Ex-diplomat: US thinks Israeli spy Pollard was not acting alone

Itamar RabinovichBy JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
One of Israel’s former ambassadors to Washington has told a radio program that United States officials suspect Jonathan Jay Pollard, an American who spied for Israel in the 1980s, was not acting alone. Itamar Rabinovich, who was Tel Aviv’s most senior diplomat on US soil from 1993 to 1996, told Israel Radio on Monday that this is probably the reason behind Washington’s refusal to release the imprisoned spy. Pollard was a US Navy intelligence analyst who spied for Israel, in exchange for money, from 1984 until his arrest in 1986. Many in US counterintelligence consider him one of the most damaging double spies in American history. But he is widely viewed as a hero in Israel, and Israelis, as well as many pro-Israel Americans, are actively pressuring the US administration of President Barack Obama to release him. According to Rabinovich, however, the main reason behind the US refusal to release Pollard is that officials in the US Intelligence Community think that Israel has concealed the full extent of his activities on US soil. Furthermore, Rabinovich said in his interview that Washington believes Israel has shielded other Americans who either collaborated with Pollard or worked alongside him at the time. “They suspect that he wasn’t the only one, that there were additional Pollards”, said Rabinovich, adding that “Israel, despite its promises, did not reveal all the cards in this case and in similar cases”. The former ambassador said that, to his knowledge, “Israel [still] hasn’t said everything” to the Americans about the extent of Pollard’s espionage activities on US soil. Expounding on this, he said that “the claim concerning the enormous damage done to the Americans” by Pollard’s activities is one thing, “but there is also a hidden [claim], which is not voiced openly, but is implied”. The Americans, said Rabinovich, are “punishing Israel at Jonathan Pollard’s expense. They are angry with Israel more than with Pollard”. Asked whether there were indeed other Israeli spies working with Pollard, Rabinovich replied “I fear so”. But in a subsequent email to the Agence France Presse news agency, Rabinovich said some of his comments to the radio station had been misunderstood. He told the news agency that that his remark “I fear so” referred solely to his concern that adversaries of Israel in the US were exploiting the lack of full disclosure by Israel to keep Pollard imprisoned. In response to a question from his interviewer about whether he thought Israeli spies are conducting espionage on US soil today, Rabinovich said he doubted it.

7 Responses to Ex-diplomat: US thinks Israeli spy Pollard was not acting alone

  1. Kidd says:

    and neither did israel attack the uss liberty by mistake —

  2. Anonymous says:

    Don’t all Countries Spy on us now thanks to the Foreign Policies of the Bush Administration?

  3. d966807 says:

    He was not a “double spy”. Throwing away loose terminology like that seriously damages your credibility.

  4. intelNews says:

    @d966807: Jonathan Jay Pollard was an analyst with the Naval Intelligence Command, specializing on Soviet issues. His post required both ‘Top Secret’ and SCI clearances, and he routinely accessed material that was classified top secret. Pollard also engaged in HUMINT, under Task Force 168. While serving in this capacity, and as a member of the US intelligence community, Pollard spied against the United States for Israel. This, technically, makes him a double spy. In any case, I do agree with you that my credibility is far more vulnerable than yours, since I am using my real name when posting online. Thanks for your comment. [JF]

  5. K James Ryan says:

    Pollard wan’t Israeli, he was an American sayanim; hence, he volunteered to be an intelligence agent of a foreign power. As is usually the case in military affairs, doubtless Israel sold the information to the Chinese rather than merely exploiting the intelligence themselves.

  6. intelNews says:

    @K James Ryan: Pollard did not hold Israeli citizenship at the time of his arrest, but he does now. [JF]

  7. Small Rhino says:

    Don’t have a current Israeli passport. Need new one.

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