Skip to comments.Netanyahu 'to demand release of spy in return for peace talks concessions'
Posted on 12/30/2013 8:55:31 PM PST by Star Traveler
Israeli PM will demand release of Jonathan Pollard, convicted of spying for Israel against US in 1987, reports say.
The Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu will link the release of former US naval intelligence analyst Jonathan Pollard, convicted of spying against the US for Israel, to progress in the US-sponsored peace talks with the Palestinians, Israeli media reported on Tuesday.
The reports said Netanyahu would either demand Pollard's release when Israel signed a framework agreement, or as part of a prisoner exchange involving Arab citizens of Israel held for terrorist offences, who have always been excluded from previous agreements.
Netanyahu's office declined to confirm or deny the story, which was reported by most of Israel's most well-informed diplomatic correspondents a favoured method of leaking sensitive information.
Netanyahu appeared to be responding to mounting pressure following revelations that Britain's GCHQ and America's National Security Agency had targeted then Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, his defence minister, Ehud Barak, and Barak's chief of staff.
Pollard was imprisoned in 1987 and has served longer than any other spy captured in the US. Repeated Israeli requests for his release have been ignored, although they have lately been joined by top US officials responsible for his prosecution, including Lawrence Kolb, deputy to then US defence secretary Caspar Weinberger.
(Excerpt) Read more at theguardian.com ...
Here’s an extensive thread on the Pollard issue ...
Report: Kerry Offers Pollard’s Release to Israel
I think we are headed for a deal to create a Palestinian state with Israel making territorial concessions.
Netanyahu will need to sell it to Israel and gaining Pollard’s release would be something he could use to justify the caving in.
I like the way Netanyahu is “sticking it to Obama” ... :-) ...
Netanyahu already knows what a LIAR Obama is and he’s NOT going to let Obama pull the same thing on him that Clinton did at the Wye River Memorandum.
Netanyahu is going to face down Obama and win!
Calls To Free Spy Jonathan Pollard Grow Louder
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
Free Jonathan Pollard - thats something President Obama is expected to hear in Israel. In the 1980s, Pollard was a young, Jewish-American intelligence analyst who spied for Israel. He pleaded guilty; and after an alarming victim-impact statement from then-Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger, claiming how much damage Pollards spying had done, he was sentenced to life in prison.
Calls for Pollards release are not new. What is new is how many Israelis and Americans have joined in the call, including people who used to oppose any leniency or early release for Jonathan Pollard. One such person joins us now. R. James Woolsey was director of Central Intelligence in the Clinton administration. Hes in New York, and joins us now. Welcome to the program.
R. JAMES WOOLSEY: Good to be with you.
SIEGEL: You opposed - or used to oppose Pollards release. Whats different now?
WOOLSEY: Passage of time. In - 20 years ago, when Id just taken over as director of Central Intelligence in the Clinton administration, the White House asked several of us what we thought about clemency for Pollard. And I said I thought he had not been in prison long enough for the seriousness of what he had done. It had been about eight years, at that point.
But now, 20 years later, hes been in prison solidly over a quarter of a century. And the only spies who are sentenced to - that way are basically, people like Ames and Hanssen, who got Americans killed and spied for an enemy. Weve had several spies for friendly countries - weve had a Greek-American spy; weve had a Filipino-American spy; we had a South Korean-American spy - and they get sentenced to four to five years, six - seven, in one case - but not 28.
SIEGEL: Since prosecutors in the Pollard case claimed that he spied not just out of love of Israel, but for money; and that he was willing to sell things, they said, to Pakistan and to South Africa; does that put him in a different category from spies for friendly nations, and into the category of mercenaries who might have sold anything?
WOOLSEY: Well, most spies, theres a mixture. Sometimes, the notion of allegiance is overriding and sometimes, money is; and sometimes, its a mixture. But whatever his motivation and however it mixed, Pollard didnt end up getting - as far as I know - American agents killed the way Ames and Hanssen did, and the way people whove been sentenced to life in prison.
SIEGEL: We should say he was - Pollard was delivering classified documents by the valise load, every couple of weeks.
WOOLSEY: Yes, it was a lot of material. It was a serious spy case; theres no doubt about that. I dont mean to diminish that at all by saying that 28 years is enough.
SIEGEL: One thing thats different about the Pollard case from either the Hanssen case or the Aldrich Ames case - or the other friendly nation spying cases - is, it relates to the special relationship between the U.S. and Israel. And for some American Jews, Jonathan Pollard was a poster child for everything that they do not want to be thought of the American Jewish community - that it tolerates dual loyalties, and doing things for Israel that are contrary to U.S. interests. Youve encountered this argument, making the case...
