Barak's Top People Leak A Deal for Pollard:
Barak Denies It
Associated Press- April 13, 2000
JERUSALEM (AP) - 4/13 - The Israeli prime minister's office denied a
newspaper report Thursday that President Clinton plans to pardon convicted
spy Jonathan Pollard before leaving office. Pollard, an American, is serving a life sentence for spying for Israel.
Justice4JP Prefacing Note: No sooner did the story break that Barak's closest advisors indicated that a deal with Clinton would see Jonathan Pollard home in Jerusalem by about September 2000, than Barak's office began denying it. If there really was a deal for Pollard, leaking it to the media was the surest way to kill it. If there was no deal, then why the leak? The leak was too high level to be happenstance, or for the Prime Minister not to have known about it. The cynical exploitation of the plight of an Israeli agent in this manner is both immoral, and grossly irresponsible. Here's the AP version of the denial:
Yediot Ahronot newspaper reported that Clinton would release Pollard in
September, when Israel and the Palestinians are to finalize a permanent
peace deal. Yediot reported that Clinton and Prime Minister Ehud Barak discussed
Pollard's release at their summit on Tuesday, which was otherwise devoted to
salvaging Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. One of Clinton's considerations,
Yediot reported, was that Pollard's release would encourage the Israeli
public to accept painful concessions to the Palestinians.
Responding to the report, Barak's office said, "President Clinton and Prime
Minister Barak did not conclude anything in the matter of Jonathan
Pollard." But the statement did not say whether or not Pollard had been discussed at
the summit. Pollard, a former civilian analyst for the U.S. Navy, was convicted of
espionage in 1985 for giving Israel top-secret documents. He is serving
his sentence at a federal prison in Butner, N.C. It is the second time Pollard's release has been reported to be part of a peace deal.
Activists for the spy say Clinton promised Pollard's freedom
when he brokered an interim Palestinian-Israeli land-for-security deal at Wye
River, Md. in 1998. [Justice4JP: This was confirmed by the former Prime Minster of Israel and his cabinet secretary. Also confirmed by both the Israeli and the Palestinian negotiators] Clinton says he only promised to review the case.