Dispute over Jailed Spy Delayed Deal
Dejevsky, Mary, The Independent (London, England)
JONATHAN JAY Pollard, whose release snagged the three- cornered United States-Israeli-Palestinian talks at the last minute yesterday, has been in prison in the US for the past 12 years after admitting one count of spying for Israel while working as a US Navy analyst. Since then, the American authorities have refused all requests from his family and from successive Israeli governments for him to be released to Israel, for his sentence to be commuted or even for parole.
That Pollard's fate was raised at the Wye talks puts another gloss on the participation of the head of the Central Intelligence Agency, George Tenet. Until yesterday, his role was thought to be related only to possible CIA help with implementing and monitoring a security agreement.
As became clear yesterday, the Pollard case is hugely controversial. His original sentence in 1985 provoked an outcry in Israel, where many claimed that he was a victim of anti-Semitism. In the US, the case was a major diplomatic embarrassment as it suggested that Israel was engaged in spying on its chief ally and patron. Perhaps for that reason, successive Israeli leaders insisted that Pollard worked not for Israel itself, but for an extreme pro-Israel group. …