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NEW YORK - The Anti-Defamation League, one of the largest Jewish organizations in North America, has called on the Bush administration to immediately appoint a special counsel to investigate the circumstances of leaks to the American media regarding suspicions of an alleged Israeli "mole" in the Pentagon.

"The one clear fact that can be agreed upon is that there was a malicious and targeted leak that is more damaging than the actual allegations of Israeli spying - allegations that in all likelihood are baseless," Abraham Foxman, national director of the ADL, told Haaretz.

"We will demand appointing a commission of inquiry to make every effort in identifying which official or officials are behind the leak," said Foxman, who is known to have close ties with administration and White House officials.

"A leak directed against a friendly country like Israel causes grave damage, and the current suspicions of spying damaged Israel, the local Jewish community, and relations between the two countries," Foxman said.

Foxman maintains that an official within the administration is responsible for the leak.

"Someone in the hierarchy is trying to ruin relations between Israel and the administration, and between Israel and the Jewish community," he said.