'Crisis with U.S. Hinders Pollard's Pardon'?

Diana Bahur-Nir - YNET (Yediot) - June 15, 2005

Former Israeli ambassador to U.S. claims current crises with U.S. over weapon sales to China and 'Pentagon Mole' incident could hurt Pollard's chances of being released

Justice4JP Prefacing Comment:

Rabinovich's comments are nonsense. The ONLY THING that hinders Jonathan Pollard's release is Prime Minister Sharon's failure to do anything at all to secure it! Sharon's refusal to bring the issue up with President Bush; his refusal to collect on the American commitment to release Pollard made at Wye; his refusal to deliver the historic Knesset petition for Pollard signed by 112 MKs to President Bush; and his refusal to include Jonathan's release in any negotiation with the United States, all testify to his total lack of initiative to secure Pollard's release. Comments like those made by Rabinovich below - as if the current conflict between Israel and the US over China have anything to do with Pollard's release - are just another implausible attempt to deflect attention away from the fact that Prime Minister Sharon has abdicated all responsibility for Pollard. If Prime Minister Sharon and his sycophants - Rabinovich included - were to spend one tenth of the time working for Pollard's release, that they spend on making excuses, Pollard would have been freed long ago.


- The two latest crises with the U.S. could hurt Jonathan Pollard's chances of being pardoned, Professor Itamar Rabinovich, the former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. and the president of Tel Aviv University said.

Rabinovich referred to the conflict of the U.S. and Israeli security establishments over the transfer of military and technological equipment from Israel to China.

The second conflict Rabinovich mentioned is the 'Pentagon Mole' incident; Larry Franklin, the pentagon official suspected to have transferred classified information to Israeli officials and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), was indicted on Monday.

"We are talking about two crises in the official level; I do not take their work lightly but it is not a full-blown crisis in the sense of a clash between two leaders," Rabinovich said.

"It is comparable to a local infection that should be treated before it spreads to the rest of the body. Of course, when the issue is the sensitivity of the relationship with the U.S., even a local infection has an effect on the entire body."

In relation to Pollard, Rabinovich said the judicial system and the Israeli Intelligence strongly oppose the pardon. "Even when Clinton signed the Wye agreements in '98, the two systems vetoed his release," he said. "Obviously, from Pollard's point of view, his chance for a pardon was undermined, since these are the same official establishments that oppose any relief for him."

'Franklin is not an Israeli problem'

Regarding the Franklin affair, Rabinovich added that it is not Israel's problem; therefore Israel should not handle it. "We should not look at this as a contract of the government against AIPAC, but just an attempt to reduce the Israeli embassy and AIPAC's freedom of action against the American Bureaucracy," he said.

When asked about the weapons deal with China, Rabinovich said that it is a problem that can be solved between the Israeli Defense Minister and the American Secretary of Defense.

"The U.S. does not like any deals with China, which is classified as potential enemy." he said. "There is heavy pressure on industries competing with American Industries."

He added that the crisis should be dealt with in a discrete, rather than public, manner.

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