Some question tying convicted spy to peace negotiations.
Jewish leaders here expressed conflicted emotions and policy differences this week about reports that President Barack Obama was willing to consider the release of imprisoned Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard as part of a last-minute bid to keep alive Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.
JERUSALEM — Israel would release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners and freeze West Bank settlement building, and the United States would free Jonathan Pollard under a reported deal reached between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
(JNS.org) In order to break a deadlock in the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations, U.S. officials are reportedly not ruling out a proposal by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu under which Israel would agree to accept Secretary of State John Kerry’s framework peace proposal and free Israeli Arab terrorists from jail in exchange for the U.S. releasing imprisoned Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard.
Another year’s end, another plea for the release of Jonathan Pollard, the civilian intelligence analyst for the Navy who pleaded guilty in 1987 to passing classified information to Israel. But this time it’s different.
The latest round of press reports about the convicted spy and a possible release.a
Ari L. Goldman
Special To The Jewish Week
Story Includes Video:
There has been a flurry of press reports in Israel in recent days that a deal might be in the works to release the convicted spy Jonathan Pollard from an American prison. The reports have been fueled by several factors, including the imminent release of dozens of Palestinians prisoners from Israeli jails and by revelations that the U.S. conducted extensive spying on Israel.
Former captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit wrote an open letter calling on all Israelis to demand that the United States free Jonathan Pollard.
Israeli officials have said that the revelation over the weekend that the United States spied on at least two sitting Israeli prime ministers opens the door for Israel to demand the release of Pollard, who has served 29 years of a life sentence in a U.S. prison for spying for Israel.
Alan Dershowitz, the Harvard law professor and Jewish activist, came direct from the White House to the 15th anniversary banquet of the Brownstone organization at the Manhattan Center on March 7. He was part of a group of Jewish leaders who met with President Barack Obama prior to his first visit to Israel on March 20.