U.S. Says Pollard Not an Issue at Camp David?

Middle East Newsline - July 26, 2000

US & Israel Share Lack of Credibility on Pollard -Justice4JP Preface

The show at Camp David may be over for now, but the drama continues behind the scenes. Two years after President Clinton reneged on his commitment at Wye to free Jonathan Pollard, his promised review of the case is still not completed.

Mr. Clinton appears to be holding out for the highest bid he can get. Similarly, Mr. Barak, appears to be saving the Pollard card for yet higher stakes ... Clearly, nothing Mr. Clinton or Mr. Barak says about Pollard at this time is credible.Consequently current media statements, American and Israeli, regarding the Pollard issue should be taken with a grain of salt.


- The Clinton administration said convicted spy Jonathan Pollard has not become an issue in the Camp David negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.U.S. officials denied reports that Prime Minister Ehud Barak has urged President Bill Clinton to release Pollard, sentenced in 1986 to life in prison, as part of any agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

"I'm not aware that it's come up in the context of the discussions," White House spokesman Joe Lockhart said. "But what I did say, and what is the reality is, I don't know of any time the president has met with Barak in any format or extended session where at some point it's not raised."

Lockhart also denied reports that the issue has been raised with the president by First Lady Hillary Clinton, who is running for the U.S. Senate seat in New York. "I certainly know he's talked to her, but I'd be very surprised to learn that they were talking about Jonathan Pollard," Lockhart said.

Earlier, Israeli and Arab diplomatic sources said Barak appealed to Clinton for the release of Pollard to help increase Israeli support for any agreement with the Palestinians. They said Barak made a similar appeal to Egypt for the release of convicted spy Azzam Azzam.