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