And you had to know that any news – even if unsubstantiated – about an incoming U.S. presidential administration having ties to a regime like that of Putin’s Russia would have far reaching effects.
In this case, our strongest ally in the Middle East, already reeling from Obama’s last minute betrayal on the floor of the United Nations, have barely been able to collect their thoughts before being confronted with the possibility of an incoming U.S. president, who may, or may not be playing footsie with Russia. The truly troubling point of interest for Israel being Russia’s chummy connection to Iran.
Iran, of course, breathes murder and obliteration at the mere mention of Israel, so they can’t be trusted to be reasonable, should they get their hands on sensitive information regarding Israeli operations.
A new report from Haaretz says that Israeli officials have been cautioned by American intelligence officials about what they share with the incoming administration, given the lingering concerns about his ties to the Kremlin.
While the question of Trump’s involvement with Russia came up during the election season, matters have been further complicated by the recently released reports suggesting the Kremlin may be in possession of blackmail material, and are using it to exert influence over President-elect Trump’s decisions.
The intelligence concerns, which have been discussed in closed forums recently, are based on suspicions of unreported ties between President-elect Donald Trump, or his associates, and the government of Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
As Russian intelligence is associated with intelligence officials in Tehran, highly classified information, such as Israel’s clandestine methods of operation and intelligence sources, could potentially reach Iran. Such information has been shared with the United States in the past.
American intelligence officials expressed despair at the election of Trump during a recent meeting with their Israeli counterparts, Bergman reported. They said that they believed that Putin had “leverages of pressure” over Trump, though they did not elaborate. The American media reported on Wednesday that Russia has embarrassing intelligence about the president-elect.
According to Bergman, the American intelligence officials implied that Israel should “be careful” when transferring intelligence information to the White House and the National Security Council (NSC) following Trump’s inauguration – at least until it is clear that Trump does not have inappropriate connections with Russia.
And that’s fair.
The relationship between Trump and the American intelligence community has been strained, to put it in gentle terms. He has attacked them publicly and openly sought to shake the nation’s confidence in both the work they do, as well as questioning their motivation.
He hasn’t made any real strides to gain their trust or assuage their doubts, regarding his fitness to serve.
Over the past several decades, America and Israel have worked as partners in targeting Iran, according to reports.
In 2008, the cooperation between the intelligence communities of the two nations was highly successful in uncovering and exposing sources and methods of action by Iran, as well as Hamas and Hezbollah.
One highlight of that cooperation was the disruption of the Iranian nuclear program.
President Barack Obama put an end to offensive activity against Iran in 2013, at the start of secret talks between the U.S, and Iran over a nuclear agreement. However, the exposure of Israeli intelligence to the U.S. continued.
For the Israeli government, they are in a precarious position.
No other nation in the world has quite the same level of daily scrutiny. They are surrounded on every side by adversaries, so having friends outside of the Middle East takes on extra significance.
They can’t afford to give away their security secrets, so if this latest news of Trump’s entanglement with Russia holds any truth, it behooves them to approach the incoming administration with extreme caution.