State Control panel to discuss Pollard affair

Committee will deliberate whether the government has done enough to bring about the Israeli spy's release after 25 years in prison.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
December 2, 2010 06:27
2 minute read.
Jonathan Pollard

Jonathan Pollard 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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

The Knesset’s State Control committee will convene on Monday to deliberate on whether the government has done enough to bring about the release of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, who has served more than 25 years of a life sentence for passing information to an ally.

Committee chairman Yoel Hasson (Kadima) decided to convene the committee after a wave of calls for Pollard’s release and following new revelations of apparent government malfeasance made public by senior officials with first-hand involvement in the case – former minister Rafi Eitan and former US assistant secretary of defense, Lawrence J. Korb.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


RELATED:
Former US Senate intelligence chief: Free Pollard
Opinion: Why Obama should commute Pollard’s sentence

Hasson summoned cabinet secretary Zvi Hauser and other officials from the Prime Minister’s Office to the meeting along with representatives from the Foreign Ministry, Justice Ministry, and State Comptroller’s Office It was unclear on Wednesday whether Pollard’s wife, Esther, would be asked to testify to the committee about the condition of her husband, who is in poor health and was hospitalized this week.

Opposition MKs intend to use the forum to attack Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for not doing enough to persuade US President Barack Obama to commute Pollard’s sentence to time served.

Netanyahu refused to give Vice President Joe Biden a letter signed by faction heads representing 109 MKs when he met with him last month.

National Union MK Uri Ariel, who heads the Knesset caucus for Pollard, began efforts on Wednesday to draft the support of 40 MKs that is necessary to initiate a special session of the Knesset in which Netanyahu is required to participate.



It could be a challenge for Ariel to obtain enough signatures, because coalition MKs are reluctant to sign petitions that could embarrass the prime minister, and out of the 46 opposition MKs, 11 represent Arab parties. Kadima MKs may decide not to sign the petition because they want the special sessions with Netanyahu to focus on issues they see as more controversial and more problematic for Netanyahu.

The first MKs who signed the petition were the four National Union MKs and Kadima’s Marina Solodkin and Hasson.

Solodkin said she has been a member of the Knesset’s caucus for Pollard for 15 years and that she was willing to march from Jerusalem to the US Embassy in Tel Aviv to push for Pollard’s release.

“I wish there was at least as much of an effort for Pollard as there is for Gilad Schalit,” Solodkin said referring to the IDF soldier kidnapped by Hamas in 2006. “I would join every initiative on his behalf. He is an Israeli citizen and a future immigrant, and we must do everything possible Israeli migrating birds end to allow him to come home.”

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