Pollard's Case May Be Crucial to Hillary's Run

August 5, 1999 - Sidney Zion - The New York Daily News

Does Hillary Clinton hold the key to Jonathan Pollard's jail cell? That's the question she likely will face in her run for the Senate in New York.

Pollard will celebrate his 45th birthday Saturday while crossing off the 14th year on his prison calendar for delivering American secrets to Israel. No other spy for a U.S. ally has done more than 10 years.

Just last year, Peter Lee, who gave critical defense secrets to China, was sentenced to a year in a halfway house. Michael Schwartz was let free without time in prison. Schwartz pleaded guilty to delivering secrets to Saudi Arabia and was sentenced to a less-than-honorable discharge from the Navy.

Against this record, President Clinton keeps Pollard in prison for life. Pollard's crime was that he informed Israel of danger to its existence from Syria and Iraq.

What's this got to do with Hillary's run for the Senate? Plenty, because to win she needs a big majority of Jews in New York City. And her husband's record on Pollard is an outrage.

We have been told that former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was foiled in his attempt to blackmail the President at the Wye conference. The line was that Bibi wanted to dump the deal with the Palestinians unless Clinton let Pollard go to Israel.

The truth is exactly the opposite. Clinton conned Bibi into going to the Wye conference on the eve of the congressional elections by promising him that he'd pardon Pollard. And then Clinton double-crossed Bibi.

All this will be revealed in Netanyahu's forthcoming memoir, which lays out Clinton's treachery. An "international swindler" Bibi calls Bill in the book.

It was ruinous treachery, because Bibi went to the Wye conference only on the promise Clinton would pardon Pollard. Otherwise, he couldn't hold his government together.

So Bibi fell. He had no chance to keep his right wing together after giving up so much land to the Palestinians in the Wye deal without bringing Pollard to Tel Aviv. And, of course, the Israeli people can't accept a war with America; they believe it's their umbilical cord to survival. This left Pollard alone again.

But it doesn't leave Hillary alone in her fight for the Jewish vote. The other day, Brooklyn Democratic Assemblyman Dov Hikind fired the first shot in a column in the Jewish Press.

Hikind demanded that Hillary do more than lip service to show her support for Israel.

Get your husband to pardon Jonathan Pollard and then we'll believe you, Hikind wrote. And I'm told that Hillary is being pressed by members of the establishment to whisper in Bill's ear.

A sea change has occurred in the Jewish establishment in the last few years regarding Pollard. No longer does it twitch out of fear of the charge of dual loyalty — that Jews may be accused of being for Israel against the United States.

The consensus is that Pollard should be released. This can only be helped by Bibi's book, which will force Hillary the candidate to deal with her husband's dirty deeds. And she can hardly blame this one on the war between her husband's mother and grandmother.

  • Return to Senate Race page