web analytics
October 20, 2014 / 26 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



State Dept Press Corps Angry ‘Israel is Pushing Pollard Release’

The State Department spokesperson suggested, although this was deleted from the official transcript, that Israel is the party which raised the Pollard release.
Said Arikat, State Dept. correspondent for Al-Quds, in State Dept. press briefing, April 1, 2014.

Said Arikat, State Dept. correspondent for Al-Quds, in State Dept. press briefing, April 1, 2014.
Photo Credit: State Dept. briefing screen capture

In Tuesday’s daily press briefing conducted by the State Department spokesperson Marie Harf, several members of the media insinuated that it was Israel that raised the issue of Jonathan Pollard’s release from prison, as a condition for continuing the U.S. mediated “peace process” negotiations currently underway.

In fact, in a briefing that lasted less than 35 minutes, more than a third of the time was spent on the issue of Jonathan Pollard, and every one of the questions asked by the State Department press corps appeared to be an effort to convince the State Department that what they all characterized as an Israeli effort to get Pollard released was an outrage.

It was the first set of questions that was raised, it was the penultimate set of questions, and the questions were raised by no fewer than five different journalists, representing media outlets from across the globe.

Throughout the questioning, Harf maintained a solid line of no comment. She refused to comment on whether Pollard’s release was a matter under discussion during the “peace talks.”

The one definitive statement made repeatedly by Harf was “the President has not made a decision to release Jonathan Pollard.”

But several extraordinary things happened during the press conference, that is, extraordinary in addition to what seemed to be a united front by the journalists who were cross-examining the State Department spokesperson as to why would the U.S. buckle under a demand from Israel to release a convicted spy.

First, a significant comment made by Harf was deleted from the official transcript. That deletion specifically appeared to confirm for the journalists that Israel was the party which had raised the release of Pollard, rather than, as was the general sense in the Israeli media, that it was the U.S. who raised the issue in a desperate attempt to keep the “peace talks” alive.

Reproduced below, is the first relevant section of the transcript of Tuesday’s briefing. Even before this question, it should be noted, the journalist asking this first series of questions claimed that it was Abbas who cancelled the meeting with Secretary of State Kerry, not the other way around, as it has been generally reported.

QUESTION: (at 2:55) Do you want to give us some kind of readout on how it was that the Pollard release was put back up on the table? I know there’s been a lot of conflicting information over the last week, when these reports first surfaced in the Israeli press. We’d like a little clarification on exactly when and why and how, and whether or not Pollard’s release is still on the table, given that Abbas looks like he – that is what’s making him negative on the process right now. (at 3:23)

MS. HARF: (at 3:24) Well, a few points on that. First, the President has not made a decision to release Jonathan Pollard. I want to be very clear about that. Jonathan Pollard was convicted of espionage and is serving his sentence. I don’t have any further update on his status to provide today. In terms of this being a topic, (at 3:38)

THIS IS WHERE THE AUDIOTAPE OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE AND THE TRANSCRIPT DIFFER DRAMATICALLY.  WHAT HARF SAID AS REVEALED IN THE AUDIOTAPE, THOUGH IT DOES NOT APPEAR IN THE TRANSCRIPT AT ALL, IS:

it should be uh no surprise that the Israelis have frequently raised Jonathan Pollard in our discussions, uh, uh, throughout the peace process or at large, but I’m not going to get (at 3:50)

AND THEN THE TRANSCRIPT AND THE AUDIOTAPE RESUME TRACKING:

(at 3:51) into any of the details of the discussions that they’ve had with Secretary Kerry.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

11 Responses to “State Dept Press Corps Angry ‘Israel is Pushing Pollard Release’”

  1. David Green says:

    are we talking about the impartial State Dept press corps again ?!!

  2. That gives us an idea of their values. As if we didn’t already have one. I’ll just say that for them: they are CONSISTENT!

  3. Yori Mendel says:

    That’s because they can only think of one Sentence.

  4. Yori Mendel says:

    That’s because they can only think of one Sentence.

