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The case for releasing Pollard

US authorities deny any linkage between the Iran deal and the fact that it won't oppose the release of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard later this year.
Israelis hold placards during a protest calling for the release of Jonathan Pollard from a U.S. prison, outside U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's hotel in Jerusalem January 2, 2014. Kerry began his 10th visit to the region on Thursday in pursuit of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, has been serving a life sentence in the United States since he was caught spying for Israel in the 1980s. REUTERS/Ammar Awad (JERUSALEM - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTX170
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The Jonathan Pollard affair would never have come about if not for the personal ambition and internecine ego wars between the chiefs of the Israeli espionage system in the 1980s.

It all began with Rafi Eitan, one of Israel’s greatest spies, who was responsible for (among other exploits) the capture of Nazi arch-murderer Adolf Eichmann and for bringing him to Israel to stand trial in 1960. In the beginning of the 1980s, Eitan belonged to the inner circles surrounding Defense Minister Ariel Sharon. His life dream was to be appointed head of the Mossad. He was not granted his wish, but Sharon tried to compensate him by appointing him to head the Bureau of Scientific Relations (Lekem) in 1981. This bureau, associated with the Defense Ministry, was a relatively minor, clandestine Israeli intelligence organization tasked with collecting Western technology to be used by Israeli defense projects. From this position, Eitan wanted to prove his mettle to those who had denied him the Mossad and show them that they’d made a bad mistake. He decided that he would come up with material that they had never seen, even in their wildest dreams. That goal spurred him to employ a spy in the very hub of the US intelligence establishment.

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