web analytics
March 31, 2015 / 11 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Snowden Revelations On U.S. Spying Boost Calls For Pollard’s Release

IsPollard may be gumming up the works for Obama and Kerry by refusing to attend a parole hearing after a deal was proposed to free him if Israel.

IsPollard may be gumming up the works for Obama and Kerry by refusing to attend a parole hearing after a deal was proposed to free him if Israel.
Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

TEL AVIV – The disclosure last week that American intelligence spied on former Israeli prime ministers has given new momentum to the effort to secure a pardon for convicted spy Jonathan Pollard.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and several leading members of Knesset have called in recent days for Pollard’s release following reports that documents leaked by former defense contractor Edward Snowden showed U.S. intelligence had targeted the e-mail addresses of Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert.

The Israeli daily Yediot Aharanot cited an unnamed Israeli official as saying the intercepted e-mails likely are “the tip of the iceberg” in U.S. spying on Israel.

And Yediot reported that the U.S. in 2007 rented an apartment directly across the road from then-Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Washington said the apartment was rented for a Marine working in the U.S. Embassy’s security department, the newspaper reported Sunday, adding that Israeli intelligence discovered that a large amount of electronic equipment had been delivered to and set up in the apartment.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein accused the United States of “hypocrisy” for holding Pollard, who as a civilian U.S. Navy analyst spied on the United States for Israel, even as it spied on Israeli leaders.

Pollard’s case “isn’t disconnected from the U.S. spying on Israel,” Nachman Shai, the co-chair of the Knesset caucus to free Pollard, told JTA. “It turns out, it’s part of life. And what he did is a part of life.”

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said he wants the Israeli government to demand Pollard’s release and insist the United States cease its espionage operations in Israel. And opposition leader Isaac Herzog said Pollard’s punishment “has long passed the limits of sensibility.”

“We hope that the conditions will be created that will enable us to bring Jonathan home,” Netanyahu said Sunday at the Israeli Cabinet’s weekly meeting.

“This is neither conditional on, nor related to, recent events, even though we have given our opinion on these developments.”

When Pollard’s crimes first came to light in the mid-1980s, his activities seemed like a major act of betrayal given the close alliance between Israel and the United States. But the Snowden revelations show that spying by the United States and Israel was a two-way affair, prompting a new round of calls for the release of Pollard.

Support for freeing Pollard represents a rare point of consensus in Israeli politics, with 100 Knesset members among the 120 signing a letter asking Obama to release Pollard, according to Shai. Eighty members signed a similar letter last year.

But Ronen Bergman, an expert on Israeli intelligence who is writing a history of Israel’s spy agencies, says Israeli pressure is unlikely to convince President Obama to free Pollard in the short term.

“I’m quite positive that it won’t happen tomorrow because otherwise it will look as if the president of the United States accepts the claim that following the recent revelations from Edward Snowden, he should parole Jonathan Pollard,” said Bergman.

“But once the Americans were caught with their hands in the cookie jar, it paints the Pollard issue in a different color.”

The clamor for Pollard’s release has grown steadily over the past two years, with the late U.S. senator Arlen Specter, former attorney general Michael Mukasey and former secretary of state George Shultz, among others, expressing their support.

Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman Natan Sharansky, a vocal advocate for Pollard’s release who raised the issue last month in his speech to the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America, told JTA that American calls for the release of Pollard hold more sway than Israeli advocacy.

“What really matters is what American public opinion and American professionals and the American Jewish community feel,” Sharansky said.

“I want to be cautious, but I think we passed a checkpoint. Now we don’t see people thinking [Pollard’s release] is unthinkable.”

Supporters of Pollard have long argued that his three decades of incarceration for spying on an ally is excessive. Revelations of American espionage may strengthen the rhetorical argument on Pollard’s behalf, they say, but the merits of the case for release stand on their own.

“Without any connection to the recent news, there’s no question that the time has already come when the Israeli public and senior officials want this tragedy to come to an end,” said Adi Ginsburg, a spokesperson for the advocacy group Justice for Jonathan Pollard.

“American justice and shared values between the two countries, like justice and mercy, necessitate Pollard’s freedom.”

(JTA)

About the Author:


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.

3 Responses to “Snowden Revelations On U.S. Spying Boost Calls For Pollard’s Release”

  1. Yechiel Baum says:

    Time to grand Pollard Israel citizenship and winnder of the highest Jewish prize, mainkind him an imprisioned hero, ala mondella and call for Pollards immediate release.

