Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90
Jonathan Pollard

Former spy Jonathan Pollard announced Tuesday evening that he is withdrawing his support for Zionist Spirit leader Ayelet Shaked due to her unwillingness to commit to supporting a right-wing government only.

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Earlier in the day, Pollard had endorsed Shaked, saying he had shown “misplaced loyalty in our last government” but maintained she “realizes the mistake” and would “serve Israel in a way that will safeguard both our core interests and our honor.”

Jonathan Pollard Endorses Ayelet Shaked: She Knows She Made Mistakes

“After talks that took place recently and seemed positive, and after my words regarding Ayelet Shaked were published this morning, it became clear to me that she refuses to make necessary changes to her list and to commit that she will only join a right-wing government that will preserve the Jewish identity of the country,” Pollard said in a statement quoted by Israel’s Channel 2 News political journalist Amit Segal.

“This raises real concerns that she will once again transfer votes from the right to the left,” Pollard said, adding, “That’s why I retract my support for her.”

In response to Pollard’s message, Shaked issued her own statement.

“I was happy to hear this morning about Jonathan Pollard’s support for me,” she said.

“The poisonous machine that was directed at him from the moment he announced his support for me put Jonathan in an impossible situation and I’m glad he pulled himself out of the eye of the storm.

“An Israeli hero like Jonathan deserves to be at the heart of the consensus and not become a target in the toxic discourse of Israeli politics.

“As I have said at every step in recent weeks, only together will we win. This is the secret of the strength of the people of Israel.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.