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February 05, 1988 - Image 33

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-02-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

U.S., Israel Consult
On Pollard Case Fallout

WOLF BLITZER

Special to the Jewish News

W

ashington — The
United States and
Israel have recently
made quiet but significant
progress in trying to resolve
their outstanding differences
stemming from the Jonathan
Jay Pollard spy scandal.
Informed U.S. and Israeli of-
ficials have predicted that an
agreement between the two

;

\

s •

-

Jonathan Pollard:
Not a subject of negotiations.

governments could in fact be
achieved in the coming weeks
or months.
The outgoing U.S. attorney
for the District of Columbia,
Joseph diGenova, was re-
ported to have recently
visited Israel in an effort to
resolve the matter. His press
spokesman, Clendon Lee,
refused to comment on the
report, which was published
in Maariv.
The Israeli cabinet secre-
tary, Eliyakim Rubinstein,
was said to have continued
those discussions during a
visit to Washington.
At issue is the U.S. Justice
Department's determination
to lift the immunity from
prosecution that had earlier
been granted to three Israeli
officials involved in the affair
— Rafael Eitan, the former
head of the now-disbanded
LEKEM scientific in-
telligence gathering unit in
the Defense Ministry which
"ran" Pollard in Washington;
Yosef Yagur, the science
counselor at the Israeli Con-
sulate in New York who
served as Pollard's second
"handler"; and Irit Erb, a
secretary at the Israeli Em-
bassy in Washington who
copied classified documents
obtained by Pollard.
Pollard's first "handler,"
Israeli Air Force Colonel
Aviem Sella, has been formal-
ly indicted by a U.S. federal

grand jury on charges of es-
pionage. Like the other
Israelis, Sella is in Israel.
The Americans have
wanted to lift the immunity
they earlier granted to Eitan,
Yagur and Erb because of
allegations that they lied dur-
ing their initial cooperation
with the U.S. investigation of
Pollard, a former civilian in-
telligence analyst in the U.S.
Navy. Pollard was sentenced
last March to life_ in prison.
His wife, Anne Henderson-
Pollard, was sentenced to five
years on lesser charges in-
volving the unauthorized
possession of classified
documents.
The Americans have ac-
cused the three Israelis of try-
ing to cover up Sella's role in
the operation. They have
threatened to file criminal
charges against them — as
they already have done with
Sella.
But according to U.S. and
Israeli oficials, the two
governments are now discuss-
ing a possible deal which
would include a far greater
Israeli willingness in the
future to cooperate with U.S.
extradition requests, in-
cluding those of American
Jews who have dual U.S.-
Israeli citizenship.
In addition, the officials
said, Israel would more
severely punish Eitan — as it
had promised during its in-
itial pledge of "full" coopera-
tion with the U.S. investiga-
tion.
Eitan, although removed
from LEKEM, was quickly
named chairman of Israel
Chemicals, a large govern-
ment-owned company. That
was not seen as punishment
by the Americans. Indeed,
many Americans charged
that Eitan had actually been
promoted.

What remains unclear, U.S.
and Israeli officials said,
would be the fate of Sella,
who has been formally
charged with espionage.
Dropping those charges
against Sella, the officials
said, is by no means a simple
matter.
The officials also pointed
out that the current negotia-
tions between Washington
and Jerusalem have not
directly touched on the fate of
Pollard and his wife. Any
Israeli effort to win an agree-
ment from the United States
to get the Pollards deported to
Israel, for example, is still
seen as "way down the road,"
in the words of one Israeli
source.

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