Israeli Minister to Visit Pollard
November 17, 1997 - Jack Katzenell - Associated Press
An Israeli Cabinet minister will visit Jonathan
Pollard, the former U.S. navy intelligence analyst who is serving a life
sentence in the United States for passing military secrets to Israel.
Immigration Minister Yuli Edelstein will visit Pollard on Nov. 24 at the
federal prison in Butner, N.C. "Not enough is being done for Pollard
... he has been in jail long enough," Edelstein's spokesman Yehuda
Glick said Monday.
Pollard says he was an Israeli agent when he committed the espionage in
the mid-1980s. Israeli leaders have maintained that Pollard acted
without official Israeli sanction.
Pollard's lawyer, Larry Dub, says an Israeli acknowledgment that Pollard
was an agent could clear the way for his client's release. Pollard has
served 13 years of his sentence.
He said Edelstein's visit was the first step toward Israel acknowledging
that Pollard was its spy.
President Clinton rejected a clemency plea by Pollard in 1996, citing
the enormity of his crime, his lack of remorse and the damage he caused
to U.S. security.
Pollard's wife, Esther, said she was "very pleased" by the
"It has taken a long time for an (Israeli Cabinet) minister to have the
courage to show open support for Jonathan, although many of them have
expressed it in private," she said in a telephone interview from her
home in Toronto, Canada.
"Israel's refusal to acknowledge that Pollard was an Israeli agent has
only angered the U.S. administration," she added.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno
approved Edelstein's visit, Glick said.