American Engineer Arrested on Charges of Spying for Israel

New Jersey Man Alleged To Have Relayed Secrets From 1979 to 1985

By Ron Kampeas, JTA

Published April 22, 2008, issue of May 02, 2008.
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Washington — U.S. authorities arrested an American for spying for Israel.

The Justice Department disclosed Tuesday that Ben-Ami Kadish, a mechanical engineer at a U.S. Army facility in Dover, N.J., was arrested on charges of relaying secrets to Israel from 1979 to 1985, including nuclear secrets. Kadish speaks Hebrew and has an Israeli brother, according to the Justice Department.

Kadish allegedly “borrowed” classified documents from the facility’s library and took them home to be copied by an Israeli diplomat employed at Israel’s consulate in New York, according to a sealed complaint filed Monday in a federal district court in New York.

One of the documents “contained information concerning nuclear weaponry and was classified as ‘Restricted Data,’ a specific designation by the U.S. Justice Department announced arrest of alleged spy Department of Energy, because the document contained atomic-related information,” said a statement Tuesday from the Justice Department.

Another classified document “contained information concerning a major weapons system — a modified version of an F-15 fighter jet that the United States had sold to another country. This document was classified by the Department of Defense as ‘Secret’ and was further restricted as ‘Noforn,’ or ‘Not Releasable to Foreign Nationals.’”

Kadish, who allegedly was not paid for relaying the documents, is due to appear in court Tuesday.

He allegedly spoke with his Israeli co-conspirator by phone on March 20, before he was due to meet with U.S. officials. According to the Justice Department, the Israeli instructed Kadish to lie to law enforcement officials. The following day, March 21, Kadish denied having had the phone call.

The alleged spying took place before U.S. Navy analyst Jonathan Pollard was sentenced to life for spying for Israel. Israeli diplomats have said that Pollard’s case led the United States to increase its information sharing with Israel and at the same time led Israel to clamp down on any Israeli espionage in the United States.

Ben-Ami, who lives in New Jersey, grew up in pre-state Palestine and fought with the Haganah, the Jewish military organization that was the precursor to the Israel Defense Forces, according to a 2006 story on Kadish and his wife, Doris, published in the New Jersey Jewish News. Ben-Ami served in both the British and U.S. militaries during World War II and is an ex-commander of the Jewish War Veterans Post 609 in Monroe, N.J., the story said. The newspaper also said Kadish was active in the Jewish Federation of Greater Middlesex County.

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