Barak's Response To Hatzofeh
Hatzofeh - October 22, 1999
In Israel it is customary, when writing an article that presents a
particular point of view, to give any opposing views the right of
response. Therefore, Hatzofeh handed over a list of questions to the
Prime Minister's office to allow him to respond.
Barak's response is an accurate reflection of everything that is wrong
with his attitude towards Jonathan Pollard, and his handling of the
These Are The Questions Hatzofeh Submitted to the Prime Minister:
Prime Minister Barak's office relayed the following as his response to
all of the above questions:
- Is it true that the Prime Minister has avoided all contact with
Jonathan Pollard since he was elected?
- How accurate are the statements of Pollard's representatives
(including his wife and his attorney) that Ehud Barak has refused to
meet with them for years - even long before he was elected to Prime
Minister - whereas every previous Prime Minister has been willing to meet
with them and to maintain contact with Pollard.
- Is it true that the Prime Minister has ignored 15 separate requests
for contact and information from Pollard?
- How does the Prime Minister respond to Pollard's statement that since
the issue of his release was elevated to the highest levels at Wye,
there is no further need for "quiet diplomacy", but rather direct
negotiation between the President and the Prime Minister is now the only
way to resolve the case?
- Pollard's attorney has a letter of resignation written two years ago
by Mr. Moshe Kochanovsky, the man you have just appointed to be in charge
of contacts with Washington in order to secure Pollard's release.
Kochanovsky resigned from the same job two years ago because he did not
have the authority or the standing in Washington to deal with Pollard's
release. Has there been any change in his situation since he last
"Whereas there is a case that Pollard has before the courts which is
still pending and which deals with the issues these questions refer to,
we are unwilling to answer any questions that are "sub judicia" (still
in legal process.)"
The above response does not deal with the fact that Ehud Barak is still
the first Prime Minister who has refused to meet with Pollard or his
representatives. It also does not deal at all with the issue that
negotiating Pollard's release is the Prime Minister's direct
responsibility, leader to leader, and no longer a matter of "quiet
diplomacy - which has never achieved any results.
There is also no acknowledgment here of the fact that it is precisely
because the State was not assisting Pollard in any way or on any level
(not even with his legal fees) that Pollard turned to the Supreme Court
to begin with.
About all that the Government of Israel is currently offering Jonathan
Pollard are things like stamps, chocolate bars and shampoo - all the
things he can get for himself - in prison...
See also: Pollard Versus Barak