Camp David: Barak, Pollard and the Steel Trap
Ben Caspit - July 14, 2000 - MA'ARIV
Journalist Aaron Lerner recently succeeded in putting his hands on a rare document, the Eban Commission Report about the Pollard affair, which was prepared in 1987 by the Knesset's Intelligence and Foreign Affairs Committee.
The hard facts in the Eban document are painful for Israeli eyes to behold. For example: under the heading: "The Decision To Cooperate With The United States" it says that Israel agreed to return the documents it had received from Pollard to the United States, but conditioned this cooperation on the granting of immunity to three people involved in the affair, and on the commitment of the Americans NOT to use the returned documents in the prosecution of Pollard.
The report shows that the Americans violated their commitment to Israel, and that they were only able to secure Pollard's cooperation and his guilty plea thanks to Israel's betrayal of him. Three members of the Eban Commission criticized the Israeli decision to return the incriminating documents saying that "the decision was fundamentally mistaken and caused serious damage. These documents constituted the basis for the conviction and life sentence that Pollard received..."
What is more: Israel never bothered to tell Pollard about the agreement with the Americans so Pollard never knew that he could have employed legal means to prevent the documents from being used against him. Israel did not bother telling Pollard about the agreement even when he went to appeal years later in 1991.
An even more fundamental betrayal of Pollard occurred AFTER Pollard had signed a plea agreement with the United States. Israel, with the backing of the Americans, altered his plea agreement and deleted the description of Pollard as "an official Israeli agent." Pollard was forced to fight for another 10 years to restore his right to be considered "an official Israeli agent." It was Israel who betrayed Pollard into a steel trap and threw the key away.
According to the Eban report and Lerner's findings, the United States demonstrated wickedness, faithlessness and a wanton disregard for commitments it made. This stands in stark contrast to the "special relationship" that is supposed to exist between Israel and the United States. And it is based especially upon this "special relationship" among other things, that Ehud Barak has travelled to Camp David to sign a peace agreement with the Palestinians.
If indeed Barak does return from Camp David with an agreement, it can only be hoped that he will keep his promise and bring Pollard home at last. If not, Pollard will continue to rot in the steel trap that Israel built for him.