Barak Caves In To Americans - Betrays Pollard, Shoots Self In Foot...

January 12, 1999

(Excerpted from "Israeli Letter for Pollard's Release Opposed by Barak" by Steve Rodan)

The Israeli government had planned a last-minute campaign to lobby Clinton to release Jonathan Pollard that was to have culminated with a joint letter signed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Labor Party chairman

Ehud Barak


"We turn to you with an urgent request that you end the suffering of Jonathan Pollard, whose future is currently under review by your office," the Netanyahu-Barak draft letter read. "...We are united in our efforts to end Mr. Pollard's incarceration after 14 years in prison, many of which were in isolation."

But the letter, initiated by Absorption Minister Yuli Edelstein, was never sent. Sources close to Barak said the Labor Party chairman refused to sign the letter on the advice of his new U.S. political consultants. (James Carville.)

An aide to Barak confirmed that the Labor Party leader did not sign the letter. But the aide attributed that to a draft, which arrived on Sunday, being leaked to the media before Barak approved the text. Barak, the aide said, might sign the letter in the future.

"I am surprised at Ehud Barak that he refused to add his signature to mine," Netanyahu said. "It's time for joint action. He (Pollard) worked for us."

Esther Pollard, Jonathan's wife, said Barak's aides had pledged that he would support her husband's release, and that he would sign the joint letter.

In an interview with Israel Radio on Tuesday, Mrs. Pollard said Clinton has more reason than most to commute Pollard's sentence. "How is it that Clinton stands before the American people and insists on the right to see the evidence against him, and to defend himself before his accusers - why won't he give that same opportunity to Jonathan?" she asked.

Opponents of Pollard's eventual release argue that he has caused more damage than virtually any other American convicted of spying. New Yorker magazine, in an article by Seymour Hersch, reports in its Monday edition that Pollard passed on copies of a 10-volume classified surveillance manual that contains detailed information on how the United States collects signals from anywhere in the world.

Mrs. Pollard, however, dismissed the reports as lies. "Where is the evidence?" she asked. "Where is the proof? Where is the indictment? Why haven't these things been brought up in a court of law?"

"Why," Mrs. Pollard asked, " is Jonathan Pollard being tried in the court of public opinion, through the media, instead of being granted due process in a court of law? He has never been permitted to see the evidence against him or to rebut the false accusations against him!"

See Also:
  • Text of Joint Netanyahu-Barak Letter to Clinton
  • Joint Netanyahu-Baraq Appeal for Pollard Pardon Initiated