WOOLSEY: Well, yes. Israels on the front lines and - whereas weve had a formal alliance with Greece since NATO was formed; weve had one with the Philippines for 60-some years, and with South Korea for 50, 60 years; formal alliances, and we dont really have one of those with Israel. We just have a great deal of ties and close feeling, and strong sense of support. I really take the view now that if someone says he should not be released after 28 years, just pretend that hes a Filipino-American or a Greek-American and pardon him. I see no reason why people should treat a Jewish-American who spied for Israel on those grounds, more harshly than they treat a Filipino-American who spied for the Philippines, or a South Korean-American who spied for South Korea.
SIEGEL: Mr. Woolsey, thank you very much for talking with us today.
WOOLSEY: Thank you.
SIEGEL: Thats R. James Woolsey, who is the former director of Central Intelligence in the Clinton administration. He was talking about the case of Jonathan Pollard.
NSA spying revelations boost calls for Pollards release
TEL AVIV (JTA) The disclosure last week that American intelligence spied on former Israeli prime ministers has given new momentum to the effort to secure a pardon for convicted spy Jonathan Pollard.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and several leading members of Knesset members have called in recent days for Pollards release following reports that documents leaked by former defense contractor Edward Snowden showed U.S. intelligence had targeted the email addresses of Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert.
Pollards case isnt disconnected from the U.S. spying on Israel, Nachman Shai, the co-chair of the Knesset caucus to free Pollard, told JTA. It turns out, its part of life. And what he did is a part of life.
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein accused the United States of hypocrisy for holding Pollard, who as a civilian U.S. Navy analyst spied on the United States for Israel, even as it spied on Israeli leaders. Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said he wants the Israeli government to demand Pollards release and insist the United States cease its espionage operations in Israel. And opposition leader Isaac Herzog said Pollards punishment has long passed the limits of sensibility.
We hope that the conditions will be created that will enable us to bring Jonathan home, Netanyahu said Sunday at the Israeli Cabinets weekly meeting. This is neither conditional on, nor related to, recent events, even though we have given our opinion on these developments.
When Pollards crimes first came to light in the mid-1980s, his activities seemed like a major act of betrayal given the close alliance between Israel and the United States. But the Snowden revelations show that spying by the United States and Israel was a two-way affair, prompting a new round of calls for the release of Pollard.
Support for freeing Pollard represents a rare point of consensus in Israeli politics, with 100 Knesset members among the 120 signing a letter asking Obama to release Pollard, according to Shai. Eighty members signed a similar letter last year.
The truth will eventually emerge on the Palestinian state issue and Iran’s nuclear weapons program....
Bibi Netanyahu has the Lapid party to his left and the Jewish Home party to his right in the governing coalition.
Netanyahu’s Likud is the Israeli equivalent of the Republican Party, making conservative noises and speeches for sure but stopping short of conservative actions.
In the months ahead we will know if Netanyahu is standing up to Obama or is cutting deals with him, although I suspect the Likud propaganda machine will blow a lot of smoke to obfuscate what’s really happening.
If we end up with Iran having a nuclear weapon and Israel giving up land for a Palestinian state and “peace agreement” I will say Netanyahu was going along with Obama’s lead.
I don’t care what the spin coming the Netanyahu camp will be to justify the negative turn of events, I will say he was really in bed with Obama all the time if these events come to pass in the months ahead.
In regards to the DISPROPORTIONATE “time served” for Pollard ...
I would say its more like some kind of anti-Jew and anti-Israel thing going on here. You can especially see that when looking at comparative sentences for those who are not Jews.
Obama will cave. Just wait and see.
Like this sentence: “Friends don’t spy on friends” regarding CIA on the same day he demands Pollards release.
I’d make a comment, but you spammed your own thread so deeply nobody will even see what I wrote. Besides, it appears you are calling everybody antisemitic if they don’t agree with you 100%.
I would like nothing better!
Pollard should have been released a long time ago - instead President Clinton LIED to Netanyahu, at the Wye River Memorandum — saying that he would release Pollard, in order to get concessions from Israel — and then Clinton jerked the rug out from under Netanyahu and refused to release Pollard.
That was 15 years ago - October 1998!
Netanyahu is not going to be taken as a chump again — and certainly not by the likes of Obama!
When people do things DISPROPORTIONATELY against Jews and the State of Israel - thereby applying a double standard between Jews/Israel — yes, that’s either ANTI-SEMITISM or the corresponding ANTI-ISRAEL sentiment (which is a “cover” for Anti-Semitism).
