Arutz7 review of News about Jonathan Pollard

Hillel Fendel - Arutz7 News - May 17, 2011

( No meeting has yet been set between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Esther Pollard, though she has requested a short one before he leaves for Washington on Thursday.

Mrs. Pollard, wife of long-imprisoned Jonathan Pollard whose release top Congressional and other leaders have sought of late, also requested a meeting with Opposition Leader Tzipi Livni. The two met on Monday, and Livni said, "The entire nation of Israel longs for Jonathan's release, and Israel's leadership is totally united around the call for his freedom... He is paying a very heavy price for his contribution to the State of Israel."

Environment Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) asked Netanyahu a few days ago to make sure to ask Congress, in his upcoming speech in Washington, to support the call for Pollard's release. Other Likud MKs have made similar calls.

Strong Signal

Esther Pollard said she has an "important personal message for Netanyahu" from her imprisoned husband and that it is important she meets with him before his meeting with the U.S. President on Friday. It is assumed that the very meeting itself will be a strong signal to Obama as to how important Netanyahu feels this issue is.

She last met with him nearly six months ago, when she successfully made the case for a public Prime Ministerial call for Jonathan's release. On January 4th of this year, the Prime Minister's Office sent an official letter to Obama requesting the commutation of Pollard's sentence for humanitarian reasons. This was the first formal request by Israel for his release.

At last week's Congressional Luncheon at the ZOA's Annual Advocacy Mission to Washington, D.C., Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) said, "The time has come to commute the sentence of Jonathan Pollard life imprisonment without parole is simply inhumane and not just One of the ways we say 'G-d bless America' is to say 'Am Yisrael Chai' [the nation of Israel lives]."

Blackmail, not Diplomacy
Analyst Dr. Aaron Lerner wrote this week that there has been no American response to the recent requests on behalf of Pollard by both Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres, and that it appears that Pollard is being held by the U.S. as a "chip" to be given to Israel in compensation for concessions to the PA. This, despite the fact that Prime Minister Netanyahu already "paid" for Pollard's release at the 1998 Wye Summit, after which then-President Clinton reneged on his end of the deal and kept Pollard in jail.

"If this is the case," Lerner writes, "clearly this isn't diplomacy. It is blackmail. This isn't the behavior of a trusted ally. It is an embarrassment which undermines the credibility of the US - Israel special relationship. It is humiliating for the State of Israel as President Obama appears to show such contempt for the Jewish State, while the rest of the world looks on. It is the antithesis of all that the United States of America claims to stand for. President Obama seems to have turned a blind eye to justice, and to humanitarian compassion, in what appears to be a bid to blackmail an ally. It is not too late to rectify the situation." See the full text here.

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