Barak Caves In To Americans - Betrays Pollard, Shoots Self In Foot...
MIDDLE EAST NEWSLINE
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
"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
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
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
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!"
Text of Joint Netanyahu-Barak Letter to Clinton
Joint Netanyahu-Baraq Appeal for Pollard Pardon Initiated