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May 25, 2016 / 17 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Pollard’

Obama’s Bribery and Emotional Blackmail to Sell Pollard and Buy Time

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to return to Israel Wednesday and meet Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah to conclude another black chapter of Israel’s winding itself around President Barack Obama’s little finger.

Everything is apparently is place for the proposed deal of “Pollard in exchange for terrorists and another year of talks,” in reality a stretched version of Palestinian Authority ultimatums.

Palestinian Authority officials are to meet tonight in Ramallah in preparation for Kerry’s visit. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has called for a special Cabinet session Wednesday to approve the deal, if Ramallah does not throw a monkey wrench into the ring.

The American and Israeli governments have been spoon-feeding the Israeli public the past 24 hours with the idea of Obama’s granting Jonathan Pollard freedom from his life sentence in jail, even though he is eligible for pardon in November 2015.

That might be the reason Obama is playing the “Pollard card” now because next year, time would have expired to the point that offering Pollard would be useless for solving the next crisis, which can be expected if Kerry then comes up with a creative device to divide Jerusalem while calling it something else.

Morally, the idea of freeing Pollard for terrorists, and for extending the talks that have brought Israel nothing except a pat on the head from the Obama administration, is reprehensible. For good measure, there will be an “unofficial” building freeze in Judea and Samaria, which means no one really knows what it means.

It also defies logic from the side of the American government, which now has to explain to its citizens that the position that Pollard “committed a serious crime and must pay for it” suddenly subservient to need to continue the mediation of Obama’s point men who keep Israel and the Palestinian Authority from abandoning Kerry and Obama.

Yair Shamir, a Cabinet minister from the Yisrael Beitenu party, told Israeli radio Monday that the proposed deal is “bribery and emotional blackmail.” He said will oppose the deal if it comes to a vote.

Likud Minister Yuval Steinitz, loyal to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, said that the deal defies logic but that Israel has a moral commitment to do whatever has to be done to free Pollard.

Labor Knesset Member Nachman Shai expressed the most accurate estimate of reality. “The Palestinians feel that Israel is in a severe crisis and they can demand more and more,” he said.

Israeli governments, especially those of Rabin-Peres, Sharon, Olmert and now Netanyahu – have consistently turned themselves on their heads to perform stunts that are incomprehensible.

Each one is more unbelievable than the prior act, which is a cause for worry, because what’s next?

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

ADL Calls Pollard Case Vendetta against American Jews

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Abraham Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League, has charged that the continued refusal of American governments to free Jonathan Pollard for prison is a “vendetta’ against the entire American Jewish community.

HaModia reported that in response to a poll by Tablet magazine of leaders of Jewish organizations, Foxman stated, “The fact that Pollard shared information with an ally — Israel — was no reason for him not to be punished. But after this long imprisonment, the fact that it was such a close ally who received his information should have influenced a positive response when the subject of parole arose.

“I am not one to equate what Pollard did, to betray his country, to the recent revelations that the United States has been spying on top Israeli leaders. Here too, however, these revelations add further context to the absurdity of the ongoing vendetta against this one man.

“Yes, I use that word because that’s what it seems like at this point. If it were only a vendetta against one individual it would be bad enough. But it has now become one against the American Jewish community.

“In effect, the continuing imprisonment of this person long after he should have been pardoned on humanitarian grounds can only be read as an effort to intimidate American Jews. And, it is an intimidation that can only be based on an anti-Semitic stereotype about the Jewish community, one that we have seen confirmed in our public opinion polls over the years, the belief that American Jews are more loyal to Israel than to their own country, the United States….

“Pollard stays in prison as a message to American Jews: don’t even think about doing what he did.”

Tablet wrote in an editorial that “Jonathan Pollard’s continued imprisonment sends a chilling message to American Jews that they are all potential traitors to their country, evincing a distinct odor of political anti-Semitism.”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Former US Envoy Favors ‘Trading Pollard for PA State’

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

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.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Gilad Shalit Calling for Jonathan Pollard’s Release

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

Former captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit wrote in an open letter that all Israelis should demand that the United States free jailed spy-for-Israel Jonathan Pollard.

