Wed, July 21, 2010 | the Dry Bones Blog | By Yaakov Kirschen
Watching TV at Grandpa’s House
On February 28, 2001, Dani Naveh, (Israeli Minister without Portfolio) set the record straight about what happened back in 1998. In a speech to the Knesset he officially revealed what Israelis already knew. He said that:
“…The former President of the United States, Bill Clinton, made an explicit commitment to the then-Prime Minister of Israel, Binyamin Netanyahu, to release Jonathan Pollard.
This promise was made prior to the Wye Summit and [again] during the course of the negotiations at Wye… This was not a personal promise made to a particular prime minister… This was a promise made to the State of Israel and to the People of Israel…” (Dani Naveh, Minister without Portfolio; from the Knesset Record, February 28, 2001).
From the jonathanpollard website:
America’s commitment to release Jonathan Pollard, made as an integral part of the Wye Accords, still stands and is not limited to any specific government.
The US commitment to release Pollard as part of the Wye Summit was explicitly given to Israel twice:
* prior to the Wye summit, President Clinton unequivocally committed to freeing Pollard as an inducement to Netanyahu to participate in a high-profile summit before the mid-term House elections in November.
* during the Wye summit, the US again committed to Pollard’s release as an integral part of the Wye Accords as a quid pro quo for immunity for terrorist Ghazi al-Jabali, plus the release of 750 Arab terrorists and murderers, with Jewish blood on their hands.
The Netanyahu Government has never hesitated to publicize point 1 above. But to this day it remains reticent to acknowledge its role in point 2 above, ashamed, no doubt, of being the first Government of Israel to agree to release Arab terrorists with Jewish blood on their hands. Consequently, while this is not denied, it is never voluntarily raised by Netanyahu or his former government colleagues. They are loathe to talk about how America duped the Netanyahu government into agreeing to release these murderers and gave nothing in return.
As a consequence of its failure at Wye, the Netanyahu Government fell, and the next Government, fully cognizant of the deal Netanyahu had made, released the murderers and terrorists who were the price paid for Pollard. Despite Clinton’s behind-the-scenes promise to do a “review” of the case and then release Jonathan Pollard parallel to the release of the 750 terrorists, America did not live up to its end of the deal and Pollard remained in prison.
The double-cross that Israel experienced at the 1998 Wye Summit is fundamental to an understanding of how this case has continuously been exploited by the US to elicit painful concessions from Israel. Israel routinely delivers and the US contemptuously continues to ignore its commitment to free Jonathan Pollard.
The Israeli Prime Minister that Clinton duped back then was Bibi Netanyahu …our current PM! Which is why I was surprised to read the recent news. Here’s the item as reported by Ynet.co.il:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with former American President Bill Clinton [during his recent visit to Washington] and asked him to help in the efforts to release kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit from Hamas captivity.
Netanyahu noted that Clinton has an international reputation, and recalled the release of two American citizens in North Korea, which was made possible after the former president visited the Communist state. (Yitzhak Benhorin, Washington)
But in 2001 following a meeting with the former Prime Minister Netanyahu, Rabbi Steven Pruzansky of New Jersey wrote (05/02/01):
“I asked Netanyahu about Bill Clinton and Jonathan Pollard and he did not mince words. This will shock some people but not others. He characterized Clinton as ‘very hostile to Israel, clearly a friend of the Palestinians,’ and was puzzled by the fawning admiration lavished on Clinton. Netanyahu was induced into coming to Wye partly by an unequivocal commitment by President Clinton to release Jonathan Pollard, and send him back to Israel with the Prime Minister… Netanyahu simply ended: ‘Clinton lied to me’. Now that’s a shocking disclosure.” (Yediot Yeshurun, June 2001).
It’ll not surprise you what Hamas thinks of all this as reported by Haaretz:
According to Ma’an, the Hamas government of Gaza has received no information on Clinton’s potential visit, but Gaza Foreign Ministry undersecretary Ahmed Yousef told journalists on Saturday that Hamas “welcomes every effort to expose Israeli crimes against the population of Gaza.”
“The government is open to the world through contact with Western officials, who are well briefed on the suffering of the Palestinian people,” he added. (Palestinian news agency Ma’an, July 11, 2010)