Abandoned on the Battlefield

Uri Dan - Jerusalem Post - January 25, 2001

Prime Minister Ehud Barak knows first-hand the magnitude of Jonathan Pollard's contribution to Israeli intelligence regarding the security of the state, in the face of the chemical-weapons threat presented by Syria and Iraq. As head of the IDF Intelligence Branch, Barak personally received the intelligence material coming from Pollard in the mid-Eighties. Barak was well aware that the eagle appearing on the secret documents was American, not Polish.

Consequently, Barak's failure to get Israeli agent Pollard released makes one want to cry out to heaven. Barak gave in to all US demands, in a way that no Israeli prime minister would have dared to do in the past.

Barak's intimacy with former US president Bill Clinton led to a total Israeli surrender. Barak canceled a giant deal made by Israel Aircraft Industries with China. At the same time, Clinton agreed to present Barak's concessions regarding the Temple Mount, the Old City, Judea and Samaria, and the Jordan Valley, as "American ideas," that were subsequently rejected by Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat.

Barak handled every serious issue in an incompetent and inexperienced manner. It is now clear that Clinton meant what he said in the summer of 1999, before meeting Barak: "I am curious to meet this new toy." And Clinton did play with his new toy. Clinton failed to honor his promises that the US would upgrade its strategic relations with Israel and that Israel would be compensated to the tune of $750 million for the retreat from Lebanon, among other promises. Ask Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami, who complained about this in a meeting at the Foreign Ministry.

Barak could at least have insisted on Pollard's release. Indeed, until the very last moments of the Clinton administration, Barak's representative received promises that this would take place. Barak boasted at one time that he, in contrast to Netanyahu, would bring about Pollard's release by going about matters quietly, far from the public eye, by keeping a "low profile" in the endless intimate phone conversations he had with Clinton. Barak could have demanded Pollard's release, instead of just discussing concessions to the Syrians and the Palestinians.

However, Barak neither pounded on the table nor moved heaven and earth to overcome the antisemitism rife in the US intelligence community. He merely politely requested that Pollard be given the pardon due to him.

This is typical of a prime minister and minister of defense who acts as if he knows more and is cleverer than everyone else. This is typical of Barak whose policy has tied the hands of the IDF, leaving a wounded soldier to bleed to death at Joseph's Tomb and evading responsibility for the security of the hikers on Mount Ebal. If you abandon injured soldiers on the battlefield, then you will also leave Jonathan Pollard in jail.