MK Naveh Challenges Barak's Claims About Pardon Involvement

Source: The Knesset Record, February 28, 2001
Justice4JP Release - March 16, 2001

In a recent address in the Israeli Knesset (02/28/01) former Cabinet Secretary, MK Dani Naveh, challenged Ehud Barak's version of his involvement in clemency requests for incarcerated Israeli agent, Jonathan Pollard, and for fugitive financier, Marc Rich. Naveh's remarks effectively refute Barak's assertion that he advocated more forcefully for Pollard than for Rich.

Naveh indicated that Barak did not have to negotiate Jonathan Pollard's release or to work for it in any measure. Naveh pointed out that an American commitment to release Pollard had already been secured as an integral part of the Wye Accords by the previous Israeli Government and all Barak had to do was to collect on that commitment. The American promise to release Pollard, Naveh said, was not a personal one between the two leaders, but a deal that was struck between the two nations that has yet to be honored.

Here is an excerpt of MK Naveh's remarks to the Knesset:

"...The former President of the United States, Bill Clinton, made an explicit commitment to the then-prime minister of Israel, Binyamin Netanyahu, to release Jonathan Pollard. This promise was made prior to the Wye Summit and during the course of the negotiations at Wye. In the end Clinton reneged on this commitment and told the Prime Minister that he couldn't do it for a variety of reasons - having to do with internal American pressures. Ehud Barak had the opportunity to resolve this outstanding issue. On the eve of Clinton's departure from office, when Clinton had the authority to grant clemencies and was exploiting it, Ehud Barak should have stood firm and insisted that Bill Clinton keep the promise he had made to the Prime Minister of Israel. This was not a personal promise made to a particular prime minister. This was a promise made to the State of Israel and to the people of Israel. Therefore, it is a serious matter that this was not done."

See Also:
  • Pollard Pardon Must Be On Agenda
  • Clemency Page
  • Wye Page
  • Exposé: Using Pollard to Get Rich
  • Is Jonathan Pollard a Camp David Bargaining Chip?