NEW YORK (May. 27)
The investigation of the Israel government’s involvement in the Jonathan Pollard spy case by two separate panels was hailed as an example of democracy in action by American Jewish leaders.
“We welcome their findings as an example of a democratic process in a democratic society,” Burton Levinson, national chairman of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, said in a statement Wednesday.
Morris Abram, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said, “the appointment of two commissions to explore the role of high officials in the Pollard affair was the kind of response Israel’s friends hoped for and expected from a vital and flourishing democracy.”
The investigations were conducted by a Cabinet-appointed commission of two and by the seven-member intelligence subcommittee of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Security Committee. Both reported Tuesday their findings that the highest political echelons were culpable for mishandling the affair and held the entire Cabinet collectively responsible. Abram noted in his statement that “All governments make mistakes, but only democratic countries have the capacity to examine what went wrong. Israel acted in this spirit.” Levinson said: “We find it reassuring that the two committees found no evidence of complicity or knowledge of the Pollard affair among Israel’s political leadership. We support their call for the Israeli government to accept responsibility for the Pollard affair and continue to act to correct the damages.”
Seymour Reich, president of B’nai B’rith International, focussed on the sharp criticism the panels reserved for the two senior Israeli officials directly involved with Pollard, Rafael Eitan and Col. Aviem Sella.
“In view of the findings, I believe Mr. Eitan should resign as director general of Israel Chemicals, just as Sella has resigned from the Tel Nof Air Force base,” Reich said. “Such a step would help cleanse the stain caused by the Pollard affair and its aftermath.”