The US intelligence sector is expanding its Hebrew-language programs to spy on Israel and monitor its activities.
The US government currently employs some 1,000 proficient Hebrew linguists to deal with issues linked to Israel, Newsweek says. About a third of them are specifically involved in espionage roles, according to the unusually detailed report.
About 250 Hebrew linguists working for NSA are tasked with translating Israeli government and military communications as well as intercepted cell phone traffic, the article says. Language experts and contract workers also perform other intelligence tasks.
The number of military Hebrew linguists is set to double by 2025, according to intel sources, but some are needed for joint projects with Israel’s defense establishment. The report notes that the US and Israel are also upgrading their military partnership against Iran.
US watches Israel’s plans for Iran
Israel is generally at the top of US intelligence concerns, the Newsweek report says. It notes that Israel has an arsenal of nuclear arms and a highly advanced military industry. Moreover, Jerusalem crafts unilateral plans and policies against rivals that are important to decision-makers in Washington.
The US Administration is particularly concerned about Israel’s plans to counter Iran. An Israeli strike on Tehran’s nuclear project could have far-reaching implications for America’s forces and interests in the region.
Covert Israeli operations against Iranian military programs and key individuals could also impact the US agenda. An Israeli analyst previously warned that President Biden could restrict Mossad and IDF operations against the Iranians.
As Benjamin Netanyahu prepares to return as prime minister, publicizing details of the US surveillance program could be a message to Israel’s new government: We’re watching you. While America and Israel are boosting their coordination against Iran, Washington wants to make sure that Jerusalem is not preparing any unexpected surprises.