by Dr. Reuven Berko
Whenever you try discussing the release of Jonathan Pollard with the Americans, you get unequivocal answers declaring that it is an internal American issue and that a U.S. citizen who spies for another country should be punished to the full extent of the law. They claim it was a mistake to have an operative whose actions compromised the image of the entire Jewish community, and that keeping Pollard in jail aims to deter other Jews who are employed by the establishment from doing the same.
For Israelis today, Pollard's release is a matter of principle akin to the ancient Jewish tradition of the redemption of captives ("pidyon shvuyim"). Once he is released, Pollard will be embraced as the victim of an error to which we have openly confessed to. The Americans brutally ignore this pain, knowing that Pollard's sin was not endangering the U.S. but helping Israel -- an ally with which the U.S. shares its greatest secrets and that is its most trusted partner in the war on terror. Therefore, Pollard will serve his sentence in full and will not be released so much as one minute earlier.
On the other hand, the Americans are willing to interfere in Israel's own internal matters and see it release the Palestinian terrorists it had imprisoned. Once released, they are sure to become role models for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and other terror operatives.
Sadly, since Pollard was imprisoned the U.S. has released several spies who had harmed its national security. The same U.S. that claims that such things are "internal matters" now demands that Israel release terrorists who have killed Israeli citizens, as part of some delusional peace plan.
Clearly, the Americans know that this is a devastating step that greatly infringes on Israel's internal affairs; that it encourages Palestinian and Islamic terror, and that it demoralizes the Israeli public.
Meanwhile, the plot thickened with the assistance of National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden, who proved that it was the Americans, who are so concerned about their "internal affairs," that were rummaging through our internal affairs, and that their intelligence agencies had been busy observing Israeli leaders and other security and social interests using a network of agents and electronic surveillance. If anyone is surprised by this hypocrisy, please stand up.
The U.S.'s increased motivation regarding the "Palestinian problem" is especially strange given its overall weakness on other core Middle East issues and its disintegrating relationships with its Arab allies. The "Arab winter" has made it perfectly clear, to the Americans as well, that the "Palestinian problem" is of no interest to our bleeding region, where millions of real refugees are in mortal danger.
The mysterious interests pushing the Americans and Europeans to pressure Israel against settlement construction in areas already meant to remain under Israeli sovereignty in any peace deal, while demanding Israel compromise fundamental security interests by releasing terrorists -- all for the sake of this imaginary "vision of peace" -- is both baffling and suspicious.
Washington's support of Abbas' request to include Israeli Arabs in the prisoners' release has set new records for duplicity. The Palestinian leader, as everyone knows, refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state due to the "Arab minority" living in it. He claims his refusal represents this minority. The American interference in this purely internal Israeli matter is the bastard father of hypocrisy and self-righteousness. Let the Israeli Arab security prisoners pledge, in writing, that Abbas is their leader, and may they be released as proud Palestinians and be sent back to their country.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry comes and goes while the Christian communities in the Middle East are slowly eradicated, their churches burned to the ground. Pollard the Jew is tormented under the imperial Roman Aquila -- the eagle adopted by the U.S. as the symbol of its Great Seal. If the West's "wise" policies cause the situation in the Middle East to deteriorate further, Pope Francis stands to be the last Christian to visit the region. Maybe then we will be able to better focus on the Jews.
Dr. Reuven Berko
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