“Portions of this article were deleted by the Israeli Military Censor.” So begins a fascinating article, “Spies Like Us,” by Yossi Melman and Dan Raviv in Tablet. It goes into considerable detail into the U.S.-Israeli intelligence relationship over recent decades. The story is one of friendship and friction. Among other things, it surveys the foibles and achievements of successive CIA station chiefs in Israel. For example,
the CIA station chief in Tel Aviv from 1995 to 1999 was Stan Moskowitz, a 40-year agency veteran who kept trying to mediate the inevitable disputes. Mossad officials did not like him, not because of his role in the peace process, but because they felt that—perhaps because he was a Bronx-born Jew trying to overcompensate—he kept himself at a frosty distance from the Israelis. This view is reflected in the memoirs of a Canadian-born Mossad operative using the pseudonym Michael Ross. In his book The Volunteer, Ross describes Moskowitz as “a self-important Beltway climber who drove around Tel Aviv in the back seat of a white Mercedes sedan.”
Like many accounts of espionage, the article has no bottom line. Nonetheless, it offers a fascinating glimpse of the fraught relationship that can develop when two allies spy on one another.