President Donald Trump is currently under fire for allegedly sharing Israeli secrets with the Russians during a private meeting. National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster insists the information shared was “wholly appropriate” in the context of the conversation regarding the fight against ISIS. During the Obama administration, several pieces of Israeli intelligence were seemingly leaked to the press intentionally and may have harmed Israeli defenses.
In 2012, an article was published in Foreign Policy magazine containing classified Israeli information leaked by anonymous American officials. These officials revealed that Israel had been given access to airfields in Azerbaijan, a nation bordering Iran, from which Israeli forces could launch attacks.
The Obama administration denied being the source of the leak, saying they would “gladly prosecute” those responsible if they were ever found. Israel did not believe the denial and saw it as a deliberate leak to prevent Israeli forces from attacking Iranian nuclear facilities.
This leak came mere weeks after details of a classified War Game was leaked to The New York Times predicting widespread war in the region caused by Israeli attacks against Iran. In a column titled “Obama Betraying Israel”, a journalist named Ron Ben-Yishai from Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth daily newspaper referred to the leaks as a “targeted assassination campaign.” In another column regarding the Azerbaijan leak, Ben-Yishai wrote of the damage to Israel caused by the leaks.
“It is blatantly clear that reports in the past week alone have caused Israel substantive diplomatic damage, and possibly even military and operational damage,” Ben-Yishai wrote.
In the eyes of Israel, the Obama administration intentionally leaked this classified information to thwart any military operations, and the damage was widespread. This was characteristic of Obama’s casual disrespect for Israel, despite the importance of the United States’ relationship with the country.
In February 2012, NBC News ran a story under the headline “Israel teams with terror group to kill Iran’s nuclear scientists, U.S. officials tell NBC News”. In this article, anonymous U.S. sources revealed Israel’s collusion with People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK,) an Iranian rebel group which was designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. in the 1970’s.
The State Department denied that the U.S. claimed Israeli-MEK collusion. However, an article in The New Yorker cited a retired U.S. intelligence official who alleged Israel was working with MEK inside Iran.
On multiple occasions, the Obama administration leaked information regarding extremely dangerous and secretive Israeli military strikes in Syria. In May of 2013, a Pentagon official leaked classified information to the press revealing Israel as the source of an attack on a Damascus airport. The administration issued an apology to Israel for the leak, citing low-level Pentagon officials as the source.
Later in 2013, U.S. sources told CNN of an Israeli attack on Syrian facilities housing Russian-provided missiles. Weeks later, American intelligence analysts told The New York Times that the attack was ineffective. This was all a brazen leak of classified information.
These various leaks serve to show the utter disregard the Obama administration had for Israel and their secrets. They represent a general desire to thwart Israeli military operations and at times endangered the lives of Israelis.
On Tuesday, an American official told the New York Times that the alleged classified information leaked by President Trump came from Israel. The liberal media launched a full-scale assault on Trump and have begun predicting possible impeachment. Israel responded with the following statement:
“Israel has full confidence in our intelligence-sharing relationship with the United States and looks forward to deepening that relationship in the years ahead under President Trump”
This is in stark contrast to Israel’s often angry responses to leaks under President Obama. The left’s silence was deafening in all of these cases. It seems the liberal media only feigns concern about Israel when it harms President Trump.
There is a key difference in the nature of the leaks from the two administrations. Under the Obama administration, classified information was often leaked directly to the American press and explicitly revealed Israeli military operations in an apparent attempt to stop those operations. This undoubtedly harmed relations between the Obama administration and Israel.
In the case of President Trump, the allegedly classified information was revealed in a private meeting, the details of which were leaked to The Washington Post by an anonymous source. According to The Washington Post, the intelligence allegedly came from Israel and concerned the inner-workings of ISIS.
Another key difference is who shared the information. Under the Obama administration, the leakers were often shady anonymous sources or low-level Pentagon officials. In President Trump’s case, he was in a private meeting with his advisors, and as the Commander-In-Chief has the authority to share and declassify any information to further American interests around the globe.
This amounts to a flimsy case against President Trump as a traitor to Israel and instead highlights the media’s determination to use any and all information at their disposal, no matter how untrustworthy it may be. The Obama administration’s repeated leaking of Israeli military secrets dwarfs whatever information regarding the Islamic State may or may not have been given by Trump in a routine meeting with Russian officials. It appears the American media is far angrier than anyone in Tel-Aviv.