Pollard Redux

May 22, 1998 - The Jewish Press, N.Y. - Comment and Opinion

Most observers believe that last week's acknowledgment by the Government of Israel that Jonathan Pollard was indeed a spy for Israeli intelligence, and not part of some rogue operation will serve to pave the way for his eventual release to Israel. Some suggested that an admission of official responsibility was required to establish a predicate for some tangible sanction against Israel, or some public embarrassment, which the Arabist subculture in the State Department- which survives changes in administrations- is able to insist on.

In any event, the recent approval by the Knesset Law Committee of a bill that would bar the release of Palestinian terrorists held in Israeli jails as political gestures, unless there were regular extraditions to Israel of suspected terrorists in Palestinian controlled areas, reminded us of a curious anomaly.

It will be recalled that at the strong request of President Clinton, Israel agreed, as part of the Hebron agreement some 18 months ago, to not only relinquish most of Hebron, but in return for recycled Palestinian promises to dismantle the terrorist apparatus and amend its charter to remove all references to the destruction of the Jewish State, it also agreed to release 200 female terrorists!

We have never fully understood how the Clinton Administration could importune the release of people directly tied to the killing and maiming of Jews and the destruction of Jewish property, and yet persist in Draconian treatment of a lone individual - Jonathan Pollard - who in an effort to protect it, spied for an ally of the United States!