July 18: Pollard and gestures
Obama is determined to use Jonathan Pollard as a bargaining chip to affect its Middle East policy vis a vis Israel and the Arab states.
Sir, – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s statement
(“Clinton: I do not expect Pollard to be released,” July 17) clearly indicates
that the Obama administration, to its shame, is determined to use Jonathan
Pollard as a bargaining chip to affect its Middle East policy vis a vis Israel
and the Arab states.
In 1998 at the White House, during the signing of
the Wye River Memorandum, Clinton’s husband, then-president Bill Clinton,
stated: “With respect to Mr. Pollard I have agreed to review this matter
seriously.” To date, no review appears ever to have taken place. It is time to
stop this charade!
The US has the affront to use this pressure to force Israel
to make more gestures to the Palestinian Authority. Does the secretary of state
not read in the newspapers that Arabs who were sentenced by Israel to life
imprisonment for the cold-blooded murder of Jews and then released to the PA in
“goodwill” gestures have attempted to repeat their crimes? Pollard, who did not
murder anybody, is kept in prison.
The US has released enemy spies
without them serving a fraction of their sentence. Was it because the Americans
are more concerned about their relations with their enemies than with their
COLIN L. LECI
Sir, – I continue to be amazed by the
arrogance that US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
show to our country. We are expected to give our land away and to continue to
release Palestinian prisoners who have the blood of our people on their
Clinton’s condescending smile does not fool us. Pollard did not
receive such a fair trial or sentence. And he did not murder anyone.
prime minister must be strong and remain aware that this US administration is
not our friend, but wishes only to go down in history for finally making peace
in the Middle East without caring if it pushes our country into the sea!
Sir, – Could there be any connection between Hillary Clinton’s
assurance that Jonathan Pollard will rot in jail and the fact that it came after
her long meeting with President Shimon Peres, who reportedly is still espousing
his fantasies of a “new Middle East?” Personally, I am convinced that if Peres
wanted Pollard to go free he would have been here long ago.
certainly received enough signatures for Pollard’s release from the Israeli
people, but apparently hasn’t used his personal influence.
Binyamin Netanyahu could also have used Pollard’s freedom as a condition for
meeting with Clinton.
How do we save Pollard before, God forbid, it’s too
Sir, – Perhaps the only way that Jonathan Pollard will
ever be released is for Israel to announce a full-scale, independent inquiry
into all circumstances of his rogue spying.
This no doubt would reveal
the true fears of the US defense establishment, which has fought tooth and nail
to block his release, with key personnel threatening to resign.
was not charged with treason, nor did he endanger the security of the US or its
agents. But he might unwittingly have endangered the careers of key US defense
Sir, – Whether or not Hillary
Clinton’s announcement about Jonathan Pollard should be taken at face value,
whether it was mere hype or we can in fact expect good news just prior to the
elections, is entirely moot. What is certain is that it did not make for
In an era of mass demonstrations I would expect
American Jewry to exhibit its undoubted anger and take to the streets en masse
in an attempt to change President Barack Obama’s mind.
DAVID S. ADDLEMAN
Sir, – US President Barack Obama sends Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton to Israel to say he wants us to make confidence-building gestures to the
Palestinians but does not require any such gestures from them. He also tells her
to communicate his continued refusal of the gesture Israelis seek: the release
of Jonathan Pollard.
There is only one gesture I would like to make
toward the president and his secretary of state.
Sir, – Osama Hussein Mansour was in charge of a department
created by the Palestinian Authority to prevent Palestinians from selling land
to Israelis, a crime punishable by death (“PA says official accused of
collaborating with Israel jumped to his death,” July 16).
These are our
“peace partners?” These are the people to whom we want to give our land to
create a Palestinian state? Do we not realize that nothing has changed under the
sun? To repeat the words of the late Yitzhak Shamir, the Arabs are the same
Arabs and the sea is the same sea.
in the tent
Sir, – Rabbi Shlomo Amar (“Chief Sephardi rabbi calls for respectful
discourse on haredi draft,” July 16) attempts to draw a moral equivalence
between those who serve in the army and those who learn in yeshivot.
his absurd description of yeshiva students as those “who kill themselves in the
tent of Torah,” Amar inadvertently touches on a major point in the controversy:
During any armed conflict it will be the soldiers on the battlefield, not those
sitting with open texts, whose lives are on the line.
The rabbi would do
well to look at the Torah portion for this coming Shabbat, wherein Moses chides
the tribes of Reuben and Gad for shirking their military obligation to conquer
the promised land, saying to them: “Shall your brothers go to war and you sit
here?” (Numbers 32:6).
Sir, – The Midrash tells
us of a deceased person coming before the Heavenly Court to be
When confronted with his sins, the body claims innocence on the
grounds that once he died he was incapable of moving and therefore could not
have been guilty of sinning. So the culprit must be the soul.
on the other hand, argues that when at home in Heaven it never sins, and it is
only when inside the defendant’s body that it does. This is clear proof that the
blame must be placed fairly and squarely on the shoulders of the body.
what does God do? He places the soul inside the body and punishes them together,
since that is how they sinned.
The soul and the body are not two separate
entities; they are one unit – they sin together and they perform the will of God
together. These two opposite qualities cut across every aspect of society. Not
only do they not clash with each other, they complement each
Surely the same applies to a Jewish army. There are soldiers in
the physical army who fight on the ground, and there are soldiers in the
spiritual army who fight in Heaven to ensure God’s participation on our
They are fighting the same enemy in a two-pronged attack!
Sir, – Regarding “Sara Netanyahu: There were dead
cockroaches in our house” (July 16), most homes in Israel have cockroaches. They
also have ants, spiders and centipedes.
Sara was born here. Doesn’t she