Former envoy to US: '2nd Pollard' issue not raised

Clarifying earlier statement, Itamar Rabinovich says US officials never questioned whether Israel operated second agent.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
June 11, 2012 22:10
1 minute read.
Jonathan Pollard

Jonathan Pollard 311 (R). (photo credit: Courtesy of Justice for Jonathan Pollard)

 
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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.

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“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 matter.”

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.

Israeli officials 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.

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