by Richard Silverstein |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As a result, Arad’s U.S. visa was revoked and the Bush administration refused to allow him entry since 2007.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’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.
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.
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.