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U.S.-Israel and Spy Case

March 18, 1987

Clearly the U.S.-Israel-Jonathan Pollard spy matter should be investigated by both governments. It is sadly shocking that a close ally would deem it necessary to gather intelligence data on a friendly country.

Of course the highest Israeli officials were aware of the spying, just as President Reagan and his close advisers must have known of the Iran-arms- contra -money deals. Of course, it is incredibly stupid of the Israeli hierarchy to promote the officer responsible to a sensitive military post and to reward another with a lucrative executive position in a state-run industry.

But let they who have never sinned (or got caught) cast the first stone. Can the United States truly assert that we do not have secret agents gathering intelligence in other friendly countries as well as in Israel? There are probably reams of secret information we are withholding from even so close and valuable an ally as Israel, considering our government's objectives and other interests in the Mideast and the Arab nations. Add to this the undeniable fact that our State Department has, through the years, displayed anti-Israel tendencies. The crime seems to be in getting caught and in being a small dependent ally, albeit an important one.

Looking at it from the point of view of a relatively new democratic state, with few friends, almost completely surrounded by numerous enemies sworn to her demise, it can be seen that Israel has reason to be paranoid in her mistrust. We resent and are hurt and angered at her actions, but in her place who can say we would not do the same?

The life sentence given Pollard compares unfavorably with the lighter prison terms received by American naval men recently convicted of spying for the Soviet Union. It doesn't make sense to believe that spying for a powerful enemy is less damaging than spying for a small friend and thus deserving of a lighter sentence. But then, there are not too many things in government that make sense, are there?

SHIRLEY WOLF

Santa Monica

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