Update: US refusal to release Pollard continues stalemate on talks
Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 30 June, 2013
According to numerous reports, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has offered
to release the pre-Oslo prisoners in stages over the course of the
negotiations with the Palestinians rather than in one huge photo-op event
marking the renewal of the talks.
Setting aside for the moment either the wisdom or justice in releasing these
terrorist murderers, from a practical standpoint, it is far from clear that
it serves the interests of Mahmoud Abbas to be a party to the series of
releases offered by PM Netanyahu.
The families of the pre-Oslo terrorists still behind bars would be vocal in
their displeasure and disappointment under such an arrangement and while the
families of those released in the first rounds would no doubt be pleased to
see their sons and fathers home, they would keep their celebrations as low
key as possible in solidarity with the terrorists not yet released.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry left without a deal.
It didn't have to be this way.
If President Obama offered to free Jonathan Pollard in exchange for the
immediate release of the 107 terrorists PM Netanyahu would have had no
choice but accept the deal.
Again: not a deal to spread the release of the terrorists over months but
instead a huge celebration in the PA as all 107 step off buses in Ramallah
in a victory celebration lead by Mahmoud Abbas and the PLO second only in
its pure joy to the recent celebration when Palestinian singer Mohammed
Assaf won the Arab Idol competition.
Yes, Jonathan Pollard himself objects to being part of such schemes, but he
has no say in the matter. He is no more than a pawn in this story - just as
he was a pawn at Wye and
Don't get me wrong - justice demands that Pollard be immediately released
without any strings attached.
But I am not talking about justice.
I am talking about a very clear and simple action that the Obama
administration could do at this very moment that would have guaranteed to
break the stalemate.
What does the departure of Kerry apparently without this deal tell us about
the true American commitment to the "peace process"?
We Israelis have been subject to their endless preaching about how we have
to make sacrifices.
But if it is more important to President Obama to unjustly keep Jonathan
Pollard behind bars than to facilitate a return of the Palestinians to the
table then this speaks volumes regarding the lack of an American commitment
to advancing the "peace process".
To be clear: the release of Pollard does not require a long procedure
involving numerous authorities. It requires a pen, a piece of paper and a
president willing to sign.
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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