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Jonathan Pollard not bearing grudge against Peres

November 9, 2012 16:52

Jailed former Israeli spy reacts to his handler's admission that Pollard was incriminated under orders from Shimon Peres.

Jonathan and Esther Pollard

Jonathan and Esther Pollard 370. (photo credit:Courtesy of Justice4JP)

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 government decisions.

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“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 differently.”

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 responded.

US presidents usually grant pardons and commute sentences during the American holiday season that begins with Thanksgiving on November 22.
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  • Shimon Peres
  • jonathan pollard
  • espionage
  • pollard
  • rafi eitan
  • israeli spy
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