Israel Seeks to Contain Fallout from Trump Intel Sharing

W460

Israel sought Wednesday to contain the fallout from Donald Trump's sharing of its intelligence with Russia after the move cast a further shadow over the U.S. president's visit to the country next week.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Trump spoke by phone on Tuesday afternoon, a spokesman for the premier's office said, while stressing that they only discussed next week's trip during the 20-minute conversation.

But as the news emerged that Israel was the initial source of the intelligence provided to Russia, other Israeli officials spoke of their commitment to continuing security cooperation between their country and Washington.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said security ties would continue to be "unprecedented" in scope.

But he made no mention of Trump divulging intelligence to Russia that a U.S. administration official said had originally come from Israel.

"The security relationship between Israel & our greatest ally the United States, is deep, significant & unprecedented in volume," Lieberman wrote on his Twitter account.

The relationship "is unprecedented in its contribution to our strength. This is how it has been & how it will continue to be," he added.

Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz said he had "complete confidence in the American intelligence community.

"Intelligence cooperation between Israel and the United States regarding the threats posed by Iran and its proxies and ISIS (the Islamic State jihadist group) and its affiliates will continue and deepen."

Netanyahu's office had not responded to requests for comment on the intelligence sharing.

The U.S. president is scheduled to visit Israel next week -- a trip that White House officials indicated would still go ahead.

- 'Chilling effect' -

The United States is Israel's most important ally, providing it with more than $3 billion in defense aid each year.

"Israel has full confidence in our intelligence-sharing relationship with the United States and looks forward to deepening that relationship in the years ahead under President Trump," said Israel's ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer.

The story grabbed the front pages of every major Israeli newspaper, with the exception of the pro-Netanyahu freesheet Israel Hayom.

The Washington Post reported late Monday that Trump revealed what it said was highly classified information on the Islamic State group during a meeting last week with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Moscow's Washington ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

It said that Trump told Lavrov about a specific Islamic State group bomb threat.

A U.S. administration official confirmed to AFP on condition of anonymity that the original intelligence came from Israel, which was initially reported by the New York Times.

Trump took to Twitter to insist he had the "absolute right" to share "facts pertaining... to terrorism and airline flight safety" with Russia.

But the intelligence scandal could corrode trust among allies who shared classified information with the United States on the understanding that it will go no further.

"There's no question that the Israeli confidence has been shaken that some of the most sensitive information they share with us will be properly safeguarded," Dan Shapiro, U.S. ambassador to Israel under Barack Obama and now a senior fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies think tank in Tel Aviv, told AFP.

"The relationship's too important to both sides for that sharing to end, but I expect it to have a chilling effect in the short-term on what the Israelis will share until their confidence has been restored that it will be properly safeguarded."

- Jerusalem controversy -

Israel's top-selling newspaper Yediot Aharonot reported in January that Israeli intelligence officials had been told in a meeting with U.S. colleagues that "Israeli intelligence information, methods of operation and sources" could leak from a Trump administration seen as having close ties to the Kremlin.

The paper said the fears were compounded by Russia's links with Israel's arch-foe Iran.

"The Israelis who attended the meeting said that the Americans advised them not to expose any sensitive sources to members of the Trump administration, lest that information reach Iranian hands, until it becomes clear that Trump does not have a compromised relationship with Russia," the paper reported at the time.

Controversy also erupted over U.S. policy toward Israel earlier in the week over the White House's approach to the ultra-sensitive status of Jerusalem.

Debate over whether the United States should move its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem again flared, while a separate row over whether the city's Western Wall -- the holiest site where Jews can pray -- belongs to Israel also caused waves.

Both issues provoked criticism of Trump's White House in Israel as preparations intensified for his visit to the country and the Palestinian territories on May 22 and 23.

Comments 23
Thumb gigahabib 17 May 2017, 11:52

""This relationship w/ the US is unprecedented in its contribution to our strength."

Lol, the US has backed Israel since its creation, how could it be "precedented" if the country didn't exist before?

Thumb galaxy 17 May 2017, 12:47

do you ever make a comment that makes sense or you like to look and sound smart but always fail?

What is your contribution to the article ya heretic? Zero Nothing!

Unprecedented in the history of the US-Israeli relationship, got it now ya smart aleck?

Thumb Mystic 17 May 2017, 16:46

The funniest moments, is when the so called "Arab Sunni" are so fast to speak in defence of Israel, but never in defence of the Sunni Palestinians.

That is the Saudi way, be an American lapdog.

Thumb Mystic 17 May 2017, 18:12

You are the ones that started the mess in Syria.
Pouring money into ISIS and Nusra, now that you get your American made weapons crushed into junk in Yemen you whine.

Well it's a good thing that you bleed too.
Saudis thought they were untouchable behind their walls of dollars.

Thumb Mystic 17 May 2017, 19:38

You can always try, they are all welcome in Iran to be hanged.

Thumb Mystic 17 May 2017, 19:39

You never responded to this ya saudi.

I've heard that in Switzerland talks between Kuwait and Iraq, the Kuwaiti Emir and Saddam had a conversation about the Kuwait lowering their oil prices, right after Iraq suffered economical troubles after their war with Iran.

