U.S.: Pollard Decision Must Wait

Yated Ne'eman - January 26, 1996

The American Embassy in Tel Aviv has denied an Israeli media report claiming that President Bill Clinton had made a final decision not to pardon convicted spy Jonathan Pollard.

"The Pollard case has not reached the President's desk, and therefore he has taken no decision," read a statement issued by the embassy. The President "will consider the case when it reaches his desk."*

In a related item, MK Ariel Sharon (Likud) has accused the 1984 national unity government of "handing over" Pollard to the U.S. by refusing to accept responsibility for his actions.

Mr. Sharon said he had told then-Prime Minister Shimon Peres and Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir not to submit documents that could incriminate Mr. Pollard.

Mr. Shamir reportedly told him at the time: "A country needs to know how to sacrifice a person." Mr. Sharon's remarks came at a recent Knesset Foreign Affairs and defense Committee.

He went on to accuse successive governments of not making a serious effort to obtain Mr. Pollard's release.

*J4JP Note:

Larry Dub, attorney for Jonathan Pollard, received confirmation from the Justice Department this week that the papers are indeed on Mr. Clinton's desk.