Arens Says He Apparently Failed to Ease American Concern
TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) _ Cabinet Minister Moshe Arens returned from the United States on Tuesday, saying he apparently failed to ease American concern over charges that a U.S. intelligence analyst passed military secrets to Israel.
″It will take time for the smoke to clear. I don’t think we have succeeded in calming the situation,″ Arens told reporters at Ben-Gurion Airport.
Jonathan J. Pollard, a 31-year-old Navy civilian analyst, was arrested outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington last Thursday and charged with spying for Israel.
Arens, a former defense minister and ambassador to Washington, said Secretary of State George P. Shultz told Arens on Thursday he was disturbed by the affair and asked for an explanation.
Arens said he told Shultz, ″I am no less amazed than you.″
He said Shultz told him President Reagan’s reaction on hearing about the affair while returning from the Geneva summit was: ″Why are they doing it?″
Arens, now a minister without portfolio, said his meeting with Shultz on Thursday was ″friendly″ and arranged before Pollard’s arrest.
Israel and the United States signed an accord in 1981 in which they agreed to share strategic military information affecting each other’s security.
Pollard, accused of selling secret documents to Israel, was arrested after a failed attempt to seek political asylum. His wife, Anne Henderson-Pollar d, was arrested Friday and accused of illegal possession of secret documents.
The Hadashot tabloid reported that Pollard, an American Jew, was in Israel in 1974, volunteered to help the Israeli security services and after a background check was drafted as an agent.
The dailies Haaretz and Yediot Ahronot reported Tuesday that Pollard was recruited by Raphael Eytan, a former adviser on terrorism to then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin.
They said their reports were based on a story published Tuesday in the Washington Post.
However, the Post did not report Eytan’s name, saying only that unofficial Israeli sources have named a man who once worked for Begin as the intermediary who received secret U.S. documents from the man accused of spying.
″The Washington Post has decided not to use the man’s name, because no reliable source has tied him directly to Pollard,″ the Post article said.
The Israeli newspapers said Eytan maintained contact with Pollard during several visits to the United States.
Eytan, 59, was not available for comment. His wife answered several telephone calls to their home and said Eytan was not there and could not be reached.
Prime Minister Shimon Peres, who is heading an inquiry into Israel’s links with Pollard, said he did not believe Israel’s embassy in Washington knew in advance about the affair.
″To the best of my knowledge, our embassy in Washington does not deal in espionage,″ Peres said during a speech in Bat Yam, a suburb of Tel Aviv.
The Israeli government has denied knowing anything about Pollard’s alleged activities.
Haaretz reported that the United States has demanded from Israel detailed information on the Pollard affair and a commitment that Israel will not use spies in the United States.