Former PM to 'Post': Don't let Pollard make aliyah, it'll anger Biden

Ehud Olmert says spy Jonathan Pollard should stay in New York.

Jonathan Pollard removes his electronic tag, having had his parole restrictions lifted. November 2020 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Jonathan Pollard removes his electronic tag, having had his parole restrictions lifted. November 2020
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Former prime minister Ehud Olmert criticized former agent Jonathan  Pollard on Sunday, saying he should not be welcomed in Israel.
Interviewed by Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief Yaakov Katz at the Maariv newspaper’s business conference on Sunday, Olmert cautioned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against holding a festive ceremony for Pollard when he moves to Israel soon.
“With all due respect, I would prefer that he not move to Israel,” Olmert said. “We don’t owe him anything. He was a spy who worked for a lot of money. He was not a ZiontistZionist volunteer who came and sacrificed his life. He was an American who loved Israel and worked for a lot of money, spying for Israel.”
Olmert said the information Pollard provided Israel helped the Jewish state but in retrospect did more harm than good.
“His spying was beneficial, but when taking a full account, the damage caused  to Israel’s interests as a result of revealing his involvement was the harshest in the history of US-Israel relations,” Olmert said. “The danger of increasing this damage has not ended. If the prime minister will act like he does and have a festive welcoming ceremony for Pollard, we will pay a heavy price when there will soon be a new administration in America.”
Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman also criticized Pollard on Sunday in an interview with KAN Radio.
“I recommend we celebrate less because of American public opinion,” Olmert said. “I suggest we lower our level of excitement, because it doesn’t help with the American defense system, which sees the Pollard affair as an unacceptable incident that violated acceptable codes between Israel and the US.”
He said a festival in the press for Pollard “won’t help the State of Israel [or] our defense system, – and won’t help Pollard either.”
Pollard took a step toward freedom on Sunday, as his wife Esther removed the GPS bracelet that monitored him during his five years of parole restrictions, a move that was done with permission from the parole commission. Pollard sent the press a letter expressing appreciation to his wife for her support.
“Thirty years ago, my beloved wife Esther found her way into USP Marion, the highest security prison in the United States, where I was languishing in a dungeon cell three stories underground behind 13 locks and keys,” he said. “Esther reached out and cut the shackles off of my heart and restored my soul to life. That is when the fight for my freedom began in earnest. Fast forward 35 years. Today, Esther, fearlessly cut the GPS device off of my wrist, restoring me to almost complete freedom.”