DeLay: No Release for Pollard
Nina Gilbert - Jerusalem Post - July 31, 2003
US House Majority leader Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) declared while
visiting the Knesset on Wednesday that Jonathan Pollard, sentenced to
life for giving classified information to Israel on non-conventional
weapons capabilities of Iraq and other Arab countries, is a "spy" who
must remain in prison.
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin gave DeLay a petition to US President
George W. Bush signed by 112 MKs asking him to release Pollard on
humanitarian grounds. The appeal asks Bush to consider the fact that
Pollard's efforts were aimed at foiling the "terrorist intentions" of
the Iraqi regime.
The petition was sent to the Prime Minister's Office before Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon left for his talks with Bush. However, on the eve
of his departure, Likud MK Michael Eitan, who organized the move, was
informed that Sharon would not take the petition with him.
In 1998 Israel acknowledged that Pollard, jailed since 1985, had been
operating as an Israeli agent.
DeLay is accompanied on his visit here by Ander Crenshaw (R-Florida).
The two met with Sharon on Sunday and also held talks with Palestinian
Authority Finance Minister Salaam Fayad in Ramallah. Later this week
DeLay is to travel to Jordan and Iraq. Rivlin said DeLay promised to
give the petition to Bush, but at the same time he and Crenshaw made it
clear that as decision-makers they would oppose requests to pardon
In an address to the Knesset, DeLay emphasized the US commitment to
help "liberate" Israel from Palestinian terrorism. He said the Palestinian
Authority could not be invited to join the civilized world unless it
brings about a total end to terrorism. DeLay called for the isolation
of PA Chairman Yasser Arafat, and expressed hope that PA Prime Minister
Mahmoud Abbas would be the "man to finally rid his people of the
terrorist elements among them."
DeLay promised that the US would aid the PA with infrastructure,
hospitals, schools, and economic opportunities, if it negates terrorism
and embraces democracy. During an emotional speech, DeLay declared
himself to be an "Israeli of the heart." He said the September 11
attacks taught the US what Israel has "known for decades; that evil
cannot be ignored or accommodated." DeLay added that the war on
terrorism "costs money and it costs blood" but it is a price the US is
"determined to pay."
The continued incarceration of Pollard has nothing to do with
anti-Semitism, and it is unwise to link Pollard with the release of
Palestinian prisoners, Abe Foxman, national director of the
Anti-Defamation League, said at a news conference in Jerusalem Tuesday.
Foxman, who is in Israel with an ADL leadership delegation, spoke of
the blurring of lines between anti-Israel views and anti-Semitism, citing
the use of Jewish symbolism in cartoons critical of Israel.
The ADL frequently hears that anti-Semitism would no longer exist if
there were peace in the Middle East. "That's a lot of baloney," Foxman
declared. "What the situation has done for anti-Semitism is to give it