Israel has become increasingly dismayed over U.S. intelligence assessments on the Middle East.
Israel’s government and intelligence community have determined huge gaps between U.S. assessments and developments in the Middle East. They said Israel’s government and intelligence community were under constant pressure by the administration of President Barack Obama to fall in line with U.S. assessments.
“The U.S. pressure has been intense and meant to promote the U.S. agenda on such issues as Syria and the Palestinians,” an official said.
On June 16, Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni disclosed major gaps in U.S. intelligence assessments. In an interview on Israel Army radio, Ms. Livni, deemed the most pro-American member in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, cited the failure of U.S. intelligence to determine the support of the Hamas movement in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which won a landslide elections in 2006.
“The Americans told us that Hamas would get a maximum of 20 percent,” Ms. Livni said.
Officials said the U.S. intelligence community misread the civil war in Syria. They said the CIA insisted throughout 2013 that Sunni rebels would oust President Bashar Assad, whose regime rolled back their gains over the last three months.
“This has led to major tension between the two communities, as Israeli agency chiefs were pushed to agree with the clearly-flawed U.S. assessments,” the official said.
The disagreement between the two intelligence communities was expected to intensify over the next few months. Officials said the U.S. intelligence community was relaying assessments that Iran, which completed presidential elections, was prepared to resolve the uranium enrichment crisis.
“You can expect statements by senior [U.S.] officials that Iran’s new president would lead some moderation drive,” another official said.
On July 14, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon dismissed the prospect that Iran’s presidential-elect, Hassan Rowhani, would change Teheran’s nuclear or other policy. In meetings with administration officials, Ya’alon said international sanctions have not blocked Iran’s drive toward nuclear weapons.
“We are very worried by the advances in the Iranian nuclear project, and worried by what we don’t know,” Ya’alon said.