Pollard: How High on the Agenda?

Arutz7 News - March 13, 2001

Prime Minister Sharon's recent declaration on CNN that he intends to ask for the release of Jonathan Pollard when he meets with President Bush next week has come to serve as just the latest impetus for the efforts to attain freedom for Pollard. Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze'evi, who served as the head of the Knesset Lobby for Pollard until his appointment as Minister last week, planned to meet with Pollard's Israeli attorney Larry Dub this afternoon. His party colleague, MK Tzvi Hendel, will now assume the leadership of the Knesset forum on behalf of Pollard.

IMRA commentator Dr. Aaron Lerner writes today that Sharon's declaration must be followed up with actions: "[Pollard's release] must be the primary issue at the top of the Israeli agenda when Sharon meets with President Bush... High level meetings are anything but spontaneous. Representatives of both sides work out the agenda and talking points well in advance. Sharon told American viewers that he intends to ask the President to release Pollard, and this must be expressed in the prepared agenda for the meeting."

If Pollard is not made a top priority issue at the Sharon-Bush meetings, continues Lerner, "the Americans will conclude that Sharon. is just 'going through the motions,' and that will be the final blow to any hope of relief for a seriously-ailing Pollard."

Lerner listed several compelling factors that can be raised at this meeting, including Pollard's new legal case before the American courts, which provides a solid legal framework for clemency; the grossly disproportionate life sentence for an offense that is usually punished by 2-4 years; Pollard's failing health; Sharon's own eyewitness role at Wye when President Clinton reneged on his commitment to free Pollard.

Another factor to be noted is the current "window of opportunity" while the new administrations in both Israel and the U.S. show their desire to work in close cooperation.

See Also:
  • Making the Most of Sharon's Meeting with Bush
  • Exposé: Using Pollard To Get Rich
  • Wye Page
  • The Court Case 2000-2001 Page