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      Rafi Eitan Admits Failure, Regrets on Pollard

      Former Minister Rafi Eitan, who recruited Jonathan Pollard, expressed sorrow over the affair in TV interview.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 10/29/2009, 8:14 PM / Last Update: 10/29/2009, 8:18 PM

      Flash 90

      Former minister Rafi Eitan, who recruited Jonathan Pollard as a spy for Israel in the US, expressed regret over the espionage debacle in an interview on Channel 2.

      "I admit the failure and I regret it,” he said.

      In an interview to Maariv in 2008, Eitan said that the US intelligence services made a joint decision not to permit Pollard ever to be released until the end of his life. “The reason isn't Pollard. It's Israel... It's connected to the relationship system between the American intelligence services and the state of Israel.” Eitan went on to confirm that the US intelligence services were “taking revenge” on Israeli intelligence through Pollard.

      Asked if anything could be done about Pollard, Eitan said: “To my regret, no. What can Israel do? Break relations with the US? This is silly... Every visit of an Israeli personality with Pollard harmed him. The recognition of him as an agent, the Israel identity card. All this harmed him, worsened his situation."

      In 2006, Jonathan Pollard appealed unsuccessfully to the Israeli High Court to prevent Eitan from taking office as minister in the Kadima-led government.