VIDEO - Eitan Haber, who served as Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin's assistant at the time of the Pollard affair,
believes that Tuesday's revelation of a new "Israeli spy"
was aimed at thwarting any chances of seeing Jonathan Pollard released before US President George W. Bush leaves office.
Video courtesy of Infolive.tv
"One would be a fool to believe that the publication of this affair at this time is a coincidence," he told Ynet on Wednesday. "I assume that the timing is not coincidental, and is aimed at sending a warning signal to the White House – and particularly to President Bush – that he should not dare consider releasing Pollard before he leaves office in January.
"It is definitely possible that those who released this information at this time also planned to disrupt Bush's upcoming visit to Jerusalem next month in honor of Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations."
According to Haber, there is no room for comparison between the Ben-Ami Kadish and Jonathan Pollard affairs. "This is much less serious than the Pollard affair," he said.
"From the moment Pollard was captured in 1985, the Americans would not let go of the question who the second Pollard is," Haber recalled.
"According to them, we had at least two Pollards in the US intelligence establishment, and every attempt by Rabin and his successors in the Defense Ministry and Prime Minister's Office to deny this failed. In fact, to this day the Americans are convinced that there was another Pollard and that he may even still exist.
"In all of Rabin's meetings with Secretary of Defense (Caspar) Weinberger – and particularly in the limited meetings – the latter used to ask, 'Who is the second Pollard and when will you turn him in?'
"But there was no second Pollard, and since Pollard was captured in 1985 there is a strict ban on any intelligence activity in the United States. As far as I know, this principle is being maintained meticulously."
Now, after the affair has been revealed, Haber fears that Jonathan Pollard will be one of its victims.
"Whoever initiated the new affair may have very well taken this into account, not wanting to ever see Pollard outside the prison walls. Pollard's main pursuers continue to be all of the intelligence branches in the US, which are joining forces in preventing his release."
Knesset Member Otniel Schneller (Kadima)
commented Wednesday on the arrest of American citizen Ben-Ami Kadish on espionage charges, saying that "arresting an 85-year-old man for something that may have happened 25 year ago, shortly before Israel celebrated its 60th anniversary and just before Bush's visit, raises doubts as to the reasoning of the internal dialoged in the US when it comes to Israel."
"Discrediting the national loyalties of the Jewish minority in the States is all part of the US presidential race," he added.