WASHINGTON (Mar. 2)
The State Department said it expected Israel to “call to account” any individual involved in the case of Jonathan Pollard, an American Navy analyst who has confessed to selling U.S. military information to Israel. He and his wife Anne are scheduled to be sentenced here Wednesday.
The State Department issued its statement during a Monday press briefing when asked about the recent promotion of Col. Aviem Sella, an Israeli Air Force officer alleged to have supervised Pollard’s activity. Sella has been named commander of Israel’s second-largest air base.
“At the time Pollard’s espionage was discovered, the government of Israel said it would take steps to prevent the recurrence of such unauthorized activity and any Israeli involved would be called to account,” said State Department Deputy Spokesperson, Phyllis Oakley. “We expect the government of Israel to stand by these undertakings.”
The Pentagon and U.S. Air Force have indicated that they will not cooperate with Sella, according to reports.
SMALL RIFT OVER ISSUE
Oakley did not indicate that the State Department had directly told Israel of its displeasure over Sella’s promotion, but said that “the government of Israel is aware of our position on all the people involved in this case.”
Some Israeli leaders have complained of U.S. intervention in Israel’s affairs, and called it “unprecedented” for the American to declare a boycott against a senior Israeli officer.