Jonathan Pollard Rejected Plan To Flee

An escape plan was put in place for convicted spy-for-Israel Jonathan Pollard but he circumvented it and sought asylum at Israel’s embassy in Washington, his former handler said.

“I got the call that he is waiting at the entrance of the embassy … and I immediately said ‘throw him out.’ I don’t regret it,” former Mossad handler Rafi Eitan said. “The minute the man decided to come to the embassy …. he decided for himself that he is going to prison.”

Eitan, 88, for the first time gave details of his work with Pollard, a former U.S. Navy analyst who was sentenced to life in prison in the United States in 1987, during an interview on the Israel Channel 2 news magazine “Uvda,” which means Fact.

He said he believed that if Israel had given Pollard asylum it would have even more severely damaged its relations with the United States.

Eitan said during the interview that he was not a rogue agent, as he has frequently been depicted, but that both prime ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres were aware of his work with Pollard. He said he took responsibility for the Pollard debacle in order to allow the Israel-U.S. relationship to move forward.

It was recently reported that Pollard was turned down in August for his first parole request. Though he has been eligible to apply for parole for the last 19 years he reportedly has refrained from doing so because he is seeking a presidential commutation, which would release him unconditionally.

The parole commission said it would review Pollard’s case again next year.

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Jonathan Pollard Rejected Plan To Flee

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close