It is very likely that American spy agencies are listening in on Israeli leaders’ phone calls, as they are accused of having done in Germany and dozens of other countries, former Mossad head Danny Yatom told Maariv/nrg.
“It could very well be that it happened here, too, because when the Americans think they need to listen in on someone, that’s what they do,” he stated.
The White House is probably particularly interested in hearing what Israeli leaders say about regional issues that America is involved in, such as Israel’s talks with the Palestinian Authority, or the deal that Western powers are likely to reach with Iran’s leaders over the Iranian nuclear program, he said.
United States President Barack Obama and his staff want to know what Israeli leaders really think “so that they can counter the arguments Israel brings up regarding these topics,” he explained.
America has been listening in on the leaders of friendly states for years, he noted, and if Israeli phones were bugged, “it wasn’t necessarily only in Netanyahu’s time.”
Yatom took a critical view of the American approach. “The Americans – rightly – see themselves as a superpower, but they are wrong in thinking they can do whatever they want… Ultimately if [allegations of eavesdropping] are proved true, the Americans will have no choice but to apologize for what they did, but they’ll keep doing it,” he said.
Allegations recently surfaced according to which US spy agencies monitored German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone conversations. White House spokespeople have denied the reports.
On Thursday, the Guardian reported that the American National Security Agency (NSA) monitored the phone conversations of 35 world leaders. The report was based on a document provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.