Mounting Objections to Pollard Report
Hillel Fendel - Israelnationalnews.com - Elul 17, 5769, September 6, 2009
Pollard activists to Lindenstrauss: How can you say Israeli leaders asked for Pollard's release, if you say that nothing was documented?
Manhigut: Betrayal of Pollard has led to betrayal of soldiers.
The State Comptroller's report that Israel's governments attempted to achieve Jonathan Pollard's release continues to meet up with opposition. The Justice for Jonathan Pollard organization (J4JP) says that while Lindenstrauss criticizes the government for not having documented its efforts, "nevertheless, even without records, Lindenstrauss has decided that every government of Israel since 1996 has done everything it could to free Pollard!"
Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss released three pages of his 30-page report on Thursday; the others were deemed confidential from a national security standpoint. This means, says Pollard attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, that there are still "dark secrets surrounding the Pollard affair that the government does not want the public to know."
[Watch video of Nitsana Darshan-Leitner Speaking about Lindenstrauss Report]
The upshot of the Comptroller's findings is that the governments of Netanyahu, Sharon, Barak and Olmert made many efforts to bring up the issue of Jonathan Pollard in their meetings with US leaders, but were stonewalled by strong American opposition to his release.
"The subject was raised in their meetings and talks with American presidents," Lindenstrauss writes. "In our inquiry, we did not find, to our sorrow, that these talks were documented We found that they discussed it in very small forums. No written documentation was found indicating that the Prime Ministers held discussions in ministerial forums as to how to achieve Pollard's release... This is a significant failing, and it would have been appropriate for meetings between the prime ministers and American presidents to have been documented."
J4JP says Lindenstrauss' conclusions are unacceptable: "Despite the lack of any kind of record upon which to base his conclusions," the organization writes, "the State Comptroller gives every government of Israel high marks for making efforts to free Pollard, while criticizing their failure to keep any record whatsoever of their efforts! Lindenstrauss confirms that there are no government records of any efforts to free Pollard. Nevertheless, even without records, Lindenstrauss has decided that every government of Israel since 1996 has done everything it could to free Pollard!"
Feiglin's Angle: Betrayal Leads to Betrayal
Moshe Feiglin, who heads the Jewish Leadership faction of the Likud, also rejects the Comptroller's conclusions - and says that Israel's "betrayal of Pollard" had led to its betrayal of its other soldiers. "Ever since Israel betrayed Pollard ago," Feiglin said on Friday, "not one Israeli soldier has returned home alive from captivity. Israel's lack of values in the Pollard affair has brought it to a low point at which it can no longer protect its soldiers, who daily risk their lives for their country."
"The State of Israel has consistently betrayed its agent," Feiglin accused. "It has never officially requested his release from prison. Israel's message to the US is clear: We would prefer that Pollard die in your prison.'"
Feiglin provides a list of prisoner exchanges over the past 30 years, compiled by the Almagor Terror Victims Association, to prove his point. In May 1985, several months before Pollard was imprisoned, Israel released 1,150 terrorists in exchange for 3 live soldiers. Since then, seven more deals have taken place, in which Israel has received the bodies of ten dead soldiers, other body parts, and an Israeli civilian criminal, in exchange for a total of 651 Arab terrorists and prisoners.
J4JP also criticizes Lindenstrauss for another aspect of the report: "It should be noted that neither Lindenstrauss nor his staff ever met with Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman, Jonathan's American attorneys, though the report gives the impression that they did."