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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

New York Times Editorial, "Bad Move on Jonathan Pollard": Wah-Wah-We-Wah!

Does the United States spy against its allies? Absolutely. Just ask German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Does the United States engage in electronic spying against Israel? Wah-wah-we-wah! Wah-wah-we-wah? This is Hebrew slang, which can be loosely translated "And how!" Specifics? Sorry. Ask me no questions, and I'll tell you no lies.

Today, in an editorial entitled "Bad Move on Jonathan Pollard" (, The New York Times takes the position that Jonathan Pollard, who spied on behalf of Israel against the US, should not be released in order to keep the fanciful negotiations sponsored by Secretary of State John Kerry from entirely unraveling. Declaring that the Obama administration proposal to free Pollard is a "bad idea," the editorial tells us (my emphasis in red):

"After nine months of talks, there is no sign of progress on any of these issues. In addition, Israel has refused to follow through on a promise made in July to free 104 prisoners in four groups in exchange for a Palestinian vow to refrain from pressing the statehood issue in United Nations agencies and the International Criminal Court.

Mr. Netanyahu and other Israelis have long demanded the release Mr. Pollard, who has spent nearly 30 years in prison; the Americans have long resisted. He is up for parole next year and said to be ailing, so it might conceivably be worth releasing him early if it could help Mr. Netanyahu take the leap on a truly big decision, like a final peace agreement. But releasing him as a small-bore tactical step to persuade Israel to do what it had already promised? That is not a price worth paying.

The Americans have proposed that Israel free more prisoners and show restraint in building in the West Bank. But the proposal would not prohibit new construction in East Jerusalem, which Palestinians consider their future capital. The Palestinians were asked extend peace talks into 2015 and refrain from moves at the United Nations."

Free "104 prisoners"? Excuse me, but no small number of these prisoners are convicted murderers. Sure, it's easy enough for the editorial board of the Times from the safety of Manhattan to call for Israel to free these "prisoners," even if the Palestinian Authority has no intention of signing a peace agreement with a Jewish state of Israel.

"[I]f it could help Mr. Netanyahu take the leap on a truly big decision, like a final peace agreement"? And all this while I thought it was Abbas who was refusing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, as provided for by UN resolution 181, and demanding that Palestinian "refugees" be given the right to return to Israel, thereby creating a Palestinian majority. (Remarkable how easy it is to forget that an equal number of Jews emigrated to Israel from the Arab states with only the clothing on their backs, following the establishment of the Jewish state.)

"[N]ew construction in East Jerusalem"? I suppose the editorial board of the Times is referring to the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem and also those communities built on the barren hills along the narrow highway leading into Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, which, pursuant to prior negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, would be swapped for Israeli land. The alternative, of course, would be to return the communities to the Palestinian Authority, thereby creating a "sniper alley" preventing Jews from entering or leaving the city.

But let's get back to Pollard. First, let it be known that Jonathan Pollard engaged in unconscionable behavior.

Second, the release of Pollard is not going to save the peace talks. As stated above, Palestinian Authority President Abbas, currently serving his tenth year of his four-year term of office, has no intention of recognizing Israel as a Jewish State and waiving the Palestinian "right of return."

But is there still a reason why Pollard, currently serving his 29th year of a life sentence, should be released? Why do people serve prison terms? Pollard, who is in frail health, has been sufficiently punished. Moreover, he no longer poses a threat to the US. Finally, a warning, for purposes of deterrence, has been communicated loud and clear: Persons engaging in espionage against the US will be severely punished.

That being the case, why is Pollard, who has been punished far more severely than others incarcerated for spying against the US, still in prison? As we are told by a Jerusalem Post article entitled "Former CIA director accuses US of anti-Semitism on Pollard" ( by Gil Hoffman:

"Pollard has served more than 28 years of a life sentence for spying for Israel. Others convicted of spying for allies of the US have received sentences of no more than eight years.

British spy Samuel Morrison was sentenced to two years, South African Steven Baba was sentenced to two, Filipino spy Jean Baynes to three and a half, and Egyptian Abdelkader Helmy three years and 10 months. None of them served their entire sentence."

In a similar vein, Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus observes today in an opinion piece entitled "Free Jonathan Pollard" (

"Aldrich Ames was similarly sentenced to life in prison — but his spying led to the death of at least 10 Soviet intelligence officers. John Walker Lindh, an American who joined Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, received a 20-year sentence. CIA officer William Kampiles, who sold the Soviets the operating manual for a spy satellite, was sentenced to 40 years and released after 18."

Gil Hoffman's Jerusalem Post article goes on to quote Ex-CIA head Admiral James Woolsey as saying with regard to Pollard's time in prison:

"I certainly don’t think that it is universally true, but in the case of some American individuals, I think there is anti-Semitism at work here."


As an aside, has there ever been evidence of anti-Semitism at The New York Times over recent years? Wah-wah-we-wah (see, for starters:;;;!


  1. Double standards? V'od ech...
    Here's a full listing of the 122 world leaders the NSA was spying on in 2009.
    Makes me wonder if some of those recordings of Ehud Olmert didn't play some part in finally bringing about his demise. Yes, the NSA may have succeeded where Israel's police and judicial system failed until now.

  2. All the mentioned spies should have executed for treason. Actually what the current fuss and hysterical pleas for his release prove is that many in the USA (and Israel) think that Jews should be treated a priveledged class.

    1. Hmm . . .

      - No mercy.
      - Hatred of Jews.
      - Doesn't know how to spell ("priviledged"?)