Archive for Ben-Ami Kadish

DUAL-LOYALTY WATCH: Another Israeli spy goes scot-free; case ‘shrouded in mystery,’ says judge

Posted in Israel with tags , , , , on June 1, 2009 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

Ben-Ami_Kadish_CU.S. man who gave secrets to Israel spared prison

May 29, 2009

NEW YORK — An 85-year-old former civilian employee of the U.S. Army was fined but avoided prison time on Friday after earlier pleading guilty to giving classified documents to Israel in the 1980s in a case the sentencing judge said was “shrouded in mystery.”

Court documents showed that Ben-Ami Kadish, who was fined $50,000 but spared prison time, reported to the same handler as Jonathan Pollard, an American who spied for Israel in the 1980s and triggered a scandal that rocked U.S.-Israeli relations.

“Why it took the government 23 years to charge Mr. Kadish is shrouded in mystery,” U.S. District Judge William Pauley said during the sentencing hearing in Manhattan federal court. “It is clear the (U.S.) government could have charged Mr. Kadish with far more serious crimes.”

Kadish pleaded guilty in December to acting as an unregistered agent of Israel. He was arrested in April 2008 on four counts of conspiracy and espionage. The spying charge, dropped under a plea deal, had carried a possible death sentence.

“I am sorry I made a mistake,” a frail-looking Kadish said during the sentencing hearing. “I thought I was helping the state of Israel without harming the United States.”

The judge said he gave a lenient sentence due to Kadish’s age and infirmity, but said Kadish had committed “a grave offense” and had “abused the trust” of the United States. For much of the hearing, Kadish sat slumped in his chair with heavy eyelids. At one stage, he had to be shaken awake by his lawyer.


Prosecutors had recommended no prison time as part of the plea deal. They said between 1980 and 1985 Kadish provided classified documents, including some relating to U.S. missile defense systems, to an Israeli agent, Yosef Yagur, who photographed the documents at Kadish’s residence.

Yagur also was Pollard’s main Israeli contact. Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to spying for Israel in 1986. Israel gave Pollard citizenship in 1996 and acknowledged he was one of its spies in 1998.

During the hearing, the judge questioned a prosecutor as to why it took so long to charge Kadish when the telephone records on which the case was based were available in the mid-1980s.

“There is no mystery behind it, it’s just what happened,” said prosecutor Iris Lan, who explained she understood it took the FBI that amount of time to assemble the evidence.

The judge also questioned Kadish’s lawyer about how Kadish was able to earn $104,000 in 2007 when he does not work. His lawyer said it was from investments.

Kadish was born in the United States but grew up on a farm in Palestine before the founding of the modern state of Israel. He served in the British and U.S. armies in World War II.

From 1980 to 1985, Yagur asked Kadish to obtain classified documents, which Kadish retrieved from the U.S. Army’s Picatinny Arsenal in Dover, New Jersey, according to a sworn statement by Kadish. Kadish said he kept up a friendship with Yagur after 1985.

“While Kadish knew he was aiding Israel, an ally to the United States, he also knew his crime compromised the national security,” the judge said.

The above article can be found at:

DUAL-LOYALTY WATCH — Ex-army engineer pleads guilty to spying for Israel

Posted in Media Watch with tags , , on January 5, 2009 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

Ben-Ami KadishThe New York Times
December 30, 2008

, an 85-year-old former Army engineer in New Jersey, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to spying for Israel by leaking secret documents about nuclear arms, missiles and fighter jets to the Israeli government during the 1980s.
Pleading guilty to one count of participating in a conspiracy to act as an unregistered agent for Israel, Mr. Kadish admitted that from about 1980 to 1985, he provided numerous classified documents, including information about missile systems, to Yosef Yagur, a science adviser at the Israeli consulate in New York, who photographed the documents in Mr. Kadish’s home. At the time, Mr. Kadish worked as a mechanical engineer at the Army’s Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal in Dover, N.J.

In his guilty plea, Mr. Kadish said that Mr. Yagur, via telephone calls from the Bronx, had asked him to obtain classified military documents, including documents related to missile defense systems. Mr. Kadish admitted that he obtained the documents from the arsenal’s library. The guilty plea states that Mr. Kadish “did not ask for, nor did he receive, anything of value for the classified documents,” which he provided “for the benefit of Israel.”

After he pleaded guilty, Mr. Kadish, who wore a hearing aid and was allowed to sit during the proceeding, thanked the court and added, “I want to wish you all a happy new year.” After that, his wife handed him his hat and warned him not to speak with any reporters.

Magistrate Judge Theodore H. Katz entered Mr. Kadish’s plea in United States District Court in Manhattan. Sentencing was scheduled for Feb. 13 before Judge William H. Pauley.

Mr. Kadish faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000, but he could face only a few months in jail or even no jail time under a plea agreement with federal prosecutors.

When Mr. Kadish was arrested and charged in April, the case stunned his neighbors in their quiet retirement community of Monroe Township, N.J., about an hour southwest of New York City. Mr. Kadish was active in the community, organizing hospital visits and prayers for the dead, advising acquaintances on how to buy Israel bonds, serving meals on wheels and persuading the condominium association to let him build a Sukkot hut in his yard each autumn. In his spare time, he tracked down 500 relatives and posted a family tree to a genealogy Web site.

Mr. Kadish’s case was linked with that of Jonathan Jay Pollard, the former naval analyst serving a life sentence for leaking documents to Israel around the same time. Mr. Yagur, who is known as Yossi, also received information from Mr. Pollard. At first, Mr. Yagur was not named publicly as the Israeli agent who photographed the documents at Mr. Kadish’s home, but on Tuesday, federal authorities identified him by name as the agent.

The Pollard case has long been a contentious issue between the United States and Israel, whose leaders have argued for his release — a proposal that has been repeatedly rebuffed by American officials.

The prosecution of Mr. Kadish was handled by Iris Lan, an assistant United States attorney in Manhattan, and Kathleen M. Kedian, a trial lawyer from the counterespionage section of the Justice Department.
This article can be found at:

DUAL-LOYALTY WATCH — Ex-army engineer pleads guilty to spying for Israel