The Jews have been subjected to this double standard and oppression for their entire history. And since the formation of the State of Israel, as the “homeland for the Jews” — many have substituted ANTI-ISRAEL sentiments and actions, in place of the long-standing ANTI-SEMITISM (and finding that it provides “cover” for their ANTI-SEMITISM).
The demand for Pollard’s release isn’t for the cause of “not spying” — but rather the release is called for, on account of the DISPROPORTIONATE time served by Pollard, compared to others who have served time for similar circumstances.
POLLARD’s case (in terms of the DISPROPORTIONATE time served) is nothing more than INSTITUTIONALIZED ANTI-SEMITISM and ANTI-ISRAEL sentiments and actions.
You’re convincing me. Maybe you’re right, and Pollard’s treatment has been DISPROPORTIONATE. The cold war was still going on at the time...maybe he should have been shot instead.
That would REALLY show how DISPROPORTIONATE the treatment of Pollard has been - “times two” ... :-) ...
This was posted in WorldNetDaily right after the attack on the USA on 9/11/2001 ...
Terror in the U.S. and the Jonathan Pollard case
Essentially, Jonathan Pollard warned Israel that Saddam Hussein was planning to scorch the Jewish State with weapons of mass destruction. What is perhaps most shocking of all, though, is the fact that this vital information was being purposely withheld from Israel by the U.S., Israels closest ally.
Nevertheless, thanks to Jonathan Pollard, Israel was ready with gas masks and sealed rooms when Iraq attacked her during the Gulf War.
In warning Israel, Jonathan broke the law. He deserved to be punished. But the punishment has to fit the crime. The usual sentence for spying for an ally is 2-4 years. Jonathan is about to complete his 16th year of a life sentence, with virtually no possibility of parole.
Jonathan Pollard did not spy against the United States. He was never indicted for intent to harm the United States, nor for treason, though he has been falsely accused of both. He received his life sentence without benefit of trial, as the result of a plea bargain which Jonathan honored and the U.S. violated.
Jonathan received a sentence far harsher than most of those who spied for an enemy nation. Twentieth-century spies Michael Walker, Clayton Lonetree and Richard Miller, who spied for the Soviet Union and did inestimable damage to American national security, are all free men today. Only Jonathan Pollard, a Jew who spied for the Jewish State, remains in prison with no end in sight.
Additionally, the case of Michael Schwartz highlights the disparity in sentencing between Jew and non-Jew and between Israel and other U.S. allies. Schwartz, a non-Jew who spied for Saudi Arabia, was arrested, confessed and indicted. But before he ever stood trial, a quick deal was worked out in order to appease Americas Saudi ally. His punishment? Loss of his Navy job, rank and pension. Whereas Jonathan Pollard got life for his activities on behalf of a U.S. ally, Schwartz did not get a single day in prison.
An article (Crime and Punishment, LA Jewish Journal 04/03/98) by J.J. Goldberg, Editor of The Forward (N.Y.), cites high-level Washington sources indicating that the Joint Chiefs of Staff acted through Caspar Weinberger to secure a life sentence for Jonathan Pollard that has nothing to do with Jonathans guilt or innocence and everything to do with sending an intimidating message to Israel and to the American Jewish community: High-ranking sources say that it was the Joint Chiefs of Staff who urged the judge, through then-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, to ignore the plea agreement and throw the book at Pollard. They wanted to send a message. Pollard is still in jail, these sources say, not because his crime merits his lengthy sentence it doesnt but because too many American Jews still havent gotten the message.
Perhaps this explains why both the American justice system and the clemency process have been repeatedly subverted in the Pollard case and why, in spite of the patently false accusations against him, Jonathan Pollard remains in prison nearly 16 years later.
Well, I’m glad we didn’t. But it doesn’t do a lot of good for Pollard being a pawn either. I do like what Bibi is doing here, in a way: He’s tying Obastard and the PLO firmly together, and that looks good from where I sit. But it’s toying with Pollard again.
lol. He was sentenced after a fair trial. There is no such thing as uniform sentencing in this country, a child rapist in Montana got 30 days not long ago for crying out loud, 3 strikes laws might throw a petty thief in prison for life.
So we should be all crying about the sentence of a spy who put our national security at risk?
He isn't even close to a pressing problem as far as I am concerned.
and I might be the most pro-Israel person on this board.
No one has disputed the fact that he was convicted for what the government charged him with, and so they did not disagree with that. All of these people (mentioned above) have not said there was a problem with Pollard’s conviction and he should be released because of that problem in the beginning. No, not at all.
It has only been AFTER the passage of time that these officials have seen that in regards to the TIME SERVED - it has been GROSSLY DISPROPORTIONATE and that he should have been released long before this present time.
