EHUD BARAK, JONATHAN POLLARD - JAMES CARVILLE
JEWISH PRESS (New York) EDITORIAL -- January 29, 1999.
Several weeks ago THE JEWISH PRESS reported that
Prime Minister Netanyahu and his chief rival, Ehud Barak, had
agreed to send a joint letter to President Clinton urging the
release of Jonathan Pollard. A draft of a letter was prepared
and the matter reportedly only awaited Mr. Barak's signature.
To our dismay, we learned the other day that Mr. Barak had informed
the Prime Minister, publicly, that he would not be signing the
letter, giving as his reason that he believed that a public declaration
of support at this time, not only would not help, but would be
We are not aware of any change in the political atmosphere that
ordinarily would have prompted this remarkable aboutface regarding
an issue that has come to symbolize to most Israelis a demand
for fair play. And we are thunderstruck that a public declaration
is the problem. Nothing about Mr. Pollard could happen out of
the public eye for the next 50 years!
It seems to us then that what is up is the stealthy hand of Mr.
Barak's head of campaign, the Clintondispatched James Carville.
We can well understand that the President may not want to risk
antagonizing those members of the Senate who are opposed to clemency
for Pollard and must vote at his impeachment trial. So we can
also understand why Mr. Carville would importune Mr.Barak to forbear.
What eludes us, however is why Mr. Barak would go along.
In truth the fortunes of neither the American nor the Israeli
republics depend upon what happens to Mr. Pollard. But it is clear
to anyone who has taken the time to think about the treatment
meted out to him that the whole matter reeks. From the reneging
of the Justice Department on a plea bargain to Caspar Weinberger's
"Trustmehedidsomethingterrible" last minute secret
memorandum to the court at sentencing, to the extraordinary life
sentence, to the continuing leaks cryptically hinting at continuing
threats to America's security, the Pollard case is unique and
has been recognized as such by Jews around the world.
At all events, Ehud Barak, the man who would be prime minister,
owes an explanation to the Israeli electorate and indeed to world
Jewry, as to why he is a willing pawn in a Clinton scenario at
the expense of an important Jewish issue.
SEYMOUR HERSH'S DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN
By Morton Klein National President, Zionist Organization of America
THE JEWISH PRESS -- January 29, 1999.
In a widely publicized article in a recent issue of THE
NEW YORKER, journalist Seymour Hersh claimed Jonathan
Pollard should stay behind bars because according to Hersh
some of the data Pollard gave Israel was then forwarded by the
Israelis to the Soviet Union.
But Hersh neglected to inform his reading public of a crucial
point he made the same allegations back in 1991, and they were
based on a source that turned out to be, in the words of THE
JERUSALEM POST, "a notorious, chronic liar."
In other words, Hersh is just recycling information from a discredited
source in order to harm Pollard. Perhaps that is not surprising,
considering Hersh's long record of extreme antiIsrael bias. In
1982, for example, he gave a speech at Hiram College in which
he "compared Israeli attitudes toward the Palestinians to
American views toward the Vietnamese and the Nazis' policy toward
Jews. (according to NEAR EAST REPORT)
The fact that Hersh has stooped to recycling allegations that
were discredited eight years ago is an indication of the weakness
of the case made by Pollard's enemies. No reasonable case can
be made to keep Pollard in jail any longer. Pollard is the victim
of an outrageous double standard, in which he has been punished
far more severely for spying for an ally of America than the punishments
given out to those who have spied for nations that are not friendly
to the United States. The time has come for President Clinton
to grant clemency to Jonathan Pollard.