Saddam said to the Kuwaiti Emir, "Remember you are an Arab, not a Bush's texas cowboy"

That was Saddams own words.
You claim to be anti Iran and anti persian etc.
Yet you backstabbed the only man that ever faced Iran in real warfare.

Nothing is honorable about you Saudis and Gulf people, you are neither loyal to the Sunni sect or Arabhood.

Only to the U.S.A you bow in the dust.

Thumb gigahabib 18 May 2017, 11:53

Lol, Galaxy is acting like the official Israeli spokesperson, he even elaborates in Zionist thinking.

Thumb Southern...... 17 May 2017, 13:43

the so-called United Sates which commits atrocities by invading and provoking other countries along with an apartheid "state" called Israel which was created as an occupation force in Palestine.. both states are world's problem, without them, the humanity would be living in peace and prosperity..

btw, their partners, cannibal terrorists of Daesh who were created by those 2 countries along with the wahhabi state, are the new threat to eliminate.

Thumb eagledawn 17 May 2017, 14:24

i bet you if you can extend your vocabularies beyond "apartheid", "wahhabi", "Daesh", "warmonger", "cannibal".... because it's boring, irrelevant.

Pity of You!

Missing phillipo 17 May 2017, 15:52

Let us leave the US and Israel out of this for the moment.
Then what do we have, ISIS against Iraq and Syria, Saudi Arabia against the Huthi rebels in Yemen, Sudan murdering thousands in Darfur, Morocco against Polisario, Afghanisatan and Pakistan against Taliban, the waring parties in Libya, amongst others.
So who needs problems with the Christians and Jews?

Thumb Southern...... 17 May 2017, 16:12

"Let us leave the US and Israel out of this for the moment.:

no, we can't leave them out of this, because the apartheid state of Israel, has problems with almost all world countries except Usa, something wrong with both.

Thumb Southern...... 17 May 2017, 16:39

@texas

no, nothing to do.. even your're not convinced, becasue you know well that all middle east problem is caused by the occupation of Palestine and the Usa intervention in arabic countries started by the invasion of Iraq, later in Lybia and now in Syria... stick that in your forehead and forget about the Iranian revoloution took palce > 35 years ago.

Thumb Southern...... 17 May 2017, 16:43

*... revoloution which took place

Thumb Mystic 17 May 2017, 16:48

phillipo I assume you are a zionist, but can you confirm that you feel safe with the Saudi Alliance?

And the fact that ISIS and Al Qaeda never attacks Israel?
Or the fact that most Sunni nations do nothing against Israel, but they do what you tell them to do.

Thumb Mystic 17 May 2017, 18:10

What about Sunni Saddam Hussein? What was your excuse to help the Americans remove him?

You are sunnis and he was a sunni.
Why backstab your own?

Thumb Mystic 17 May 2017, 18:20

Then why did the Saudis and Kuwaitis allow USA to use their airbases to bomb Baghdad?
Iran didn't do that.

Why did Saddam in retaliation shoot rockets into Saudi Arabia?¨
You still think he saw you as allies then?

Thumb Mystic 17 May 2017, 18:21

Even though Saddam used Chemical weapons on the Iranian Army and towns, Iran didn't help the U.S.

Because yes Saddam killed alot of Shia and kurds and he was an enemy, but America is worse and always will be.

Thumb Mystic 17 May 2017, 18:38

Yes texas, now you contradict yourself.
Because now you for once stated the truth.

You betrayed a strong Sunni leader, because you would rather be American lapdogs than supporting Arab brotherhood.

So why should any Arab honor you Saudis and your so called Arabism? It is a lie, and if you were real Arabs you would never have helped the U.S attack Saddam, you betrayed your own people, not just Palestine but Saddam too.

Thumb Mystic 17 May 2017, 18:44

I've heard that in Switzerland talks between Kuwait and Iraq, the Kuwaiti Emir and Saddam had a conversation about the Kuwait lowering their oil prices, right after Iraq suffered economical troubles after their war with Iran.

Saddam said to the Kuwaiti Emir, "Remember you are an Arab, not a Bush's texas cowboy"

That was Saddams own words.
You claim to be anti Iran and anti persian etc.
Yet you backstabbed the only man that ever faced Iran in real warfare.

Nothing is honorable about you Saudis and Gulf people, you are neither loyal to the Sunni sect or Arabhood.

Only to the U.S.A you bow in the dust.

Thumb s.o.s 17 May 2017, 17:36

Another proof that Russia shares every Intel with Israel, if anyone still had doubts that Bashar and Khamenei's boss are in bed together.

Thumb marcus 17 May 2017, 18:35

'Seeing that their country was exhausted and isolated, Iranian officials urged Khomeini to accept a ceasefire.

When he finally did so, in July 1988, he likened it to drinking a cup of poison.'

read ya heretic read!
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4260420.stm

Thumb s.o.s 17 May 2017, 23:58

The illiterate and illegitimate can't read.

Thumb Elemental 18 May 2017, 02:00

Israel and Iran - 2 of the biggest lying nations on the planet.