Skip to comments.Mofaz: War on Hizbullah could bring home missing soldiers; US should release Pollard
Posted on 07/08/2003 10:31:18 AM PDT by yonif
Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said Tuesday that if the changes now sweeping through the Middle East with US backing push Syria and Lebanon to dismantle the "Hizbullah terror organization," Israel may be able to obtain the return of its missing and captive soldiers.
Mofaz said the Lebanese government should not be excused from responsibility for the "aggression toward Israel," but said that if it deploys its army to the border and neutralizes Hizbullah there could be a chance for neighborly relations and the missing could be quickly returned home. He was speaking to the Knesset in a session to mark the 1,000th day since soldiers Benny Avraham, Omar Suwayeed, and Adi Avitan were abducted by Hizbullah from the northern border. The three have been declared fallen soldiers by the IDF.
Meretz MK Yossi Sarid said that all governments could be held responsible for the "failure" to get the missing back home.
In particular, he noted the failure to make progress on the case of Elhanan Tannenbaum, who was abducted to Lebanon via Europe. Sarid said Tannenbaum is "alive but very sick," and the Red Cross is not even being allowed to see him. The families of the missing met Monday in the Knesset with Likud MK Gilad Erdan, who has established a parliamentary caucus for the missing soldiers. Erdan is scheduled to hold meetings with EU officials this weekend to press for their assistance.
The session was also dedicated to missing navigator Ron Arad; Guy Hever, who disappeared from the Golan Heights in 1997; and Yehuda Katz, Zvi Feldman, Zachary Baumel, the three men who disappeared after the Sultan Yakoub battle in Lebanon 21 years ago.
Outside of United Arab List MK Taleb a-Sanaa, who like Suwayeed is Beduin, no Arab MKs attended the session.
Mofaz also expressed regret that all of Israel's diplomatic efforts to get its soldiers home have not been fruitful. He called on Egypt to release Azzam Azzam, an Israeli Druse, saying the imprisonment of an innocent citizen by a country that maintains relations with Israel is intolerable.
He also said the time has come for the US to release Jonathan Pollard and allow him to live out his life in Israel.
MKs Yair Peretz (Shas) and Uri Ariel (National Union) said the government should be doing much more for the missing, even if only to send a message to soldiers that if they are taken captive they will not be abandoned. National Religious Party MK Shaul Yahalom said that if Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was able to produce one half of Baumel's dog tag then Israel must demand that he deliver more information as a condition for continuing the peace process.
No matter what one thinks should happen to Pollard, should not make one get mad at Israel trying to get its former spy back. They are doing as we would be doing if we had a spy in prison in some other country.
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They can ask for his release all they want. I don't bear them any ill will for doing what we would do in a similar circumstance, asking for the return of one of our agents.
That being said, I hope Pollard rots in jail. I hope they seal the entrance and, hundreds of years from now, archaeologists find his mummified remains and wonder.
I don't care if Israel is one of our closest allies. I don't care if he was spying for Israel, Britain, or Australia .. all of whom I would put back on the green uniform to fight to help defend. When all is said and done, he is a spy, someone who was trusted in keeping US secrets to ourselves and giving those same secrets to a foreign country.
22-plus years in Federal service makes me unforgiving towards all spies, regardless of the "why's" that they did it or the "who" they gave it to.
Pollard ought to live out the rest of his miserable lfe in solitary confinement.
Of course, he probably thought the time had come after day 1 of his imprisonment as well.
But I'll leave it at that. The last thing we need is another Pollard thread.