20 January 1999. Thanks to Anon.

++ Source Alleges Netanyahu Asked Clinton to Postpone Pollard Decision 

++ Israel Gov't. Puts Official Visits to Pollard On Hold 

++ Pollard an Issue in Israel Campaign 

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The Jerusalem Post, 20 January 1999, 02:49   

Source: PM Asked Clinton to Postpone Pollard Decision 

By Batsheva Tsur 

JERUSALEM (January 20) - Despite earlier Israeli pressure on US President
Bill Clinton to review the case of convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard,
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has now asked Clinton to put off making
his decision until the impeachment hearings are over, a source said

Following the Wye summit, Clinton had assured Netanyahu that he would review
all the material - from both advocates and opponents of Pollard's release -
at this time. At the time it was not clear that the Senate impeachment
hearings would be under way now.

Netanyahu felt that it would not be polite to put pressure on the US
president to decide when he is under duress, the source said.

Netanyahu's spokesman Aviv Bushinsky yesterday denied that the prime
minister had requested such a deferral.

"The opposite is true," he said.

"The prime minister is most grateful that President Clinton has kept his
promise to review the possibility of an early release for Pollard."

Meanwhile, advocates of Pollard's release have not yet submitted their
arguments to Clinton, although the US defense establishment already has
recommended that the spy continue to serve his full term - life

An additional reason for Clinton's delaying the review decision is a pending
request for a meeting with him lodged by three Jewish leaders - World Jewish
Congress head Edgar Bronfman, Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz and
Nobel Prize laureate Elie Wiesel - who wish to put Pollard's case before the

When the White House reportedly suggested that the three meet instead with
Attorney-General Janet Reno - who also is due to make recommendations in the
Pollard case - Bronfman was unusually piqued, the source said, and insisted
on an invitation from Clinton. No date has yet been set for such a meeting.

Asked yesterday whether he had submitted arguments in Pollard's favor to the
White House, Pollard's lawyer Larry Dub confirmed that he had not.

"There is no one to submit them to," he said. "We have not received any
response to my December 4 letter to President Clinton or to my two
subsequent letters to [White House legal counsel] Charles Ruff."

He said there was still no willingness on the part of the US to explain what
"information" Pollard had passed on to Israel and what evidence there was
against him.

Dub yesterday denied again that any encryption codes had been passed by his
client to Israel.

"Pollard did not have access to such encryption data," Dub said. "Frequency
signals manuals without encryption codes are useless."

In a letter last week to Ruff, Dub said he had pointed out that on December
18, 1998, "an ex-NSA senior cryptologic traffic analyst, David Sheldon
Boone, pleaded guilty in US District court in Alexandria, Va., to having
provided the Soviets with, among other things, ... a manual listing all US
reconnaissance programs and signal collection systems, on or about the time
that my client was sentenced."

Dub said that this "calls into question the motive of those 'government
officials' who continue to lay the blame for this crime on Jonathan

President Ezer Weizman yesterday revealed that he had written to Clinton two
years ago to request clemency for Pollard. Weizman said that the initiative
had come from Attorney-General Elyakim Rubinstein, who was minister at the
Israeli Embassy in Washington when the Pollards were arrested and sought
asylum there.

Weizman was speaking to reporters during a visit of British parliament
members of the Conservative Friends of Israel group.

Copyright 1999 The Jerusalem Post

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The Jerusalem Post, 19 January 1999, 02:13 

Goverment Puts Official Visits to Pollard On Hold 

By Hillel Kuttler 

WASHINGTON (January 19) - Visits by Israeli government officials to
imprisoned spy Jonathan Pollard have been put on hold while the campaign
proceeds to attain his release, Israeli Embassy officials said at the
beginning of the week.

The officials did not say that the decision is an explicit one decided on by
either Pollard or the Israeli government, but only that, in the words of
one, "now all the effort is being put in to bring about his release - that
is what he wants and rightly so - and everything else is less important."

The slowdown comes as President Bill Clinton decides on Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu's request to free Pollard, an issue discussed during the
Wye negotiations. Leading American foreign policy, intelligence, defense,
and judicial officials last week transferred to Clinton their
recommendations on the matter.

The embassy's public affairs officer, Avi Granot, the government's new
liaison to Pollard, has made only one visit to Pollard in his six months on
the job. Last autumn, Pollard cancelled, at the last minute, a visit by
Industry and Trade Minister Natan Sharansky and his wife Avital.

An embassy official had no explanation for the change in procedure, and said
that Pollard has not instructed Granot to cease visiting.

Ambassador Zalman Shoval said yesterday he has no direct contact with
Pollard, and another embassy official said that Shoval speaks on occasion
with Pollard's wife Esther.

In the past two weeks, a bevy of op-ed articles have appeared in leading
American publications, the majority of them arguing for Pollard's continued
incarceration for passing secrets to Israel in the early 1980s. Shoval said
he supposed that the articles have been appearing because "there are people
who are afraid that the [president's] review can lead to his release,"
whereas that possibility was given little chance of happening before.

Copyright 1999, The Jerusalem Post

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Associated Press, 18 January 1999, 18:21 EST

Pollard an Issue in Israel Campaign 

By Sari Bashi
Associated Press Writer

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday urged his
challenger in upcoming elections to do more to free convicted spy Jonathan
Pollard, leading to accusations he was turning a sensitive nonpartisan
matter into a campaign issue. 

Netanyahu told reporters he was "saddened and disappointed," that opposition
leader Ehud Barak had refused to sign a letter to President Clinton
requesting the release of Pollard. 

A former civilian analyst for the U.S. Navy, Pollard was convicted of
espionage in 1985 for giving Israel tens of thousands of top-secret
documents. He is serving a life sentence in a North Carolina prison. 

Since then, every Israeli prime minister has requested clemency for Pollard.

"Jonathan Pollard acted on behalf of Israel on a mistaken mission that he
never should have been sent to, but he served his time," Netanyahu told
reporters before a meeting Monday with Pollard's Israeli attorney. 

While insisting that Pollard's case was "not an issue for the elections,"
Netanyahu said, "Ehud Barak must sign this letter." 

In the letter, obtained by The Associated Press, Netanyahu wrote Clinton
that "the unfortunate Pollard affair has driven a wedge between our peoples
and governments. We believe it is time to put this unfortunate chapter
behind us." 

Barak accused Netanyahu of exploiting the case to win points ahead of the
May 17 election. Recent opinion polls show the two men running

Barak defended himself, telling Israel radio he has made private appeals to
Clinton on Pollard's behalf. 

"Netanyahu, unfortunately, is thinking only about the elections. If Pollard
is released, it won't be as a result of the actions of this government but
in spite of the damaging measures of the government and its leader," Barak

Ofir Pines, a lawmaker in Barak's Labor Party, said he would resign as
chairman of a Knesset subcommittee on Pollard to protest Netanyahu's

A request for Pollard's release in October nearly derailed a U.S.-brokered
Mideast peace accord when Netanyahu reportedly linked his agreement to a
clemency deal for Pollard. Under last-minute pressure, Clinton promised to
review Pollard's case. However, top U.S. officials, including Secretary of
State Madeleine Albright, have advised against an early release. 

Copyright 1999 The Associated Press

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