Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Now Pollard?

Of course, there is very little connection between the Pollard case and the Gilad Schalit case. Pollard has been held in a US jail for 26 years for spying for Israel, far longer than any other such "friendly" spy. Gilad was held for 5.5 years in a Hamas cell for being nothing more than an Israeli soldier. What might be considered similar is that they have both suffered much more than they should for any perceived injury that they might have caused.

Pollard's incarceration has definitely passed beyond the realm of punishment into that of inhumane treatment. Whatever it was that then Secty. of Defense Caspar Weinberger wrote in a still secret note to the judge that caused such a long sentence, it could not justify this extended period of imprisonment. Whatever it is that VP Biden objects to in the release of Pollard ("over my dead body") cannot be really serious. Where is his usual humanistic attitude?

Pres. Obama has not seen fit to give Pollard clemency on humanitarian grounds. He is still clinging to his political position in which he definitely favors the Arabs and hence does nothing that might overtly support Israel, even though his speech at the UN was very pro-Israel. This can be interpreted to mean that his positions are not from basic sentiment but rather are politically motivated. But, now is the time for clemency. Many American public figures have come out in support of Pollard's release, including former NYC Mayors Ed Koch and Rudolph Giuliani, many Senators and Congressmen, as well as former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Lawrence Eagleburger and most Jewish leaders, including Elie Weisel. Write to Pres. Obaba and ask him to commute the life sentence of Jonathan Pollard, he has done more than enough time for the offense for which he was convicted! We would like to see him return to his country of Israel soon.

Incidentally, the American-Israeli Ilan Grapel who was arrested in Tahrir Square in Cairo a few months ago and was accused os spying for Israel, is probably no more than a naieve idealist who wants peace with Egypt. He may be released soon by Egypt


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