I COULD NOT AGREE MORE WITH THIS COLUMN WHICH IS SURE TO SPARK INDIGNATION. POLLARD’S CASE SHOULD BE CONSIDERED WITH REGARD TO HIS SENTENCE…UNFAIR LENGTH AND SEVERITY…BUT HE IS NOT A HERO AND TO NAME A PUBLIC SQUARE IN ISRAEL FOR HIM IS A TRAVESTY AND AN INSULT…AND TO PIN HIS RELEASE TO MORE CONCESSIONS BY ISRAEL IS OUTRAGEOUS AND SHAME ON THOSE ISRAELIS WHO WOULD DO SO…..RSK
Don’t Free Jonathan Pollard
A man who betrayed his country is no martyr to the Jewish people.
“Nations are rightly judged by their choice of heroes. Israel has plenty of worthy heroes, yet today there’s a square in Jerusalem named for Pollard. So here’s something else I’d like Mr. Obama to do while he’s in Israel: Insist that the square be renamed. Maybe then, in a quieter hour and without regard to diplomacy or politics, can Jonathan Pollard’s fate be reconsidered in a purely humanitarian grounds.”
There are a few things I’d like to hear Barack Obama say on his trip this week to Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan.
I’d like to hear him go beyond the bromides about “having Israel’s back” and “not bluffing” about Iran’s nuclear ambitions to spell out a U.S. timetable and a U.S. red line. I’d especially like to hear the president say the U.S. is not interested in a diplomatic settlement that solves the immediate nuclear crisis but allows Iran to retain and expand its nuclear-industrial base.
Keeping Iran from sprinting to a single bomb now so that it can amble toward 50 bombs once Mr. Obama is out of office is not a policy worthy of any American presidency.
I’d also like to hear the president tell Palestinians during his visit to Bethlehem that what really stands between them and a state isn’t Israel or its settlements. Israel dismantled its settlements in Sinai for the sake of peace with Egypt, and dismantled them again in Gaza in the interests of disengaging from the restive coastal strip. Most Israelis would gladly do so again for the sake of a real peace with the Palestinians.
But Israelis can have no confidence in such a peace so long as Palestinians elect Hamas to power, cheer the rocketing of Israeli cities, insist on a “right of return” to Tel Aviv and Haifa, play charades at the U.N., refuse to negotiate directly with Israel, and raise their children on a diet of anti-Semitic slurs. In his 2009 speech in Cairo, Mr. Obama spoke the truth about the Arab world’s Holocaust denial. He shouldn’t deprive his Palestinian audience of a similar dose of truth-telling, least of all in Bethlehem.
Finally, I’d like to hear Mr. Obama tell Jordan’s King Abdullah that the U.S. will back the Hashemite kingdom to the hilt.
Right now, the king is dealing with a long-running financial crisis, the influx of more than 300,000 refugees from Syria, diminishing political support from tribal sheiks, and an assertive Muslim Brotherhood that smells political blood. If the king falls, the U.S. loses an ally, the Arab world loses a moderate, Israel loses a secure border, and a contest for power erupts in which all the outcomes are bad. U.S. assistance to Jordan came to $736 million last year. It’s cheap at five times the price.
But here’s something I don’t want to hear from Mr. Obama, especially not when he’s in Israel: that he has agreed to release former Navy intelligence analyst and convicted spy Jonathan Pollard.