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Washington Sets New Price for Pollard
July 20, 1999
[New York] When pressed, following a Sunday 18/07/99 meeting with
select members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish
Organizations, Prime Minister Barak admitted that he had not raised the
Pollard issue in his talks with President Clinton, contradicting
earlier press statements by his Jerusalem office.
Echoing the words of White House spokesman Joe Lockhart who previously
stated that he does not anticipate a decision on Pollard in the
foreseeable future, Barak indicated that he does not intend to raise the
Pollard issue with Clinton in the foreseeable future either.
A close advisor to the Prime Minister has confirmed to individuals close
to the Pollard case that there is a tacit understanding between Messrs.
Barak and Clinton that Pollard will be returned to Israel as a
"consolation prize" following a full and unqualified Israeli withdrawal
from the Golan Heights - again this contradicts Mr. Barak's current
public position on yet another critical issue, namely the terms of
withdrawal from the Golan Heights.
An American official involved in formulating the deal, speaking on
condition of anonymity, confirmed Mr. Clinton's offer to swap Pollard
for a total withdrawal of Israeli forces and installations from the
Golan. The official further indicated that Mr. Clinton feels no
obligation to honor the commitment he made to the former Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu to release Mr. Pollard as part of the implementation
of the Wye Accords, concurrent with the freeing of Palestinian
terrorists. Clinton has now set a new price for Pollard.
Participants at the Sunday meeting indicated that Prime Minister Barak
dodged direct questions on whether or not he had raised the issue of
Pollard's release in his talks with President Clinton. Instead, they
said, he obliquely assured his audience that Pollard has been in prison
long enough; that he deserves to be returned to Israel; and that his
government is fully committed to securing Pollard's return.
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