Barak Ignores Govt. Policy, Forgets Pollard is Israeli Agent
Claims Case is "an internal American issue"
Media Release - July 16, 1999
Source: Yediot Achronot
ARTICLE FOLLOWS BELOW
Following Jonathan Pollard's 1985 arrest for espionage on behalf of
Israel, the Government adopted a policy of implausible deniability by
denying Jonathan Pollard was her agent. For more than a decade Israeli
Government officials claimed that the Pollard Case was "an internal
American issue" and used this excuse to justify their inaction,
abandoning Pollard to his fate.
Prefacing Note - Background History
Years of struggle and several law suits brought by Pollard to Israeli
Supreme Court forced the Government of Israel to accept responsibility.
Consequently, in November of 1995 Israel granted Jonathan Pollard
Israeli citizenship and in May of 1998 official government policy was
formulated. The Government of Israel publicly acknowledged Jonathan
Pollard as an Israeli agent, committed to work diligently for his
immediate release, and accepted full responsibility for him.
Barak's attempt to return to a policy of implausible deniability was
so egregiously out of step with history that within hours of the
publication of the following article, Barak's office issued a denial of
the story and insisted that Barak would indeed bring up the issue of
Pollard's release with Clinton. (See Media Release, July 15 1999:
Israeli Govt. Dispels Confusion over Pollard in Washington). This
midstream switch clearly signaled that a credible initiative for the
release of an Israeli agent was not on Barak's agenda. Acceptance of
government policy in word while undermining it in deed shames both the
Government and people of Israel who have abandoned Jonathan Pollard to
languish in an American prison for 14 years for his service on behalf of
Here is the Yediot Article:
BARAK CHANGES POLICY:
Yediot Achronot Article Page 7 - July 15, 1999
Release of Pollard is an "Internal American Issue"
by Nachum Barnea and Shimon Shiffer
Intro: The Prime Minister is not intending to bring up the Pollard
issue in his meeting with President Clinton. Unlike Netanyahu who
authorized ministerial visits to Pollard in prison, Barak claims : "A
public approach only hurts the chances of the Jewish American spy for
Prime Minister Ehud Barak has decided that he will not request the
release of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard from American President Bill
Clinton, but rather that he will leave the issue to "internal
deliberation by the American Government".
Background: Barak and the former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had
strongly differing opinions on the question of how to deal with the
issue of the release of Pollard from an American prison.
Barak claimed that the public approach of Netanyahu, during whose term
several ministers " made a pilgrimage" to the prison cell of the
Jewish American spy only hurt Pollard's chances for release. In his
opinion, the issue should be dealt with secretly and "should not be
turned into part of the Middle East package". During his time as leader
of the opposition he even refused to sign a joint letter with Netanyahu
to President Bill Clinton which called upon him to release Pollard.
Yesterday Pollard's attorney, Larry Dub tried to bring some last minute
pressure so that the issue might yet be raised in the Barak-Clinton
Attorney Dub sent a letter to the head of Barak's office, Yossi Kochik,
in which he wrote that he was aware that the Americans were expecting
the issue of Pollard's release to be raised with Clinton. "I fear that
we may not have another opportunity such as this to free Jonathan
Pollard," Dub wrote to Kochik.
Justice for Jonathan Pollard Note: The Prime Minister's office issued a
denial of this report within hours of its publication in attempt to stem
the damage. See Media Release: July 15, 1999, "Israeli Govt. Dispels
Confusion over Pollard in Washington".