MK Eldad Says US Should Arrange Barghouti-Pollard Swap
Nina Gilbert - Jerusalem Post - May 21, 2003
NB: J4JP's posting of this item should not be construed as an endorsement of the ideas or opinions presented.
The United States should arrange a three-way prisoner swap with Israel and the Palestinians to bring about the release of Jonathan Pollard, jailed in the US for 18 years on charges of spying for Israel, National Union MK Aryeh Eldad said Tuesday.
Eldad, who was speaking in the Knesset, said US President George W. Bush should release Pollard if he wants to advance the so-called road map for peace in the region.
"Pollard has been rotting in jail for 18 years, and all of the US presidents have declined to release him," Eldad said. He said if the US expects Israel to make concessions for peace, it should also make a gesture to Israel and release Pollard.
According to Eldad's proposal, Israel would extradite to overseas Palestinian Tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti, who is on trial for organizing terrorism, and the Palestinian Authority would extradite to Israel the killers of tourism minister Rehavam Ze'evi, who are jailed in Jericho. The US would release Pollard to Israel in return, he said.
Meanwhile, the National Union Party staged a demonstration opposite the US Consulate in Jerusalem Tuesday night as its first move in a new campaign to press for Pollard's release.
Approximately 1,000 people, mostly young people, attended the rally, according to organizers. Signs and T-shirts displayed at the rally said: "Bring Pollard Home," and "Release Pollard Now."
MK Uri Ariel (National Union), who organized the rally, said the US's treatment of Pollard seems "anti-Semitic," since he saved so many people after transferring information that did not cause any harm.
He said Pollard gave Israel information on Iraq's biological and chemical weapons that the US should have provided to Israel but "hid from it."
J4JP CORRECTION: The Rally for Jonathan Pollard was organized by Jerusalem activist, Eli Joseph and former prisoner of Zion, Yosef Medelovitch. The National Union provided specific assistance to the organizers. Justice for Jonathan Pollard endorsed and supported the rally calling on the Israeli public to attend, which they did, in large numbers!