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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Now, he's sorry!

28 years after his testimony put Jonathan Pollard in jail for life, Rafi Eitan is finally sorry, claiming that the Americans had promised that Pollard would 'only' serve ten years.
Speaking to Army Radio to mark Monday’s anniversary according to the Hebrew calendar of Pollard’s arrest in 1985, Eitan referred to secret understandings reached between the Israeli and US governments.
According to the agreement, after a decade, Pollard’s life sentence would be commuted to time served. Army Radio said that when the time came, the Americans denied there had been a deal, and Israel did not protest enough to bring about his release.
“My understanding at the time was that he would not serve more than 10 years,” Eitan said. “There seems to be a desire for revenge [on the part of the Americans] to say: ‘You [Israel] were a friendly [country] and look at what you did, we will show you.’” Eitan said he deeply regretted having incriminated Pollard and that he was devoting his final years to an effort to bring about his release. He said he wrote to US President Barack Obama apologizing and encouraging him to release Pollard.
In an interview published a year ago in Yediot Aharonot, Eitan revealed how he personally had handed over incriminating evidence to the Americans, knowing full well it would be used against Pollard. He claimed he had no choice because he was ordered to do so by the government of Shimon Peres, who was prime minister at the time.
“It was not an easy moment.
The government made the decision and I cooperated with the Americans against my agent,” Eitan said.
“The Americans knew who I was. They knew my reputation,” he continued. “When I testified, I felt a storm of powerful emotions.
I had a deep sense that I should not be talking to the Americans about this operation, that they are certainly not interested in Pollard’s welfare. Nevertheless, I am a disciplined soldier and I have never acted in opposition to my government. I cooperated, even if my own conscience thought that I ought to act otherwise.”
Eitan told The Jerusalem Post in 2006 that he regretted having used the US Navy analyst to spy on his home country.
“I gave my opinion to the Americans that I made a mistake [when I operated him] but that Israel was in dire straits, which makes people do things beyond what is permitted,” Eitan said.
Eitan was Pollard's 'handler.' Read the whole thing.

The very first comment on the story says "" I cooperated, even if my own conscience thought that I ought to act otherwise" = This defense did not work for Nazi war crimes and should not work for you Mr Eitan." But actually, it's worse than that. This is from a post I did in 2006, when Ehud K. Olmert made Eitan a minister:

Eitan was in charge of a spy operation called Lekem, which enlisted Pollard, who was then working for the US Navy. Pollard provided the Israelis with information on the deployment of Arab military forces and other classified information taken from US military intelligence. He was arrested by the FBI on November 21, 1985 and was eventually sentenced to life imprisonment in violation of his plea bargain with the American government.

"Even today, Eitan refuses to help Pollard," his lawyers wrote. "For 21 years he has refused to hand over to the Americans or to the proper authorities in the Israeli government a document that is in his sole possession and of which he holds the only copy, and which the prime minister could use to save Pollard."

"The Americans have never been certain that they received from Israel all the documents that Pollard provided during his service to Israel," they continued. "Had Eitan handed over this document to the Americans at any time during these past 21 years, the Americans would have closed the affair, knowing Israel had returned all the material. This document would have lifted all the accusations that were fabricated against Pollard." [Maybe. It certainly would not have hurt Pollard's cause. CiJ]

According to the Jerusalem Post, the lawyers also charged that Eitan refused to help Pollard escape from the US after the FBI began investigating him. Instead, he lied to Pollard, telling him to stall for time so that the Israelis involved in the affair could return to Israel and avoid arrest. The lawyers charged that Eitan deliberately used Pollard as a scapegoat and left him behind to take the rap.

You ask: what are Eitan's real qualifications for whatever cabinet post he gets? Those are found in the caption of a picture that accompanied the JPost article linked above:

Rafi Eitan. Presented as an adorable Mr. Magoo type, he is actually a legendary former spy, the bad guy of the Pollard affair and a present-day multimillionaire with vast business interests in Cuba.
Sorry Rafi. Too little and way too late. 

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At 7:04 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Cuba?!?!? Holy moly. I'm reading along wondering how on earth Shimon Peres runs through history, promoting Progressive Marcuse Marxist enterprises, like Obama and the Clintons, decade after decade... and now it sinks in that Olmert's guy Eitan is doing business with Ché/Castro's commie slaughterhouse Cuba? This socialist/marxist crap is NOT JUDAISM, is that correct?

At 8:16 PM, Blogger Lois Koenig said...

Carl, I am literally in tears over what is being done to Jonathan Pollard.He does not, IMHO, belong in prison in the first place. It is an abomination. How I wish that they would show pictures of what he looks like NOW...all the pictures we see are decades old.Sadly, I know that Hussein will never release him, and let him go to Israel, where he can live with his wife in peace. I am livid...all these years, where he was not even allowed to go to his father's zt'l funeral. May he live to have a life in Israel.

At 6:03 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Why do you only cite "Hussein" for not releasing Pollard?

Do I need to remind you that every sitting President - Democrat and Republican; liberal and conservative; "friend of Israel" and "enemy of Israel" has kept Pollard incarcerated.

Probably due to the fact that he belongs behind bars.


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