Israeli officials have said that the revelation over the weekend that the United States spied on at least two sitting Israeli prime ministers opens the door for Israel to demand the release of Pollard, who has served 29 years of a life sentence in a U.S. prison.

“After Israel has released terrorists with blood on their hands as a gesture to the Palestinians, a return gesture is all that is being requested,” Shalit said in his open letter. “I believe, and I think that like myself all of the People of Israel believe that the Prime Minister’s request for such a simple gesture, the release of Jonathan Pollard, is owed to us by right, and is not a favor,” he wrote.

“Please, everyone, join me, in a clear demand to our friends, the Americans: we have already freed scores of murderous terrorists with blood on their hands at your request – now it is your turn to make a gesture to us! It may even save Pollard’s life,” he wrote.

Shalit appeared to be reacting to reports, including one by Israel’s Channel 2, that Israel is linking a Pollard release to the current Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, and will ask that Pollard’s release be linked to Israel’s release of Palestinian prisoners. The third group of prisoners is scheduled to take place at the end of the week. Channel 10 quoted White House officials as saying that freeing Pollard is not on up for discussion

JTA

Rep. Engel Named Chairman of International Jewish Lawmakers’ Group

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

New York Democratic Congressman Eliot Engel has been appointed chairman of an umbrella body for Jewish lawmakers worldwide, succeeding Italy’s Fiamma Nirenstein, who recently made aliyah to Israel.

The steering committee of the International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians named Engel, the senior Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, as its chairman this week during a meeting of the group in Washington.

“The work of the ICJP is important for Jews everywhere, and I am proud and honored to help lead and uphold its important mission,” Engel said in a statement.

The group, which is an initiative of the World Jewish Congress, passed resolutions on Iran and on anti-Semitism in Europe and Latin America. In the pipeline is a resolution on religious freedoms in Europe and a letter to President Obama calling for the commutation of the life sentence handed down 26 years ago to Jonathan Pollard, a spy for Israel.

 

JTA

What About the Defamation of Pollard?

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Recently, the Anti-Defamation League, along with several other pro-Israel and Zionist organizations, formed a “broad coalition in support of marriage equality.” The ADL, a long time champion of Jewish rights, appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, challenging the constitutionality of the California bill restricting opposite-gender marriages.

This is an example of the misplaced priorities of the Jewish organizations in America and is a major cause for concern. The ADL slogan, “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all,” begs the question, what about Jonathan Pollard – does he not fall under the aforementioned criteria?

In a 2011 interview with Haaretz, ADL Director Abraham Foxman voiced his disappointment with Vice President Joe Biden’s unwavering stance regarding Pollard: “It’s almost inhuman to keep him in prison – he served his time and there is no justification to keep him in prison.” Despite the director’s beliefs, the organization has yet to take an official stance.

Numerous high level American officials have already called for Pollard’s release, namely the former CIA Director James Woolsey and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey. Most recently, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb came out saying that Pollard’s sentence was disproportionate. Yet the ADL still remains silent.

In 1993, Foxman and Chairman Mel Salberg sent personal letters to President Clinton pleading on behalf Pollard – letters lacking ADL letterheads and stressing the disconnection between their personal views and the ADL’s position. In 2011, Foxman opted out of visiting Pollard: “I may have gone quietly and privately, but I am certainly not interested in media hype, which is to little avail.”

Foxman certainly did not mind the media hype caused by his letter – addressed on ADL stationary – to President Clinton on behalf of March Rich, a wealthy Jew indicted on federal charges of tax evasion and illegally making oil deals with Iran, or of the ADL press release commending President Obama’s decision not to deport 800,000 undocumented immigrants. In fact, the ADL usually does not miss an opportunity to decry injustices.

Pollard is the only person in United States history to receive a life sentence for passing classified information to an ally. With the average sentence for such an offense being two to four years, his verdict should have had anti-Semitic, or at the very least, civil rights warnings flashing throughout ADL offices world-wide.

While the ADL has a rich history of Jewish advocacy and commitment, it is transforming into a hypocritical machine with a liberal agenda and double standards. The ADL fights against the defamation of the Jewish people and for justice and fair treatment for all – as long as the two don’t clash.

