA’s] education system and media continue propagating tremendous hostility toward Jews while blaming Israel for all Palestinian problems. Security cooperation with Israel primarily concerns apprehending armed activists of the Islamist opposition, as the PA often turns a blind eye to terrorist activities against Israel. In short, Abbas and his coterie are part of the problem, not of the solution. Jerusalem should thus think twice about promoting efforts to preserve PA rule and prevent a descent into chaos while rejecting the reoccupation of the West Bank.

Chaos is indeed not a pleasant prospect. Chaos in the territories poses a security problem to Israel, but one that will be mitigated if the various Palestinian militias vying for influence compete with each other. A succession struggle following the death of Abbas could divert attention from fighting hated Israel and prevent coordination in the low-intensity conflict against it. In addition, anarchy in the territories may give Israel a freer hand in dealing with the terrorists.

Furthermore, chaos might ultimately yield positive results. The collapse of the PA will weaken the Palestinian national movement, which heretofore has been a source of endemic violence and is a recipe for regional instability in the future.

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Read more at JNS

More about: Israeli Security, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror