Powered by WebAds

Friday, September 24, 2010

Congressional letter to Obama urges Pollard release

Four Democratic Congressmen - Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) and Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) - are circulating a letter to President Obama in Congress that calls on the President to grant clemency to convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard (Hat Tip: IMRA).
A letter circulating among other members of the U.S. House of Representatives and initiated by Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) and Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) "notes the positive impact that a grant of clemency would have in Israel, as a strong indication of the goodwill of our nation towards Israel and the Israeli people," said a statement issued Thursday by Frank's office. "This would be particularly helpful at a time when the Israeli nation faces difficult decisions in its long-standing effort to secure peace with its neighbors."

Pollard has been serving a life sentence since 1986 for spying for Israel while he was a Navy analyst.

Israeli newspapers reported last week that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government was seeking Pollard's release as a means of placating settlers and other hawks should Netanyahu extend a ten month partial settlement freeze beyond its expiry next week.


U.S. intelligence officials have said Pollard's espionage was too vast to merit clemency, and that he should not be released before 2015, when his life sentence is first subject to review under sentencing guidelines in place at the time of his conviction.

Frank's statement said the letter would not challenge Pollard's guilt, but would argue that his life sentence is not commensurate with those handed down to spies who have committed similar offenses.

The letter would circulate until mid-October, when it will be sent to the president, the statement said.
Another quid pro quo for a 'settlement freeze' extension? Frank isn't exactly known for being pro-Israel, and Pascrell was one of the signers of the Hamas 54 letter.



At 5:28 PM, Blogger Eema to 3 said...

Barney will get credit with his pro Israel constituent voters whether or not there is any change for Pollard.

At 6:28 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The quid pro quo YOU suggested.

If something along those lines is worked out, Israel would probably extend the freeze.

Then it wouldn't look like another unilateral concession.

We'll wait and see.


Post a Comment

<< Home