Since they were not in disagreement with the charge and conviction - they could only “SEE” the nature of this being GROSSLY DISPROPORTIONATE — after — the time served had passed by and it could be seen.
And thus - that’s where it stands today with many of these officials and why they are calling for his release right now.
This is just a small list of those officials saying Pollard should be released ...
Lawrence J Korb
Former US Assistant Secretary of State
Senator Allen K Simpson
Co-chair of the Presidents Economic Commission
Senator Dennis DeConcini
Former Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee
Bernard W Nussbaum
Former White House Council
Michael B Muckasey
Former US Attorney General
George P Shultz
Former US Secretary of State
Henry A Kissinger
Former US Secretary of State
R James Woolsey
Former CIA Director
It would be “toying” with Pollard as a political pawn to be shuffled around - if Netanyahu intended to use Pollard the way someone uses poker chips on the table.
But I don’t think Netanyahu is doing it that way. It appears that Netanyahu is firmly intent on getting their man home to Israel (his home now) and will absolutely stonewall Obama on anything to do with the Palestinians. And I think Netanyahu can make Obama’s life absolutely miserable on that count.
Americans who sell out their country should die in the act or in their jail cell - hopefully after many years of picking up the soap in the showers for a 300 pound Bubba.
While I think Pollard should be released after so many years, I don’t think this is worth it. No man’s life is worth endangering national security, no matter how much Obama wants to see Israel endangered.
Given his political squeeze, and virtually nothing to lose, it’s not impossible that Obama could pardon Pollard. After all, what did he do, pass US secrets to a Russia that is now more conservative than we? (With tongue in cheek as may be fit.)
...and I could well imagine him saying “OK you want to impeach me? Well, impeach me for this if you must.” Knowing that this would put the GOP in a bind.
So, Netanyahu will concede to the great Obama and release 26 terrorists onto the Israeli people.
Then to erect a facade of victory, he will force Pollard’s release.
What a great victory for Israel. How many will die in bus blasts for his great victory?
What an absolute travesty and sell out by BB.
Wondering if what actually happens is the Israeli secret service will begin tailing these terrorists. Picking up not only on their own mischief, should they embark upon that, but upon the mischief of others who might get involved with them. Aren’t the numbers that get released in moves like this normally only a couple dozen or so?
I don’t keep track enough to say with certainty. Israel did release a huge amount for the captive soldier one time.
Israel was a much more secure and safe place when the old adage, “ Israel will not negotiate with terrorists “, existed.
My opinion of Netanyahu will fall greatly, if he does this. He is one of the great leaders in contemporary times. Using Pollard to disguise his capitulation to Obama, while unleashing terrorists who will strike down innocent Israelis, is a cruel joke.
What, exactly, is our stake in these talks ?
Who actually will, or who in principle could?
Now granted this is going to depend on political choices from up above, not all of which we, the public, will be privy to see. If I were in his shoes, that might be a tack I would consider. To go ahead and let some go, after first being sure that Shin Bet (their equivalent of Secret Service, a little like our CIA) was ready to track them.
The stiff attitude of Israel went away during Gulf War I. They got bombed by Saddam and rigidly vowed their vengeance, and then apparently George Bush talked them out of it. Biblically, I think it is wise to choose-your-battle. How it looks to God is going to matter more than how it looks to terrorists.
True. But Israel only acquiesced because the US basically guaranteed that they would be handling Iraq sufficiently and Israel knew their entrance would have destroyed the coalition of Arab nations organized against Iraq.
Pollard is a sideshow. This is really about the US attempting to brow beat Israel into a pre-condition to a negotiation.
This pre-condition, amazingly, is that Israel release terrorists back into circulation. Netanyahu should insist that we release Guantanamo terrorists of equal number back into circulation.
All of this mind you, so Obama can once again press his pre 1967 Border plan. It is BS surrounded by HS, with the perfume of grizzly scat.
Just from the US side alone (thus not considering Israel) it would be to keep the region from blowing up in a full scale war, which would end up harming US interests in the region.
26 prisoners were released at midnight.
LOL ... well that’s NOTHING for Israel. Israel released OVER ONE THOUSAND ISLAMIC TERRORISTS in just ONE DEAL in 2011!!
In fact Israel released 27 TERRORISTS ... and then threw in another ONE THOUSAND for good measure ... :-) ...
What the heck is your point? Really, enough spamming. What’s your point?
I thought the great and powerful Bibi was going to insist on the release of Pollard before releasing any more prisoners.
Has this changed?
The point is ... 25 is NOTHING to Israel, when they deal in over ONE THOUSAND AND TWENTY SEVEN at one time, in ONE DEAL!
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