Three More Months of Freeze in Exchange for Pollard?


pollardDespite repeated announcements by Binyamin Netanyahu that the freeze will end in six days as planned, a new scenario has arisen: the release of Jonathan Pollard in exchange for an extension of the construction freeze.

According to the deal being talked about in Yerushalayim, the freeze would be extended for three months, while Pollard would be freed just a few weeks shy of his 25th anniversary in prison.

The idea was not initiated in Washington, but rather by staffers in Netanyahu’s office. Army Radio reported Monday morning that Netanyahu asked an unnamed person who specializes in the Middle East conflict to find out if the Obama Administration would be interested in the idea. The person in fact made queries, but it is not known what, if any, response he received.

The Prime Minister’s Bureau has denied the report, issuing this statement: “We know of no query to the Americans on this matter. The Prime Minister has not changed his mind, and the freeze will end on Sept. 26.”

Pollard’s wife Esther has not commented on the report. It is known that the Pollards objected to the Pollard-Barghouti exchange that was floated several years ago, though the deal could be carried out without their consent.

Danny Dayan, head of the Yesha Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria, said, “The very idea is an ugly form of blackmail. Should we also agree to give up the Golan Heights in exchange for Gilad Shalit?”

The last time Netanyahu reached an understanding regarding Pollard with an American president was with Bill Clinton – a Democrat, like Obama – in late 1998 during the Wye Plantation talks. Netanyahu agreed to release 500 PA terrorists from prison in exchange for Pollard’s release, in the framework of the Wye agreement in which Israel agreed to withdraw from over 13% of Judea and Samaria. However, at the last minute, Clinton reneged regarding Pollard – though Israel still released the terrorists.

Read more at Arutz Shevah.

{Arutz Shevah/}


  1. I think that because Pollard is an old story already, people forget to Daven for him. Now, right after Yom Kippur, when our mouths are still fresh and clean, lets all make sure to keep Pollard in our Tefillos. The fact that he is still in prison may even be as a Kapara for the Jews. How much more so do we need to Daven for him and better ourselves so he can live the rest of his life as a free man. Amen.

  2. #1:
    We should keep him in our tefillos, as we should all of Klal Yisroel. However, releasing a convicted spy who jeopardized national security from prison would be a very irresponsible thing to do.

  3. Right #2….and you think you know the whole story to post something like that? And does the word Pidyon Shviyim mean anything to your or not? I guess the answer is “NOT”!!!
    Well, if you have nothing good or positive to say about your fellow jew who is languishing in prison longer than any known criminal of his status….maybe you ought to stay away from posting an irresponsible remark like the one you did. People have been released for much lesser crimes in much shorter time. And you, my dear brother, don’t begin to know the politics involved in keeping him away. Should he be released, a lot of heads would afly……so…..hence his imprisonment. And as a good jew or person, his concern should be of vital importance to you!!!!!
    Maybe you ought to take a few minutes and rethink your position….

  4. Too True to Post

    unfortunately you haven’t understood anything about the case. You haven’t understood that Pollard passed on information to an ally and NOT an enemy and furthermore his sentence is vastly out of proportion to non jews convicted for similar crimes. Pollard’s suffering is the suffering of all of Klall Yisroel throughout the long Galus Edom. May his yeshua come quickly ve’ra’u kol amei ha’aretz ki shem Hashem nikra alecha bimhera. amen.

  5. #1, I agree with you that Pollard’s time in prison is *something* for Klal Yisrael, maybe a kapara … but something.
    And we do forget to Daven for him. It’s easy but it’s also easy to forget.
    One place is at “matir asurim,” first thing in the morning.
    #2, As for “releasing a convicted spy,” there are so many irregularities in this story that I doubt the validity of his conviction. It is known that Caspar Weinberger on whose watch this occurred was no friend of Israel or the Jews. I read recently that he *also* stated this punishment is too much.
    General comment — I feel that Hashem is testing us. Please let’s remember Jonathan ben Malkah in our prayers.


