Prime Minister Netanyahu Denies "Secret Plan" To Free Pollard

October 8, 1996 - Media Release

A headline story in

Yediot Achronot

(October 6, 1996) quotes the

New York Jewish Week

(October 4, 1996) as having received information from unnamed sources that there is secret deal between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Clinton that has been worked out with Vice President Al Gore to free Jonathan Pollard after the American elections.

The same story features extensive quotes from Jonathan Pollard's father, who claims that he received a personal phone call from P.M. Netanyahu on September 9, 1996, and that he received personal assurances that Jonathan would be free in two months, right after the elections.

The Prime Minister's office has confirmed the phone call to Morris Pollard but denies the substance of the call.

There is no secret deal to free Pollard

says the P.M.'s office.

Oh what a tangled web we weave...

Prime Minister Netanyahu: Who are you trying to deceive?

After committing himself to dealing


with Jonathan Pollard and


through his


representatives, why did Prime Minister Netanyahu make a personal phone call to Jonathan's father?

Why did the Prime Minister allegedly ask Jonathan's father to deliver a message to Jonathan when the P.M. knows full well that father and son are estranged and have no direct contact with each other?

Was the message really for Jonathan?

Or was Jonathan's father being set up to leak disinformation?

Then again, if the message was valid, why wasn't it delivered through Jonathan's wife, or his attorney, who not only have direct daily contact with Jonathan, but who also could be counted on to refrain from prematurely leaking the story to the press?

Although we will never know exactly what Mr. Netanyahu told Morris Pollard, it is now painfully obvious that the Prime Minister did something incredibly counter-productive for what appears to have been self-serving reasons. In light of this fact, one question remains: how could Prime Minister Netanyahu have stooped to using a gullible naive father against his own son?

Esther and Jonathan Pollard are no different that the rest of the people of Israel, in their sincere desire to believe that the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, is acting in good faith to fulfill both his own and his government's commitment to secure Jonathan Pollard's immediate release.

His own actions, however, testify against his good faith and honest intent. Indeed, in spite of all the Prime Minister's public expressions of concern and support, his best efforts, have, in fact, been devoted to silencing Jonathan and ignoring his pleas for help.

It is high time, then, that the fancy footwork cease, and genuine action begin. If Mr. Netanyahu wants to repair his credibility with regard to the Pollard case, he can start by treating both Jonathan and his authorized representatives with a modicum of respect and consideration. Absent this kind of minimal gesture, we can only assume the worst as far as the Prime Minister's actual feelings towards Jonathan are concerned.

For the sake of Israel's honor, we hope this is not the case.

But seeing is believing . . .

  • See also:

    A Secret Deal To Free Pollard?