May 21, 1998
Pollard’s Good News
Israel's admission last week that convicted spyJonathan Pollard had been an Israeli agent when he was arrested inWashington in November 1985 has greatly increased his chances ofrelease. Pollard, who was denied sanctuary in the Israeli Embassy asfederal agents closed in on him, had until last week been disowned bythe Israeli government.
"The basis for an equitable resolution to myaffair is at hand," the former Navy security analyst told Stewart Ainof New York Jewish Week.
A former chairman of the Conference of Presidentsof Major American Jewish Organizations, Seymour Reich, called theIsraeli action "a major breakthrough." Last week's statement "putsthe full weight of the Israeli government behind the request for hisrelease," Reich said. "The ball is now in the president's court,"referring to Clinton's power to commute Pollard's lifesentence.
At press time, the Journal received a copy of anote reportedly passed on to Pollard from Benjamin Netanyahu. Thenote, written on the Israeli prime minister's stationery and bearinghis signature, reads: "Gather your courage and spirits. You are notalone. The state of Israel will go on working, tirelessly anddauntlessly, to bring you home." -- StaffReport