American spy Jonathan Pollard
has accused Israeli Defence Minister Yitzhak Mordechai of
scuttling a bid to win his release, calling him a national
Pollard, a formal U.S. naval intelligence analyst who is
life sentence in the United States for passing secrets
to Israel, said Mordechai undermined Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu's efforts to link his release with the Middle East
peace deal reached last week at Wye Plantation in Maryland.
Mordechai, a retired army general, denied the allegation,
saying he spared no effort to secure Pollard's release.
"General Mordechai, for two years you have done everything
in your power to avoid the issue of Jonathan Pollard. For two
years you have disgraced the uniform you wear and you have
betrayed the oath you took to your country," said Pollard, 40,
in remarks broadcast late on Friday on Channel Two television.
"You've betrayed an agent in the field in the most
disgraceful and unacceptable way any officer could possibly do,
by stabbing your own prime minister in the back during the
recent negotations at Wye.
"I feel very sorry for you, but I feel even more sorry and
more upset for our country that a man such as you is occupying
the position that you do. I worked for you. You are my boss. You
are responsible for me," he said in an interview form his
prison cell in North Carolina.
Pollard became a last-minute stumbling block to the interim
accord reached on October 23 at a Wye Plantation summit after
nine days of mediation by U.S. President Bill Clinton.
Netanyahu delayed the signing of the accord by several
hours, demanding that Pollard's release be included in the deal.
Government critics said Netanyahu hoped Pollard's release would
help mute criticism of the accord.
"I can say in all honesty that in personal conversations I
had with President Clinton...I asked and even begged that
Jonathan Pollard be allowed to live with us," Mordechai said in
response to the criticism.
"I would like to see him released and living here with us
in Israel," he told Channel Two.
Clinton denied promising clemency but said he would review
the file on Pollard, who has been imprisoned since 1985. The
White House has since said there was no guarantee Pollard would
Pollard's arrest put strain on Israel's relationship with
the United States, its biggest supporter and crucial ally.
Israeli leaders said at the time they did not know
intelligence officers were running a spy in the United States.
Earlier this year, Israel admitted for the first time that
Pollard had been its agent.