Netanyahu says US spying on Israel ‘unacceptable,’ calls for ‘clarifications’

(JPost) – Speaking at the weekly Likud faction meeting, Netanyahu said that he had asked the US for “clarifications” on the matter. “In the close relationship between Israel and the United States, there are things which are forbidden to do, that are unacceptable to us,” the prime minister said.

Netanyahu again brought up Pollard in relation to the NSA spying allegations, telling his faction that he met with the Israeli agent’s wife, Esther.

“I met now with Esther Pollard and updated her on the nonstop efforts to win Jonathan’s release. He should have been released long ago. I think this is understood by everyone here and I believe it is also understood to an increasingly larger crowd in the United States,” Netanyahu said.

According to the [New York Times] report, in January 2009 spies monitored the email traffic of Olmert in the waning days of his tenure. The next month, Ehud Barak’s email traffic was intercepted.

PM: US spying on Israel unacceptable

(Ynet News) – A statement issued by Olmert’s office, said the reports, if accurate, referred to a public email address and that chances that any security or intelligence damage had been caused were minuscule.

FBI Investigates MILCO Nuclear Trigger Smuggling to Israel

WASHINGTON DC (Salem-News) Sept. 11, 2012 — California-based MILCO International Inc. shipped 15 orders totaling 800 krytrons to the Israeli Ministry of Defense between 1979 and 1983. Israeli movie producer Arnon Milchan’s Heli Trading Company brokered the transactions. A krytron is a gas-filled tube used as a high speed switch. Export from the US requires a US State Department munitions license because krytrons can be used as triggers for nuclear weapons. The US rejected several requests for krytron export licenses to Israel. MILCO obtained the krytrons from EG&G Inc.

Continued below the fold …

A US Attorney tried to get MILCO President Richard Kelly Smyth to implicate Milchan in the illegal krytron export during plea bargaining. The negotiation failed, and in May, 1984, Smyth was indicted on 30 counts of smuggling and making false statements. Smyth and his wife fled the US and remained at large until captured in Malaga, Spain in July of 2001 after he applied for Social Security benefits. Smyth pled guilty to violating the US Arms Export Control Act. In November, Smyth was sentenced to 40 years in prison and a $20,000 fine, though he was free within four years [due to old age]. In 1985 a Federal Grand Jury was convened in Los Angeles to investigate potential Atomic Energy Act and Arms Export Control Act violations, but no charges were ever filed against Milchan or those who helped Smyth flee the US and covered his expenses abroad.

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Shimon Peres introduced Milchan to Benjamin Blumberg, nicknamed
Israel's "prince of silence," the head of LAKAM

A 2011 biography called “Confidential: The Life of Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon Arnon Milchan” claims Milchan was recruited into Israel’s LAKAM economic espionage unit in his 20’s and became a key operative for Benjamin Blumberg (head of LAKAM), and Rafi Eitan (who ran Jonathan Pollard and infiltrated NUMEC).  Milchan is the confidant of Shimon Peres and Benjamin Netanyahu. According to the book, Blumberg taught Milchan how to establish front companies and secret bank accounts to launder millions in commissions obtained during LAKAM and Mossad transactions.

When interviewed for this book, he insisted he never profited from the arms deals, but merely took part in them as a service to his country–something confirmed by Shimon Peres.

    “I am restrained from recommending any single individual for our highest defense-related honor, but undoubtedly Milchan is worthy of such an acknowledgement.”

The spy turned big-shot Hollywood producer- read the translated interview with Arnon Milchan!

(Jewish Journal) – What you are about to read sounds like a big Hollywood production, but it is the true story of the former life of the very successful film producer, Arnon Milchan, as an Israeli spy…

“Do you know what it’s like to be a 20-something kid whose country let him be James Bond? That’s action, it’s exciting!” he says to Dayan, as she begins to unveil his story. She then begins tracing Milchan’s career from the late ’60s and early ’70s, when he was a young businessman in the United States. Around that time, he met with Shimon Peres (now the President of Israel) and the two became close. As Peres was in the midst of creating the nuclear reactor in Israel, Milchan assisted with the efforts to acquire equipment and knowledge for Israel’s nuclear project through the secretive agency Lakam, Israel’s Bureau of Scientific Relations.

Transcript of interview …