American officials never questioned whether Israel operated an agent in the US
in addition to Jonathan Pollard from 1992 to 1996, former ambassador to the US
Itamar Rabinovich said Monday.
Pollard was often in the news during
Rabinovich’s four-year tenure due to developments in his court case and a
request for clemency from then-US 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 the
investigation into Pollard.
“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
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.
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 spy 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 said.