  5. Gee, imagnine. After all these extra years for Pollard when others were released a long time ago for less. And some of our USA heads are pushing for the release of Pali terrorists? The USA at times is becoming more like the UN. What a shame justice, impartiality, and wise decisions are not in place. Also, USA heads need to learn real past history of Israeli land. As long as Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish State is not even recognized, that should be the end of pushing for any kind of deals, land or otherwise.

  6. Mark Shaw says:

    If you want to read an account of the Pollard case, please read my book, "Miscarriage of Justice: The Jonathan Pollard case." Then you can make up your own mind.

  7. Anonymous says:

    SO THE A -QUDS REPORTER IS ANGRY???

    What ——- right does someone from that terrorist press have to even be in the press conference let alone comment on what goes on between the U.S. and Israel???

    Boy that burns my shorts!!!!

    (Pardon my language…but I hate anti Jews & anti Israeli's!!!}

  8. the state department dirtbags are a bottomless pit-lot. look, they let our own americans die horribly at the hands of the medieval ignorant savages of libya. they are simply a bad lot. jew haters. always have been.

  9. Anonymous says:

    One shouldnt be surprised as I dont believe Obama cares for anyone's life, as he does condone abortions and same sex marriages. shame on America

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Agam Luria, from a kibbutz in the Jezreel Valley, was identified as one of the four Israelis killed in the Nepal blizzard.
Israeli Sherpa ‘Pony Express’ Saved Hundreds in Nepal Blizzard
Latest News Stories

Leslie W., 48, and his partner Akiwa H., 56, are charged with having sold more than 88,000 pounds of non-kosher meat for a marked-up price.

RCA Logo

The Rabbinical Council of America said that since the arrest last week of Rabbi Barry Freundel of Washington, DC, it has been working assiduously to address the many challenges that its members and their communities now face.

Agam Luria, from a kibbutz in the Jezreel Valley, was identified as one of the four Israelis killed in the Nepal blizzard.

It was an outright miracle: a tiny teahouse in the pass, and the equivalent of a Sherpa Pony Express to deliver a call for help.

May God grant their wish to be killed.

ISIS propaganda video warns “our grandchildren will sell your sons as slaves.”

At least eight civilians were killed in US-led coalition air strikes against ISIS in a Syrian town near Deir el-Zour.

Hezbollah guerrillas are back on Israel’s northern border even though they’re busy in Syria. The question is what they’re planning and when.

Let’s raise funds to send her to Syria where she can put some sense in her head, if it stays attached.

An Israeli and an Arab poll results after the war.

The long ordeal of the Armenian Orphan Rug, held hostage to fears of angering Turkey, has finally ended. Or has it?

Dr. Eli Harari will receive the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

New York State Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz criticized the decision to not charge the suspect with a hate crime.

Former White House official Ron Klain has been tapped to coordinate the government’s response to the Ebola outbreak.

The mountain trek of a lifetime has ended for Israeli hiker Michal Gili Charkesky, whose body was recovered from the Himalayas.

Yaakov Halul is Israel’s first official Aramean.

More Articles from Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Ismail Haniyeh, highest ranking Hamas member in Gaza, pictured Nov. 25, 2012.

#BDSFail as daughter of Hamas leader is treated in Israeli hospital.

Mahmoud Abbas, acting leader of the Palestinian Authority

Abbas was denounced by the SWC for trying to disassociate Jews from their holy sites and inciting violence against them.

Giuliani to keynote Klinghoffer opera’s opening night press conference and protest rally

Someone in the U.S. gave the order to stop assisting Israel in locating a kidnapped soldier this summer. Who was it?

Abbas promises donors no Gazan violence and financial integrity. And unicorns and leprechauns.

PLO ignores US aid cut threats, saying it will introduce UNSC resolution to ‘end occupation’ by 2016

British students reject Holocaust Commemoration and ISIS condemnation

The EU is preparing a blacklist of Jews who will be banned from Europe. History can be very repetitious sometimes.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/state-dept-press-corps-irate-that-israel-is-pushing-pollard-release/2014/04/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: