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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

US ambassador to Israel 'apologizes' for Pollard slur

The United States ambassador to Israel Richard Jones apologized on Tuesday for remarks he made on Monday indicating that Jonathan Pollard, who has been in jail for more than twenty years for spying on behalf of Israel, should have been executed as a traitor.
In a signed official press release, Jones said that the remarks attributed to him were taken out of context, and called them "misinformed and misleading". He left it ambiguous whether he was admitting that his words were incorrect and deceptive, or whether that the "misinformed and misleading" result was due to misquoting or de-contextualizing what he had said.
Pollard's wife Esther responded:
"Jonathan and I were gratified to learn that a first step has been taken by the US Ambassador in recognizing the evil that was done. However, the Ambassador's apology to Jonathan and myself, in the absence of a complete retraction and correction of the false charges that he laid upon my husband, is inadequate.

Ambassador Jones falsely accused my husband of treason, falsely accused my husband of spying for money, and falsely accused him of harming the United States. He suggested that Jonathan ought to have been executed, reinforcing the false charge of treason. All of these false charges made by Richard Jones against Jonathan Pollard are still out in the public domain and doing damage. Unless and until Jones takes retracts these egregious lies and corrects the record, his apology is is at best incomplete, and at worst insincere."
On Monday, Ted Belman at Israpundit claimed that the real 'sin' that Pollard committed was unmasking US foreign policy:

I recently posted Ambassador says US merciful in not executing Pollard . In it there was a link to a post by Robert Olive and a rebuttal. The rebuttal quoted from a court filing that described the damage to the US. It is very instructive.

    Mr. Pollard’s unauthorized disclosures have threatened the US [sic] relations with numerous Middle East Arab allies, many of whom question the extent to which Mr. Pollard’s disclosures of classified information have skewed the balance of power in the Middle East.

This is unbelievable, yet it is believable.

In other words, the US didn’t want anyone to know the true relationship between the US and its Arab allies. It suggests that the public face it puts on these relationships have nothing to do with reality. A matter of utmost importance to both the US and the Arabs. It also suggests that the US knew of Arab plans which were detrimental to Israel and the US was not willing to tell Israel about them.

    Moreover, because Mr. Pollard provided the Israelis virtually any classified document requested by Mr. Pollard’s co-conspirators, the US has been deprived of the quid pro quo routinely received during authorized and official intelligence exchanges with Israel, and Israel has received information classified at a level far in excess of that ever contemplated by the National Security Council. The obvious result of Mr. Pollard’s largess is that US bargaining leverage with the Israeli government in any further intelligence exchanges has been undermined.
The fact that the US as a result had fewer bargaining chips is of minor importance. Israel shares most of its intelligence without a specific quid pro quo. But this sentence supports the fact that the US has many secrets that it does not share with Israel. Why does the US keep Israel, ostensibly a friend and ally, in the dark. The US has no need for “bargaining leverage” but it does have a need to not share with Israel the many things it does which are not in Israel’s favour. Thus Pollard unmasked US policy. This, the US cannot forgive Pollard for.
Maybe that's why Pollard has been in jail all these years. I can't think of many other logical explanations why Pollard has been in jail longer for spying for an ally than most of the people who have been caught spying for America's enemies.


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