Jerusalem Post Editorial: Don’t Parole Pollard


Jonathan-PollardThere is something suspect in the timing of the news of Jonathan Pollard’s release, says the Jerusalem Post.

“Jerusalem’s rejection of Pollard’s release as intended to mitigate Israel’s displeasure with the disastrous Iranian nuclear pact was predictable,” writes the Post in an editorial titled Don’t Parole Pollard. “However, denials by US officials, claiming that Pollard’s release is unrelated to the Iranian deal were less predictable. There were simply too many denials, at too high a level and employing too strident a tone to be credible.”

The media frenzy about Pollard, the Post explains, is occuring precisely when the Obama administration needs headlines diverted away from the Iranian deal. The public’s attention instead has become focused on a subject that many love to hate: Israel.

“No one loves a spy. Everyone hates an Israeli spy. Pollard, who has been viciously bashed in the media for nearly three decades, is hated more than most,” the Post says. “News of his impending release on parole has revived the vilification of Pollard to levels which have not been seen since his arrest 30 years ago, and along with him, the vilification of Israel. This, despite the now-documented record, bolstered by newly declassified materials and testimony by ranking American officials which show that Pollard’s life sentence was ‘excessive’ and ‘unjust.’”

Considering the injustice, avers the Post, one has to wonder why Pollard is being paroled after 30 years instead of being set free.

“Parole is not freedom. It is, by definition, conditional release, which can be revoked at any time, for any number of very complex and often inscrutable reasons, including thinly veiled political motives.”

Pollard is the only person in the history of the US to receive a life sentence for spying for an ally.

The Post concludes: Parole is just too convenient a tactic for continuing to keep Israel off balance while holding Pollard hostage for another 15 years. Pollard does not deserve parole. He deserves to be set free.”

{ Israel News Bureau}


  1. One of the most uninformed pieces I have ever read. And that is saying something.

    1) The crime to which Pollard pled guilty is one that is clearly stated in the law carries a life sentence.
    2) A different law provides for automatic parole after 30 years. Obama couldn’t keep Pollard in prison past November 21 even if he wanted to.
    3) Parole is release from prison. In fact, the exact words of the law I mentioned in (2) are “shall be released”.
    4) The editorial also slanders the parole system in the US; the federal parole system is independent of politics.
    5) It is particularly ironic that the editorial claims that politics can influence a parole decision when Pollard’s advocates had until very recently ONLY used political pressure and not the established parole, clemency, and pardon mechanisms to try to get Pollard released from prison.

  2. Post #1 is filled with distortions, inaccuracies, poor logic and straw men. Each and every point has one or more of those flaws. Here’s how:
    1) Distortion. A by-the-book punishment can still be excessive and unjust. This is even more so because of the government’s double-cross on the plea bargain. Claiming the Wolf Blitzer interview invalidated the entire plea bargain is absolute baloney and doesn’t hold up to logical scrutiny.
    2) Flat out not true. Parole is not, and never is, guaranteed. Parole can be denied for several reasons. A bad faith government and sympathetic parole board can possibly prevent parole from being granted, even when it should be.
    3) Distortion. As the editorial states, parole is conditional release and can be revoked for reasons that wouldn’t send a non-parolee to prison. All types of conditions and restrictions can be attached.
    4) Baloney. We only wish any government body was free of politics. Ever notice how the august Supreme Court’s judges predictably side when presented with left/right issues? Even the dreaded IRS has used their muscle to attack conservative groups.
    5) Poor logic / straw man. As has been documented elsewhere, Pollard didn’t ask for clemency because its denial could’ve made things even worse for him. I use a hammer to drive nails and a screwdriver to drive screws – is that ironic or is it just common sense to use the correct tool for the job?

  3. Charlie – your knee jerk support for the Obama administration and all Democrat politicians is getting quite tiresome. You never fail not to support that Obama has done, including your support of the terrible Iran deal. Do you have any criticisms of the Obama at all, or do you feel that making your criticisms known in public will brand you as a “moser” to your liberal sentiments, even if the positions you support are bad for Jews and Israel. I can tell that you I ilve in Canada, and I support Stephen Harper. However, I will criticize him when I feel it is warranted. I never see that from you at all – you really come across as a Democratic lackey.