Whether the case of Pollard is falls into the category of “defamation of the Jewish people,” or “justice and fair treatment to all,” the ADL’s indifference goes against its very own mission. Pollard along with other important Jewish matters (Chuck Hagel’s appointment as Secretary of Defense for one), have taken a backseat to an array of liberal, non-Jewish, issues.

With the systematic rise of anti-Israel sentiment in the liberal world, the ADL and other Jewish organizations must decide if their loyalties lie with the Jewish people or with the fashionable liberal trend (which, more often than not, is against Israel).

President Obama’s visit to Israel presents the ADL and the other Jewish organizations of America with a major opportunity to advocate for Pollard’s release.  Already over 180,000 Israelis have signed a petition calling on Obama to mark his visit by releasing Pollard.

The defamation of the Jewish people must be called out and stopped at all times, not only when it is convenient and politically correct to do so.

Eytan Meyersdorf

Redeeming the Captives and Jonathan Pollard

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

There is, to the outside world, something a bit incomprehensible about Jews. Most of the world cannot grasp what idiocy would bring Israel to exchange 1,000 prisoners (and yes, among them hundreds of terrorists and murderers) for the life of one person, a young soldier of no worth in terms of security or military knowledge. The sum value of Gilad Shalit’s life was simply that he was one of ours.

By contrast, here in Israel, though we knew it was a stupid and dangerous exchange, it was never something incomprehensible. Rather, it was completely understood, if not something logical. This is what we were commanded to do, above sanity at time, certainly coming within inches of danger to ourselves. We are not supposed to cross the line of endangering ourselves, but even that line blurs as the desperation to bring out own home grows.

We brought Gilad home – others may well die as a result. Perhaps even this past week, as a young child is in very critical condition because the car in which she was riding was stoned. No one regrets for a moment that Gilad is finally home, finally free. We celebrate each victory he claims on his journey to live his life and take back what was stolen from him. I don’t know if what we did was right, but it was good, and it was needed.

And we as a people continue, as we did with Gilad, always aware that there are others out there still held in captivity. Once it was millions – Russian Jews not allowed to emigrate. We protested, we demonstrated, we demanded, we bargained…until the doors of the former Soviet Union opened and more than a million came out. They are part of Israel now and everywhere mixed in with Hebrew, you hear Russian…or at least Russian accented Hebrew and we know that what we did was good, right, needed.

And there were Jews in Ethiopia and Yemen – and we flew planes to bring them home. Jews in Iran that still need to be brought home, though very few. Jews in Syria who have been smuggled in and even Jews from France, who are coming home. And we know that all our efforts are good and right and needed.

And there is a Jew in the United States. Yes, there is. He is a captive and unfairly so. The price he is paying is not for the crime he committed. There was a price to be paid – and he paid it, but he was betrayed by those with whom he made an agreement. It is to their shame that Jonathan Pollard is still in jail, not his. He has done his time and amazingly enough, the vast majority who condemn him – don’t actually know what he was convicted of doing.

You can’t imprison someone for what you think they did, not even for what you know he did. If you respect American law, than you must accept that Jonathan Pollard was sentenced for committing a crime that, on average, results in a sentence of 3-5 years. He has served more than 28 years.

President Obama wants to come to Israel this week and as recent poll showed 79% of Israelis want to see Obama get off the plane with Pollard. There are few things on which you can get 79% of Israelis to agree and given that approximately 20% of the population is Arab and would presumably not be in favor of Pollard being released, that amounts to an almost complete agreement.

The overwhelming feeling among those I know is very simple. There is really nothing to be gained by Obama’s visit. It will be a nightmare of traffic and delays for Israelis a critical week before the Passover holidays. Many of our relatives are flying in or out of the country – honestly, who needs this?

If…IF he were bringing Pollard home, we would greet him with the respect due the President of the United States, even though personally we know he is far from a friend of Israel. We will listen to the nonsense and unfair position he will spout, how WE should do this and WE should do that. We would ignore his pressuring us and ignoring endless violence by the Palestinians.

Paula R. Stern

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/a-soldiers-mother/redeeming-the-captives-and-jonathan-pollard/2013/03/17/

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