Observation: The Elephant In The Room When Netanyahu Meets Obama: Jonathan
Pollard Remains a Hostage
Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 4 March 2012
"The United States and Israel share interests, but we also share those human
values that Shimon spoke about: A commitment to human dignity. A belief
that freedom is a right that is given to all of God’s children...ultimately
it is our common ideals that provide the true foundation for our
relationship......as you examine my commitment, you don’t just have to count
on my words. You can look at my deeds ...There is no shortage of speeches
on the friendship between the United States and Israel. But I'm also
mindful of the proverb, "A man is judged by his deeds, not his words."
Remarks by President Obama at AIPAC Policy Conference 4 March 2012
Jonathan Pollard is a hostage.
Yes. Those are strong words.
But let’s consider the situation today:
We have virtually a wall-to-wall consensus of top American officials who
have intimate knowledge of the operation stating now for the record that
after serving 27 years in prison, justice requires the immediate
and unconditional release of Jonathan Pollard.
On 4 January 2011 Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu publicly and formally
apologized for the operation on behalf of the Jewish State and requested
that President Obama free Pollard.
Contrary to protocol over fourteen (!!!) months have passed and to this day
there has been no response.
On 5 April 2011 President Shimon Peres met with President Obama at the White
House and again requested, in the name of the State of Israel that President
Obama free Pollard – hand delivering a letter from Pollard in which he
expresses remorse for his actions and pleaded on compelling humanitarian
grounds to be released.
Again contrary to protocol to this day there has been no response.
Senior American officials have confirmed in the past that Pollard is being
held by the United States as a “chip” that could be given to Israel in
compensation for Palestinian-Israeli final status concessions. In point of
fact, Prime Minister Netanyahu already “paid” for Pollard’s release at the
1998 Wye Summit, but then- President Clinton received the payment [the
release of Palestinian terrorists] but reneged on his end of the deal,
freedom for Pollard.
So here we are.
Justice requires the immediate unilateral release of Pollard, with no quid
Pleas from both the Prime Minister and President of Israel to free Pollard
have been ignored by President Obama.
And all this because America is continuing to hold Pollard until Israel pays
some exorbitant, yet-to-be- stated “price”.
This isn’t diplomacy. It is blackmail.
And a particularly vicious form of blackmail since, as bizarre as it sounds,
I understand that American officials have yet to communicate to their
Israeli counterparts what they actually want Israel to "pay" to gain
This isn’t the behavior of a trusted ally.
It is an embarrassment which undermines the credibility of the US – Israel
it is humiliating for the State of Israel as President Obama appears to show
such contempt for the Jewish State, while the rest of the world looks on.
It is the anti-thesis of all that the United States of America claims to
stand for. President Obama seems to have turned a blind eye to justice, and
to humanitarian compassion, in what appears to be a bid to blackmail an
It is not too late to rectify the situation. nor is it too late to set the
record straight, and allow justice to finally prevail.
With literally the stroke of a pen, President Obama can put an end to this
travesty of justice and to the apparent blackmail of an ally.
All it will take is stroke of the President’s pen on Pollard’s clemency
papers so that both countries may be reassured that Israel is dealing with
President Obama the statesmen, and not Mr. Obama the blackmailer.
And there is no better time than when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
meets now with President Obama.
Today President Obama surprised President Peres by announcing plans to award
him with a medal.
There is absolutely nothing preventing Mr. Obama from giving a favorable
answer now to Netanyahu, the People of Israel and all men of good will who
have joined in the call for the release of Pollard
There's space on Prime Minister Netanyahu's plane for another passenger.
Sending Jonathan Pollard home with Netanyahu would serve to send a message,
loud and clear, to Iran, that there is no "light" between the United States
Again, it takes only the stroke of a pen.
Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
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