Former envoy to US: 'Second Pollard' issue not raised
By GIL HOFFMAN The Jerusalem Post
Clarifying earlier statement, Itamar Rabinovich says US officials never
questioned whether Israel operated second agent.
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