In the wake of the international scandal resulting from reports that America's National Security Agency (NSA) tapped the phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the former chief of Israel's Mossad revealed that Washington has been spying on the Jewish state, too.
Merkel was not the only leading international politician on whom the NSA was listening in, and "if the Americans think there would be a reason to spy on [Israel], they would do it," said Danny Yatom.
And, naturally, there are many issues of mutual national interest on which the White House would like to know what Israel is thinking, Yatom stated. For example, what is Israel willing to offer in its peace talks with the Palestinians, and is the Jewish state really prepared to go to war with Iran.
"President Barack Obama and his colleagues want to know what Israel really thinks, so that they can act in time to meet critical issues," the former spy master told Israeli media. According to Yatom, America has been in the business of spying on its friends for years. "Israeli phones were tapped long before [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu came to power," he said.
Yatom continued with some sharp criticism for the US: "The Americans see themselves as a superpower, and rightly so. But they are wrong to think that gives them the right to do as they please."
Yatom, like many foreign officials, would like to see the Obama Administration apologize, though he doesn't expect the US to actually stop spying on its allies any time soon.
Yatom served as the head of Israel's Mossad spy agency from 1996-1998.