  2. The US is afraid to release Pollard. He knows too much of the dirty game the US has played against Israel. He will also be able to confirm the USS Liberty was spying o Israel during the Yom Kippur war, and passed info to Egypt.
    The IAF the shot at the USS Libeerty, and unfortunately, some crew members were killed.
    The responsibility for that must fall on the heads of the US gavernment at the time, and they should apologise publically for this trecherous act, so that the US citizens would know the truth and not condemn Israel for the loss of life on that ship.

  3. Eva Feld says:

    Pollard vs. Snowden… Snowden is an out and out traitor. Pollard still in prison for what?

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Talks between Iran and the P5+1 at Lausanne are likely to be extended beyond Obama's self-imposed deadline.
Iran Likely to Force Obama to Back Down on ‘Deadline Threat’
Latest News Stories
Missionaries in the Tel Aviv area.

The military implicitly admits to having improperly allowed a missionary group to indoctrinate soldiers.

Talks between Iran and the P5+1 at Lausanne are likely to be extended beyond Obama's self-imposed deadline.

Talks are likely to extend beyond Obama’s self-imposed deadline that he had said he won’t change.

This is the photo of an Israeli Air Force attack plane shown with Fars New's Agency report that the IAF joined Saudi jest to bomb Yemen.

The Iranian regime is hard up for propaganda, but maybe it is prophesying the future.

Border Police officers arrest Arab rioter on Land Day riot at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem on Monday.

The Arabs rolled burning tires and three rocks at soldiers at the central Gaza security fence.

The Histadrut national labor union and the Federation of Israeli Employers have agreed to raise the minimum wage to 5,300 shekels ($1,334) by 2017, approximately half the average salary in Israel. The employers and the union previously agreed to a three-stage hike in the minimum wage. The latest agreement adds a fourth stage whole pegging […]

The clowns are back in town while ringmaster Netanyahu tries to tame the beasts.

A Reuters poll shows that America is increasingly polarized, especially about President Obama.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu continued to lash out at a possible “bad deal” with Iran Monday and said, “The agreement being formulated in Lausanne sends a message that there is no price for aggression and on the contrary – that Iran’s aggression is to be rewarded.” Netanyahu said in a statement: The moderate and responsible […]

Release of a gag order reveals that the Israeli citizen and a friend traveled to Syria last year.

Lausanne has become the center stage of act that would put the world’s best novelist or Broadway producer to shame.

Inspections of Iranian nuclear sites won’t uncover possible nuclear activity in North Korea, or even China.

Colel Chabad and IFCJ have made sure thousands of Israelis will celebrate Passover with good food this year.

Former Secy of State Hillary Clinton says she wants to see US-Israeli relations on a “constructive footing” and Israel negotiating with the PA.

A rocket launched from Gaza landed in the Sinai, in the Egyptian half of the town of Rafiach (Rafah).

Rami Levi’s operating and net profit suffered from a 12% increase in the costs of selling, marketing, general and administrative expenses.

Matzah baking isn’t all just hard work. Sometimes it can be fun too.

More Articles from Ben Sales
Israeli winery

“You want to know what this wine looked like, which wine King David drank, white or red…. We can see if it’s red or white, strong or weak.”

IDF soldiers rush injured Israelis to Soroka Hospital in Beersheva after a mortar fired from Gaza exploded at an army staging area near Kibbutz Nirim, close to the Gaza border. The attack occurred shortly before a cease-fire went into effect on Tuesday. Three Israelis visiting the area were hit; two of them died of their wounds.

After a month, should the quiet hold, Israel and Hamas will restart indirect negotiations in Cairo on easing Israel’s blockade of the coastal strip and disarming the enclave.

Shlomy Zachary, an Israeli human rights lawyer, noted that Israeli cooperation with previous UN investigations has helped mitigate criticism of Israel – for example, in a 2010 UN investigation of the so-called flotilla incident.

Smart bombs: Israeli war technology isn’t limited to the home front.

“The values I learned from my parents are probably the same values I hope Christians and Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists teach to their people.”

On Monday, Lapid told JTA that he would sooner agree to freeze settlement growth than free Palestinian prisoners, as Netanyahu has done previously in an effort to advance the process.

“He was like everyone else,” she said. “He was serious. He wouldn’t mess around. He would do what I said. He was quiet a lot and thought a lot. He did everything well.”

More than having a hand on the wheel, the year since the formation of the new government has seen Jewish Home and the coalition’s other smaller parties driving much of the government’s agenda. Netanyahu’s Likud party has taken a back seat on everything besides security affairs.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/snowden-revelations-on-u-s-spying-boost-calls-for-pollards-release/2013/12/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: