November 26, 2015: Pollard’s treatment

Readers respond to the latest Jerusalem Post articles.

Envelope (photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)
(photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)
Pollard’s treatment
If there were a stronger word for unbelievable, I would use it to describe the present situation regarding Jonathan Pollard (“Pollard loses out on job offer due to parole conditions,” November 24). Having served 30 years for his specific crime is unprecedented.
There is just no parallel. Finally, he is paroled, but with restrictions that boggle the mind. For instance, he can be called in the middle of the night (in his circumstances, he might have taken a sleeping pill), but if he does not answer immediately he could be marched right back to prison for breaking his parole conditions.
There are many other equally ludicrous stipulations. Again, no parallel, except maybe for an ax murderer.
The shameful way the United States is treating Jonathan Pollard following his release from prison is inexcusable. I was wondering what the result would be if Israel granted Pollard, who expressed a willingness to renounce his US citizenship, a diplomatic position in its embassy in Washington. As a diplomat, he would have diplomatic immunity. Would the US dare prevent a credentialed Israeli diplomat from boarding a plane to Israel? I would certainly hope not. Might this be worth a try so that Mr. Pollard can come home to Israel at long last?
Beit Shemesh
Bon voyage
With regard to “Both sides doubt Kerry will lower tensions” (November 24), Secretary of State John Kerry is a very unpopular visitor in Israel. His initiative half a year ago might have ended in a complete victory for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, when the secretary of state forced Israel to free imprisoned terrorists and, thereafter, Abbas simply stepped out of the negotiations while applying for official recognition from international institutions, contrary to the negotiating terms agreed upon.
How many terrorists will Israel have to release now in order to please Kerry? Sorry. There are too many Palestinian terrorists killing and wounding Israeli citizens every day. We are fed up with his approach to pacify Abbas so that he can keep smiling.
Mr. Kerry, your departure from these parts was most welcome.
Something different
Lawrence J. Epstein lists “Five benefits to a settlement freeze” (Comment & Features, November 24). Yet he ignores more than a hundred years of experience with the Arab mentality. We tried a settlement freeze, and the Arabs saw it as a show of weakness. Instead of Epstein’s ideas, the government should immediately implement a well planned expansion of settlement activity. This will provide the following benefits:
• The Arabs will offer us secure peace, based on their desire to be citizens in a Jewish country, with full personal rights.
• The European Union will learn to respect our decisions, especially in light of recent terrorist activity from which its member states naively assumed they were immune.
• Barack Obama’s final year in office will be the same, no matter what we do. He has shown consistently that he seeks ways to undermine American support for Israel, but the powers of a lame duck president are severely limited.
• Friendly Arab nations are just waiting for Israel to show its determination and will gladly join us to defeat the dastardly terrorism being perpetrated in their names that is a threat to the entire world.
• Settlement expansion will immediately alleviate the Israeli housing problem and provide an incentive for people to move away from overcrowded population centers.
Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. The time has come for Israel to proudly do something different.
The writer is a member of the board of directors of the Academic Council for National Policy, formerly known as Professors for a Strong Israel.
Caring for all
In “Caring for all of Jerusalem’s residents” (Comment & Features, November 24), it was a pleasant surprise to read Betty Herschman’s statement that one of Ir Amim’s goals is “ensuring that all people have the inviolable right to pray in their holy places.” It is my fervent hope that in the near future, I will be able to invite her to join me in prayer on the Temple Mount, and personally thank her and Ir Amim for their efforts in this regard.
Betty Herschman criticizes Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline B. Glick for saying, in “Fighting fire with fire” (Column One, November 13), that Europe is working to “advance its aggressive policies against Israel” through such groups as Ir Amim. Unfortunately for Ms. Herschman, what she writes in her piece, because of its half-truths and distortions of the truth, proves Glick’s point. A few examples are more than enough:
• Instead of calling the Palestinian accusation that “Israel is trying to change the Temple Mount status” a lie and a libel, she blames so-called “radical Temple activists and their rising influence within the political establishment.”
• She says the temporary establishment of checkpoints in Jerusalem is “pernicious” and “collective punishment” without mentioning that this is done to prevent the too-frequent stabbing attacks by Palestinians on innocent Israelis (or, as was the case this past Monday near Mahaneh Yehuda in Jerusalem, on Palestinians they mistake for Israelis).
• She criticizes the fact that Israeli ambulance crews refuse to enter certain Arab neighborhoods without mentioning that they are welcomed by residents with stones and rocks, which are a danger to their lives.
• She criticizes the fact that many Palestinians in Jerusalem only have the status of permanent residents without mentioning the fact that they refused the offer to become citizens.
Default position
Reader Earl Beal (“Tell us how,” Letters, November 24) claims that Israel’s deterrent policy of home demolitions is “in violation of all tenets and precepts of law.” This is the default position when there is no compelling argument against Israel when it fights terror. The policy of home demolitions was routinely employed by the British in the Boer War and Mesopotamian campaign, with far more ruthlessness than that of the present-day Israeli policy.
A postal smile
I saw an ad at my local post office about the Israel Postal Company’s new automated sorting center, and that it was possible to visit. So I went. When I stepped out of the elevator, I was back in the 19th century. There was a huge room with trolleys holding overflowing sacks of mail, with two human sorters in the middle. They looked at the address of each letter and threw it in the general direction of an overflowing sack for a specific neighborhood. My brother in Bnei Brak told me he received a letter with a footprint on the back of the envelope. I said this was probably a new way that postal workers “stamp” our letters, especially those that end up on the sorting room floor. I have heard that the post office will update its 19th-century system and bring it up to 20th-century standards, although it will take about a hundred years.
For the fun of it, I sent myself a letter to see how long it would take to arrive. Surprise! Six weeks later I received it – with signs of a footprint on the back. Good thing I didn’t write anything important to myself.