A Defense Department security office issued a confidential warning to many military contractors in October that the Israeli government was "aggressively" trying to steal U.S. military and intelligence secrets, partly by using its "strong ethnic ties" to the United States to recruit spies.
The warning, which described Israel as a "non-traditional adversary" in the world of espionage, was circulated by the Defense Investigative Service with a memo noting similar intelligence "threats" from other close U.S. allies. The warning about Israel was "canceled" and withdrawn by the Pentagon in December after senior officials decided its author had improperly singled out Jewish "ethnicity" as a specific counterintelligence concern.
The warning nonetheless provoked a vigorous protest yesterday by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B'nai B'rith, a prominent Jewish organization, which made the matter public and called on the Pentagon to conduct an internal investigation. "This is a distressing charge which impugns American Jews and borders on antisemitism," said ADL Director Abraham H. Foxman in a letter to Defense Secretary William J. Perry.
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