Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Thomas Pickering has stated that Jonathan Pollard is a “traitor” but should be released from prison if it would convince Israel to agree to sign an agreement with the Palestinian Authority.
It is incomprehensible that a patriotic American like Pickering can state that a man, an alleged traitor to the United States and who should remain in jail for life, can be freed for the sake of a diplomatic plum for President Barack Obama.
Pollard is far from a traitor by any definition and never was convicted of spying. Calling him a traitor is plain libel. He was caught handing over classified information for Israel, an offense that never has been punished for more than four years in jail until the Pollard trial, such as it was.
Pollard himself has argued against being used as barter for Israel’s freeing Palestinian Authority murderers, which Israel has done time and time again anyway while Pollard remains in jail.
Pickering is not the only former U.S. ambassador to Israel who says Pollard should be released. Samuel W. Lewis, who was the envoy from 1977 to 1985, also has come out for his being released, but Lewis rejected the linkage with the so-called peace process. “He betrayed us, and I am glad he sat in prison, but 28 years is time enough,” he said.
Pickering stated, “I think that achieving an Israeli-Palestinian framework agreement is far more important than the continuation of Pollard’s incarceration.”
It is astounding that a distinguished 40-year veteran of the Foreign Service could even suggest that a country, in this case Israel, would give up its sense of security and gamble on its future in order to win the release of Pollard.
But if we understand that Pickering, by default of having been an employee of the State Dept., has the same clone mentality of everyone else in Foggy Bottom, it all makes sense.
Who else but a State Dept. veteran would say, as Pickering did in a speech in 2010 to the Florida Atlantic University, “Peace can be made between Syria and Israel”?
Actually three was one non-State Dept. man who said that. Meet John Kerry, who as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in his pre-State Dept. days commuted to Damascus, chummed with Syrian President Bassar al-Assad and knew he was on the way to a peace agreement.
Well, you can’t win them all. But Kerry can’t win anything.
Kerry undoubtedly would suggest to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that Pollard be freed if he were to think that the Prime Minister would make “painful concessions.”
Pollard has suffered for too many years in prison, but no one can imagine the suffering he would go through if President Obama were to free him in return for Israel’s surrendering the Jordan Valley, surrendering Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem or even only over the Old City, expelling tens of thousands of Jews and accepting another armed Arab country as a neighbor.
Such a scenario is unlikely not because Kerry is not capable of offering Pollard for a Piece of Peace paper – Kerry is capable of selling his grandmother for that – but because it won’t happen.
It is so immoral that it cannot comprehended by anyone except a State Dept. veteran like Pickering.