A former top-level spy says the Rudd government's ousting of a Mossad agent from the Israeli Embassy in Canberra won't do anything to harm Australia's close intelligence relationship with Israel.

Warren Reed, a senior security analyst who was trained by MI6 and served for 10 years as a spook with the Australian Secret Intelligence Service in the Middle East and Asia, told Crikey that yesterday's decision to send an Israeli attache packing was a "surface politics response" that would have almost certainly been brokered behind the scenes by senior officials.