Former envoy to US: 'Second Pollard' issue not raised
Clarifying earlier statement, Itamar Rabinovich says US officials never questioned whether Israel operated second agent.
Gil Hoffman - The Jerusalem Post - June 11, 2012
American officials never questioned whether Israel operated an agent in the US in addition to Jonathan Pollard during the four-year period from 1992 to 1996 that Itamar Rabinovich served as Israel's ambassador to the United States, Rabinovich said Monday.
Rabinovich's ambassadorship came at a time when Pollard was often in the news due to developments in his court case and a request for clemency from then-president Bill Clinton. His statement could quash theories that one of the reasons Pollard is still serving a life sentence is an American concern that Israel did not fully cooperate with Pollard's investigation.
"At all meetings in which I participated [during my time as ambassador], no such American claim [of there being another spy] was ever raised with Israeli officials," Rabinovich wrote Monday to Israel Radio, clarifying comments he made in a interview with the station earlier in the day. "Rumors and mean whispers about this issue are another matter."
Rabinovich told the station in the interview that anti-Israel officials in the US intelligence community and legal establishment had worked to prevent Pollard's release. He said the officials had disseminated baseless allegations that Israel did not transfer all the information it had in the Pollard case in order to damage US-Israel relations.
Israeli officials involved in the effort to bring about Pollard's release said Rabinovich's statements were remarkable because they confirmed for the first time that that no American had officially raised the issue of there being a second Pollard during a key time in his case.
"This puts the lie to the canard that the Americans have been so concerned about another agent," an official involved in the free Pollard campaign said.
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