Jonathan Pollard 58 USE THIS.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Cabinet secretary Zvi Hauser resisted calls from MKs from across the political
spectrum on Monday to change Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s approach to
bringing about the release of Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard.
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served more than 25 years of a life sentence for passing US classified
information to an ally.
Hauser testified on Monday before a special
session of the Knesset State Control Committee in which lawmakers from the
coalition and opposition took turns bashing the government for not doing enough
to bring about Pollard’s release. The MKs said the fact that Pollard was still
sitting in jail in North Carolina was proof that whatever had been tried was not
The cabinet secretary rejected a recommendation by State
Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss for a ministerial committee to be formed to take
action on Pollard’s behalf, saying that the issue must continue to be handled by
the prime minister himself.
He said Lindenstraus and the MKs lacked “the
big picture on the issue.”
“There is a finger on the trigger of this
important issue at all times,” Hauser said. “I realize that results are what
matter, but the current policy is thought out and is the best policy at this
time. The issue does not leave the prime minister’s agenda. We will do
everything possible to end the episode and bring about Jonathan’s release, and
we hope that in the future there will be good news.”
Hauser said changes
in policy on Pollard were occasionally “from time to time” in the Prime
Minister’s Office but did not elaborate.
The committee decided that
Hauser’s commitment was insufficient and demanded that the government enact new
policies regarding its effort to release Pollard.
“This is the time for
the government to officially, formally and openly request Pollard’s release,”
the committee decided. “The committee calls upon the government to act
consistently and creatively to bring Pollard home.”
National Union MK Uri
Ariel, who heads the Knesset caucus for Pollard, said that if documents about
why Pollard was still in prison were published on WikiLeaks, it would cause a
He said that bringing about Pollard’s freedom was a
matter of price but that Netanyahu had apparently decided that it was not worth