Uzi Arad is Bibi Netanyahu’s national security advisor. He is also an Israeli spy. He officially worked for the Mossad for 23 years achieving senior status. But his real claim to fame as far as Israel-U.S. relations is his intimate involvement, along with Naor Gilon, in the Rosen-Weissman spy scandal:
U.S. officials believe Franklin met with Arad during his frequent trips to Israel.
In the original indictment which was later annulled, Franklin is said to have met with Arad in the cafeteria of the Pentagon in February 2004. Franklin is also believed to have met with an Israeli diplomat serving in the Washington embassy who suggested that he meet with Arad.
During Arad’s last visit to the United States, FBI agents sought to question him. Arad, who was on his way to the airport to catch a return flight to Israel, suggested the investigators accompany him on the flight and question him on board the airplane. The agents agreed and conducted the questioning in flight.
As a result, Arad’s U.S. visa was revoked and the Bush administration refused to allow him entry since 2007. That was before Bibi promoted him, before Barack Obama became president, and before the administration dropped the Aipac Two spy case. Even though visa decisions are not subject to legal challenge or standards, I’m guessing Obama figured that with no case against Rosen and Weissman, it’s decision to label Arad persona non grata was moot.
Haaretz reports that Arad’s visa has been restored and that he plans to meet with his U.S. counterpart, James Jones, in Washington to lay the groundwork for Bibi’s first meeting as prime minister with Obama in June.
What is curious is that no one has written about the restoration of Arad’s visa. Interestingly, Haaretz and Eli Lake wrote about this subject when Arad was first appointed to his post and noted how problematic his lack of ability to travel to the U.S. would be. But not a word since.
I’m guessing that the Obama folks told the Israelis that they wanted total silence on this subject. But that doesn’t bind me thank God. And I think it stinks.
If Jones had to meet with Arad, he could’ve met him in any number of foreign capitals to plan the Bibi-Obama meeting. I see no good reason why the U.S. should’ve given Arad, Bibi and the Israelis such a present. And in fact, what message does it send? That if you’re a Mossad agent and succeed in stealing secrets from our government you’ll face some slight inconveniences for a time, but that all will be forgiven; and in fact you’re likely to be promoted by your Israeli comrades and you’ll be back meeting the creme de la creme of the U.S. intelligence and political elite in no time.
And this is the type of bellicose message you’ll be conveying:
As for what Israel should do about Iran, Arad argued for “maximum deterrence” during a 2006 panel discussion in Tel Aviv, according to a dispatch from UPI’s Joshua Brilliant.
Israel should threaten to strike “everything and anything of value,” Arad said, including its leadership and “holiest sites.” “Everything together? Yes, Arad recommended,” according to UPI.
Israel’s national security advisor, besides being a spook, is a Holy Warrior arguing for a new Middle East Aramgeddon. This is the guy who’s going to be meeting with James Jones and preparing for Bibi’s first meeting with the U.S. president.
The only way I can explain this decision, which by the way can only be made by the attorney general or president himself, is that Obama has told himself that the only thing that matters is the big stuff: bringing peace between Israel and the front-line Arab states. He may figure that he can sweat the small stuff and give the Israelis a bone or two here or there like Rosen or Arad, as long as he captures the olive branch at the right moment.
But that requires absolute confidence, clear vision, and end game strategy on Obama’s part for getting to peace. It requires the support of the American people and it requires an Israeli government who will either agree or acquiesce when the proper time comes. How can he be sure that all these stars will align for him?
If he fails then he not only will he not have brought peace, which will likely plunge the region into even deeper bouts of bloodshed, he will have emboldened the spooks like Rosen, Arad and Gilon to continue their dirty work at the American people’s expense.
RE: “If he fails then… he will have emboldened the spooks like Rosen, Arad and Gilon to continue their dirty work at the American people’s expense.”
MY COMMENT: In that event he can implement remedial measures. There are probably dozens of Israeli spies in the U.S. under surveillance at any given time.
PS. Not to mention that Israelis here in the U.S. are thought to be responsible for selling approximately 70% of the MDMA (ecstasy) illicitly purchased by Americans.
USDOJ, none the less: “Russian and Israeli criminal groups are involved in transporting this drug. ” http://www.usdoj.gov/ndic/pubs/653/odd.htm
Plot elements… noting that criminal enterprise is not exclusive to Russia and Israel.
Still: drug-running … sounds a familiar and troublesome note, given the militarization of the Israeli society. Bet that represents a Mafia-type organization one wouldn’t want mad at one.
Drug dealing is rather like the broken windows thought to symbolize a greater potential for criminality within a neighborhood.
john f says
Great article. God bless your efforts to shame the Obama administration into helping Israel rid itself of the settlements and to marginalize those who would risk anything (Such as Arad, who would unflinchingly cause untold death and destruction in Iran and economic devastation to the US) to safeguard them.
I’ve been reading your blog daily ever since the Chas Freeman heartbreak, Richard, and this strikes me as the first post you’ve made regarding Obama-Israeli foreign policy moves that has had a truly pessimistic tone. I’ve followed the Uzi Arad-visa drama as diligently as possible, and this comes as a disappointment to me as well. Indeed, the last few days have been particularly sobering for those in our camp, with the rescinding of the Rosen-Weissman indictments, however inevitable that outcome may have been. However, it’s important to put it all in the broadest of perspectives: this truly is the greatest U.S. climate we’ve seen for Israeli-Palestinian peace — you know even better than I just how earth-shaking Obama’s shunning of the Netanyahu camp is, and as a grassroots pro-Palestine activist working in a major urban area and on college campuses, I can say with reasonable authority that this period is the ripest for Palestinian sympathy among the populace.
That’s cheering. I’ve been feeling pessimistic myself. It is still just May; four months into the administration. One continues to have hope.
Thanks for this- I have been looking everywhere to try to see if Uzi Arad’s Visa was restored- regardless of recent events in the AIPAC spy case, I had a nauseating feeling Arad’s Visa would be restored and I think it’s up to the blogosphere to get this info. out because it is controversial. Arad wasn’t hanging out in the CIA cafeteria just to catch up with old friends and Netanyahu’s selection of Arad for his top security post is, quite frankly, a slap in the face to the US and Obama in particular as was Arad’s arrogant bragging in March that he had full faith that his Visa would be restored. Based on that alone it should have been rejected. But then Bibi went one step further when Clinton was in Israel meeting with him- Hillary was reportedly disgruntled when Bibi let Arad stay in their confidential meetings despite the obvious conflict of interest given his role in the AIPAC case.
Apparently, passing info to a foreign country is ok if that foreign country is represented by one of the most powerful, monied lobbies in Washington.