American chorus against Pollard release

Senators from across party lines, American Jewish groups and editorials from major US newspapers have come out against Pollard's release.

By
April 3, 2014 01:39
2 minute read.
Jonathan and Esther Pollard

Jonathan and Esther Pollard 370. (photo credit: Courtesy of Justice4JP)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

WASHINGTON -- Reaction to the prospect of an early release from prison for Jonathan Pollard, an American convicted of spying for Israel in the 1980s, has been uniform: his freedom should not be conflated with the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

Senators from across party lines, American Jewish groups and editorials from major US newspapers have come out against the Pollard release, floated in meetings between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu this week as talks with the Palestinians began to flounder.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The New York Times wrote that the idea was "a lamentable sign of America’s desperation to keep both sides talking." The Anti-Defamation League agreed, insisting that his release "should not be intertwined with any potential resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict."

"There are enormous complications to the current negotiations now taking place between the Israelis, the Palestinians and the United States, without introducing this factor as another issue on the table," ADL national director Abe Foxman said in a statement.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, warned against the move as inappropriate should it be used as an incentive to continue flailing negotiations. And her Republican counterparts in the upper chamber agreed.

“I continue to believe that releasing Jonathan Pollard is the right thing to do," Senator John McCain (R-AZ) said in a statement. "However, releasing Mr. Pollard simply to keep Israeli-Palestinian talks going is totally misguided and would be seen as a desperate attempt to avert failure.”

Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), the highest-ranking Republican member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on Tuesday that making Pollard a part of the complex peace process would be "just strange."



And Jeffrey Goldberg, a prominent voice in Washington on matters concerning Israel, said that politicians to the right of Israel would "welcome" Pollard's release, but would not give up "one inch" of land in return.

"To think otherwise is foolish," Goldberg wrote in Bloomberg.

The White House says US President Barack Obama has not yet made a decision on the fate of Pollard. But the debate might be moot: developments have shifted dramatically since his release was proposed mere hours ago. Palestinian leadership has declared Israel in violation of the original negotiations agreement, and has begun application for membership in a host of bodies at the United Nations.

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN