The Wye Double-Cross

Time for America to Honor Its Commitment to Free Jonathan Pollard

FROM THE KNESSET RECORD, February 28, 2001

"...The former President of the United States, Bill Clinton, made an explicit commitment to the then-Prime Minister of Israel, Binyamin Netanyahu, to release Jonathan Pollard.

This promise was made prior to the Wye Summit and [again] during the course of the negotiations at Wye... This was not a personal promise made to a particular prime minister... This was a promise made to the State of Israel and to the People of Israel..." Dani Naveh, Minister without Portfolio

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At this time of increased tension in the Middle East - owing in no small part to America's having trained Palestinian Authority snipers whose guns are now trained on Israeli civilians - it is high time for the US to make a confidence-building gesture to Israel by honoring the commitment it made at Wye to release Jonathan Pollard.

America's commitment to release Jonathan Pollard, made as an integral part of the Wye Accords, still stands and is not limited to any specific government.

The US commitment to release Pollard as part of the Wye Summit was explicitly given to Israel twice:

The Netanyahu Government has never hesitated to publicize point 1 above. But to this day it remains reticent to acknowledge its role in point 2 above, ashamed, no doubt, of being the first Government of Israel to agree to release Arab terrorists with Jewish blood on their hands. Consequently, while this is not denied, it is never voluntarily raised by Netanyahu or his former government colleagues. They are loathe to talk about how America duped the Netanyahu government into agreeing to release these murderers and gave nothing in return.

As a consequence of its failure at Wye, the Netanyahu Government fell, and the next Government, fully cognizant of the deal Netanyahu had made, released the murderers and terrorists who were the price paid for Pollard. Despite Clinton's behind-the-scenes promise to do a "review" of the case and then release Jonathan Pollard parallel to the release of the 750 terrorists, America did not live up to its end of the deal and Pollard remained in prison.

The double-cross that Israel experienced at the 1998 Wye Summit is fundamental to an understanding of how this case has continuously been exploited by the US to elicit painful concessions from Israel. Israel routinely delivers and the US contemptuously continues to ignore its commitment to free Jonathan Pollard

Following a recent meeting (05/02/01) with former Prime Minister Netanyahu, Rabbi Steven Pruzansky of New Jersey wrote:

"I asked Netanyahu about Bill Clinton and Jonathan Pollard and he did not mince words. This will shock some people but not others. He characterized Clinton as 'very hostile to Israel, clearly a friend of the Palestinians,' and was puzzled by the fawning admiration lavished on Clinton. Netanyahu was induced into coming to Wye partly by an unequivocal commitment by President Clinton to release Jonathan Pollard, and send him back to Israel with the Prime Minister... Netanyahu simply ended: 'Clinton lied to me'. Now that's a shocking disclosure." (Yediot Yeshurun, June 2001).

A detailed account of the double-cross at Wye can be found on the Facts Page, points 25 to 46. Other articles are listed below.

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