Former-American MKs disappointed Pollard not free

Bennett, Lipman say if Israel is freeing Palestinian prisoners, the US should free Pollard as well.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
July 30, 2013 18:45
1 minute read.
Jonathan and Esther Pollard

Jonathan and Esther Pollard 311. (photo credit: Courtesy of Justice for Jonathan Pollard)

 
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Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett and Yesh Atid MK Dov Lipman, who both renounced their American citizenship to enter the Knesset, expressed frustration on Tuesday with the American decision to keep Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard in prison while Israel releases more than 100 Palestinians terrorists as a gesture at the start of diplomatic talks.

Bennett, who was born in Israel to emigrants from San Francisco, said he always considered himself solely Israeli despite his dual citizenship and the years he spent working in hi-tech in New York. He said he would advise the American leadership to consider the feelings of Israelis.

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“I think it would be very fitting for the US to send Pollard home to Israel in light of Israel freeing so many terrorists,” Bennett told The Jerusalem Post. “Pollard never killed anyone and they killed women and children. We are taking a step which I opposed. In light of that step, it would not only be fitting but also ethical and humane and the right thing for America to do.”

Lipman is proud to be the first American-born MK in 30 years and boasts about the good values he gained from living in the United States. He called upon President Barack Obama to consider those values while deciding whether to commute Pollard’s sentence to the nearly 28 years of his life sentence that he has already served.

“As a former US citizen with great appreciation for the values of fairness and kindness which I learned through all my school years in America I ask: Does it make sense that Israel has agreed to release over 100 terrorists and the United States won’t release Jonathan Pollard?” he said.

“We are releasing murderers who are likely to try to kill again and the US won’t release Jonathan who has not hurt anyone and won’t hurt anyone? I call on President Obama to demonstrate basic decency and respond to the most painful of decisions taken by the Israeli government to release murderers by releasing Jonathan Pollard immediately. By doing so, there will be some level of consolation for all Israelis who now feel sadness and pain over this most difficult decision,” Lipman said.

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