Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said Saturday that “someone is trying to maliciously and intentionally harm relations between Israel and the US.” He was responding to the second Newsweek report on the subject, this one alleging in an apparent parody of spy spoofs that an Israeli spy popped out of the bathroom air conditioning vent in former Vice President Al Gore’s hotel suite. “Newsweek has gone off the rails,” said the minister.

Last Tuesday, the same magazine claimed Israel had “crossed red lines” in spying on the US. Steinitz stressed that Israel has not engaged in espionage against America for thirty years, keeping to a decision reached after the Jonathan Pollard episode. In his meetings with the heads of all US intelligence services in the past year, the Israeli minister said he had heard nothing but praise for Israeli intelligence cooperation.