Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard chose to express hope rather than anger in
response to an interview with his former handler Rafi Eitan, who revealed for
the first time that he incriminated Pollard under orders from then-prime
minister and current President Shimon Peres.
Eitan told Yediot Aharonot
in an interview published Friday that he gave the Americans information he knew
would be used against Pollard. He said he had no choice other than to abide by
“When I testified, I felt a myriad of emotions,”
Eitan said. “I had a deep feeling that I should not talk to the Americans about
the episode, because they certainly did not want what was best for Pollard. But
on the other hand, I am a disciplined soldier. I have never acted against the
government’s orders, even when I thought we should be acting
The Campaign for Pollard’s Freedom responded by expressing
shock that Israel became what they said was the first country in the world to
actively incriminate its own agent.
But the campaign refused to criticize
Peres. “Neither we, nor Jonathan want to dwell on the past,” the campaign
said. “What matters is that the president is currently in the best possible
position to end this unfortunate tragedy.”
Pollard will begin serving the
28th year of his life sentence on November 21.
Peres and Pollard have
issued formal clemency requests to US President Barack Obama, but he has never
US presidents usually grant pardons and commute sentences
during the American holiday season that begins with Thanksgiving on November 22.