It's Israel's Turn to Be Ticked at the NSA
Latest Snowden reveal 'not acceptable'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2013 9:46 AM CST
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs a weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem, Dec. 22, 2013.   (AP Photo/Gali Tibbon, Pool)

(Newser) – Slide over Germany, Brazil, and France, there's a new member in the Angry NSA Targets club: Israel. Several Israeli officials have lashed out at the US, report CNN and the AP, following new leaks Friday that the NSA had spied on four Israeli offices—including the prime minister's. "This thing is not legitimate and not acceptable to us," Israel's intelligence minister said, given the "unprecedented" intelligence alliance the US and Israel share. "It's quite embarrassing," agreed the tourism minister, calling for the release of Jonathan Pollard, an American jailed for life for passing information to Israel.

But the Jerusalem Post notes that Benjamin Netanyahu, his predecessors, and the foreign ministry have kept quiet since Friday's report, a "deafening" silence that Yonah Jeremy Bob attributes to that tight intelligence alliance; there have been reports of Israel helping the NSA snoop on others. In other NSA news:

  • Friday's reports also revealed that a host of humanitarian programs, including UNICEF, the UN's development program, and France's Medecins du Monde were targeted.
  • The leaks came, of course, from Edward Snowden's master cache. Snowden spoke up recently to slam the presidential advisory panel calling for reforms to the NSA's program, the Wall Street Journal reports. "Their job wasn't to protect privacy or deter abuses," Snowden said. "It was to ‘restore public confidence.'"
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee has announced a special session to hear testimony from that panel, the Guardian reports, in an attempt by chair Patrick Leahy to bring attention to the issue. "Momentum is building for real reform," Leahy said.