Pollard Promises to Work with Israeli Government

April 22, 1998 - Hillel Kuttler - The Jerusalem Post

Jonathan Pollard assured a visiting Israeli diplomat that while he seeks the government's support in resolving his case, he will work with it in a spirit of cooperation and not conflict.

"I have no intention to manipulate the Israeli government and I prefer to work with it in order to leave here as soon as possible," Pollard reportedly told congressional attache Yitzhak Oren this week, who was recently tabbed as the embassy's liaison to the convicted spy.

The development evidently is an attempt by both sides to patch up the acrimony that developed after Pollard recently rejected the government's formulation of a public statement. He had demanded Israel acknowledge it hired and handled him while he worked for the US Navy's intelligence bureau.

An Israeli official said that while Pollard's remarks were positive they were not meant or taken as an apology.

Pollard and Oren met for 30 minutes at the Federal Correctional Institution in Butner, North Carolina, the scene of four visits by Israeli ministers over the past four months.

Oren also told Pollard that cabinet secretary Dan Naveh would visit him in the first half of May. According to an embassy official, Oren and Pollard agreed "on a number of steps that Israel would take publicly and diplomatically on Pollard's behalf," including the Naveh visit.

Pollard "views positively" the Israeli government's approach to his case and "is convinced that with mutual cooperation, and without going at it head-to-head publicly, the objective can be achieved - [his] early release from prison."

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