A new book by an Israeli government-financed security agency asserts that the United States has been engaged in human and electronic surveillance of Israel.

The book, titled Masterpiece: An Inside Look at Sixty Years of Israeli Intelligence, asserts that American espionage agencies operate from the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv and target Israelis as well as strategic facilities.

“The United States has been after Israel’s non-conventional capabilities and what goes on at the decision-making echelons,” the book, published by the Israel Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Center and located on the net at www.intelligence.org.il, said.

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The book, containing prefaces written by the heads of Israel’s intelligence community, documents that the United States has focused on the secret the Jewish state’s nuclear program.

In a chapter by retired Israel Security Agency officer Barak Ben-Zur, the book said U.S. intelligence also uses electronic surveillance and other methods to spy on Israeli government meetings.

Mr. Ben Zur was the former head of counterterrorism unit for Israeli military intelligence. He served until recently as the special assistant to the director of the Israeli Security Agency.

This book marks the first time that an official Israeli publication has acknowledged U.S. spy efforts and claims that the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv has a special team to spy on Israel.

Mr. Ben-Zur said the U.S. team has engaged in “methodical intelligence gathering.”

It is not clear as to whether Israeli intelligence would seek to exchange an American intelligence agent in Israel to obtain the release of Jonathan Pollard, an Israeli intelligence agent who has been held in American prisons since 1985.

David Bedein can be reached at dbedein@israelbehindthenews.com.


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David Bedein
David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.