If US President Barack Obama does not free Jonathan Pollard by the November 6 US
election, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu should expose American efforts to
spy on Israel, National Union MK Arieh Eldad said Tuesday.
Eldad spoke at
a Knesset State Control Committee meeting, monitoring progress in bringing about
the release of the Israeli agent jailed in the US.
The National Union MK
noted an Associated Press report over the weekend about a break-in at a
CIA-owned apartment in Tel Aviv. While the report sought to prove that Israel
was monitoring American intelligence operatives, Eldad said it should have
raised the question of why the US was operating in Israel.
realizes that he needs American Jewish votes or money, there is hope to bring
about Pollard’s release by November,” Eldad said.
“But if not, Israel
must remove the [US’s] mask. They say one of the problems of the Pollard case is
that countries do not spy on their friends.
“It is time to say out out
loud what the CIA was doing in that apartment and what is happening on the roof
of the US embassy in Tel Aviv,” he continued. “They are spying on a friendly
Eldad blasted President Shimon Peres for receiving the
Presidential Medal of Freedom from Obama at a June 13 ceremony in Washington,
calling it shameful for him to accept the prize while the US president is
preventing Pollard’s freedom.
Committee chairman Uri Ariel (National
Union) complained that the Americans reneged on agreements with Israel when they
sought the life sentence Pollard was given in 1987 and when then-US president
Bill Clinton broke a promise to Netanyahu to release him as part of the 1998 Wye
Ariel expressed disappointment that the Prime Minister’s
Office did not send a representative to the hearing despite repeated requests
made to cabinet secretary Zvi Hauser and Netanyahu’s senior adviser Ron Dermer.
Ariel said Netanyahu’s advisers told him they did not have anything to report to
“It was a very bad mistake by the Prime Minister’s Office
not to send anyone,” Ariel said. “We tried for a long time to coordinate the
meeting with them but they are clearly avoiding coming. I see this as very
grave, and I will consider issuing an injunction requiring the prime minister to
Forcing a prime minister to testify to a Knesset committee rarely
An injunction requires a majority of the 13 MKs on the
Effi Lahav, who heads the Committee to Bring Jonathan Pollard
Home testified to the MKs that there has been a rise in support for clemency
from American Jews and top current and former American officials.