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.

Breaking news (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
Breaking news
(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
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 friend, Israel?
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 hands.
Clinton’s condescending smile does not fool us. Pollard did not receive such a fair trial or sentence. And he did not murder anyone.
Our 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.
Our president certainly received enough signatures for Pollard’s release from the Israeli people, but apparently hasn’t used his personal influence.
Prime Minister 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 late?
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.
Pollard 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 personnel.
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 pleasant listening.
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.
Mevaseret Zion
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.
Our ‘partners’
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.
Ma’ale Adumim
Death 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.
With 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 judged.
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.
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.
So 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 other.
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 behalf.
They are fighting the same enemy in a two-pronged attack!
Known fact
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 know?