US Spied on Bibi Asking Italian PM To Intervene With Obama

Obama’s NSA spy network tapped into phone calls between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and European leaders, Wikileaks reported on Tuesday.

A newly released batch of NSA reports uncovered by Wikileaks has revealed that Netanyahu appealed to Europe to intervene with President Barack Obama during their public 2010 spat over a Jerusalem building project.

The NSA caught wind of Netanyahu’s efforts when it intercepted a phone call between the Israeli Prime Minister and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in 2010.

Netanyahu asked the Italian leader to reason with President Obama, noting that the construction project in Jerusalem was consistent with long-standing Israeli policy since the 1960s.

At the heart of the dispute was a planned housing project for 1,600 units in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo.

According to the NSA report, Israeli officials were skeptical of Europe’s ability to affect a rapprochement, arguing that the Obama administration represented “the lowest point in US- Israeli relations in memory”, and that Obama’s ire towards Israel goes “far beyond merely the question of the construction plans”.

The Wikileaks document is only the latest example of Obama’s clandestine surveillance operations monitoring the Israeli Prime Minister. Last December it was reported that the NSA had continued spying on Netanyahu despite a pledge by President Obama to halt wiretaps on friendly heads of state.

2 replies
  1. Joe Levin
    Joe Levin says:

    Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s promised Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu he would help repair ties with US President Barack Obama during the nadir of ties between Jerusalem and Washington in March 2010, the Wikileaks web site reported on Tuesday.

    Wikileaks placed on its website intelligence reports of a handful of conversations between world leaders from 2007 to 2011, including the conversation between Netanyahu and Berlusconi following the announcement of plans to build 1600 housing units in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shalom in 2010 during the visit of US Vice President Joe Biden.

    “Israel has reached out to Europe, including Italy, for help in smoothing out the current rift in its relations with the United States, according to Italian diplomatic reporting of 13 March,” a summary of the conversation read. The Ramat Shlomo announcement was made four days earlier.

    Netanyahu, according to the summary, “insisted that the trigger for the dispute–Israel’s decision to build 1,600 homes in contested East Jerusalem–was totally in keeping with national policy dating back to the administration of Golda Meir, and blamed this mishandling on a government official with poor political sensitivity.”

    That summary is entirely consistent with what Netanyahu was saying publicly at the time, that the Ramat Shlomo announcement was in keeping with long-standing Israeli policy in Jerusalem, and that it was not intended to embarrass Obama, Biden, or the US, but rather the result of a poorly-timed decision by a low-level bureaucrat.

    According to the leaked document, Netanyahu said that the objective now “is to keep the Palestinians from using this issue as a pretext to block a resumption of talks or to advance unrealistic claims that could risk sinking the peace negotiations altogether.”

    Netanyahu said that the tension “has only been heightened by the absence of direct contact between himself and the US President.”

    In response, according to the summary of the conversation, “Berlusconi promised to put Italy at Israel’s disposal in helping mend the latter’s ties with Washington. Other Israeli officials, meanwhile, believed that this tiff goes far beyond merely the question of the construction plans, marking instead the lowest point in US-Israeli relations in memory.”

    The incident severely strained ties between Netanyahu and the Obama Administration, leading to a blistering phone call from then secretary of state Hillary Clinton, and a chilly meeting in the White House on March 24, 11 days after the phone call with Berlusconi.

    Berlusconi, at the time, was one of Netanyahu’s closest allies in Europe.

    In a revelation of Wikileaks own editorial position, its website described the the document as revealing “Netanyahu’s begging Berlusconi to help him deal with Obama.” The word “begging,” however, does not appear a fair or reasonable description of what appeared in the summary of the taped conversation.

  2. Joe Levin
    Joe Levin says:

    אתר ההדלפות “ויקיליקס” דיווח על הדלפה נוספת משנת 2010 לפיה ראש הממשלה בנימין נתניהו פנה למקבילו האיטלקי דאז סילביו ברלוסקוני בבקשה שיסייע לו עם הנשיא האמריקני ברק אובמה.

    “נתניהו התחנן בפני ברלוסקוני שיעזור לו להתמודד עם אובמה”, נכתב באתר ויקיליקס.

    על פי הדיווח השיחה בין שני האישים התקיימה ב-13 במרץ באותה שנה בעקבות משבר עם ארה”ב שפרץ לאחר שאושרה בניית 1,600 יחידות דיור במזרח הבירה.

    עוד נכתב במסמך כי נתניהו ביקש את עזרתם של מנהיגים נוספים באירופה על מנת לשפר את הקשרים עם ארה”ב. נתניהו התעקש בשיחה עם ברלוסקוני כי בניית הבתים במזרח ירושלים “משמרת את המדיניות של ישראל עוד מימי גולדה מאיר”, והאשים את אחד מנציגי ממשלתו בניהול הנושא ב”רגישות פוליטית מועטה”.

    באותו מסמך נכתב כי בכירים ישראלים אחרים העריכו כי המשבר חריף בהרבה, וטענו כי היחסים בין נתניהו לאובמה נמצאים בשפל של כל הזמנים – ולא רק בגלל הבנייה.

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