  7. NILI
    This would actually be a very good deal if we were in fact at war with the Americans and not the Arabs. Then again, maybe we are and are finally acknowledging the reality. To be fair, I would not say that we are at war with the American people but it would seem that the US Government (especially the State Department) relates to us as some sort of an adversary. The American people have always been friendly to Israel and many have realized that the future of America is linked to its relationship with us. I suppose viewing the US Government as at war with us is not so radical in light of the fact that a very large number of Americans see their Government as at war with them.

    All this to the side, what exactly is the logic here? What is the great benefit that will occur to the United States of America by freezing Jewish construction? Will it increase the US’s military security? Are the homes to be built some how a threat to the folks in Iowa? Will it lower the US national debt? I could go on in all sorts of other categories but it would be the same. After all we just went through ten months of this and exactly how did America or even the Arabs benefit from the freeze? In fact no one benefited at all. The whole point was to harm the Jews of Israel. To humiliate us and cause us distress. There was absolutely no positive gain for anyone from the freeze and there was never any intention that there should be. Its intent is only to harm and humiliate.

    So just what is Bibi, the betrayer of Hevron, the dope of Wye and groveler of O’Bama considering? Pollard for more humiliation? The irony is that if this were to actually happen, the most prominent person to denounce this deal would probably be Jonathan Pollard.
    Aryeh Zelasko
    Beit Shemesh

  8. In the next few days and week G-d Willing there will a very important initiative for Pollard that the entire Jewish people can be involved in. Everyone can partake in taking action for Pollard. I will keep you posted. An initiative that has never been done until now.

  9. to comment #2 your stupidity and ignorance is only suprassed by your self centerdness and arrogance and such a callous and rediculous comment will definetly be use dagainst you in heaven

  10. He should be released without delay and with no conditions whatsoever, (clinton pulled this shtik and backtracked at the last minute, these guys in the oval office lie as they see fit) he served way more then his crime, and to suggest otherwise, well I think that such a suggestion could only be coming from a goy and not stam a goy, a anti semite indeed!

  11. Too true? He never jeopardized national security so you are not too true. He may have betrayed his country, but sharing some information with Americas only TRUE ally is not a security threat. He served his time, the Israelis never attaked America based on his information. It is time to let him go home!!!

  12. this is obama’s last chance to win the Jewish vote otherwise he is a cooked goose along with all the democrats this november…if he has any seichel he will let him go….but don’t count on it.

  13. Why would it be irresponsible to release a convicted spy? Its been done many times for ENEMY spies who have done much worse than pollard, and they’ve been released after less jail time. Jonathan Pollard was never indicted for harming the United States. Jonathan Pollard was never indicted for compromising codes, agents, or war plans. Jonathan Pollard was never charged with treason. [Legally, treason is a charge that is only applicable when one spies for an enemy state in time of war.] Jonathan Pollard was indicted on only one charge: one count of passing classified information to an ally, without intent to harm the United States. Probably the responsible thing to do would be to not post uninformed comments that could cause people to look down at a fellow member of klal yisroel. Pollard has more than paid the price for his crime and I can’t imagine what its like spending almost half your life in jail. He is in need of our tefillos andh should not be forgotten.

  14. I am shocked at the comment from “Too True to Post”! First of all, there is no heter to damage a fellow yid, by publicly lowering support for his release. Second of all, the information he gave was to help the people of Israel’s defense, unless you think that saving Jews jeopardizes national security for the U.S.. Third of all, no spy for a non enemy country, EVER got 25 years in prison in the U.S.. Next time, get the facts straight, before you write.

  15. I am utterly surprised that not a single red cent has been raised for a pidyon shevuyim fund for Jonathan Pollard.

    Can anyone explain why this is, please?

  16. Too true’s post has a couple of factual errors and omits some crucial facts about the Pollard case.

    1. Israel is NOT an ally of the U.S. It is a friendly State with some(!!) mutual interests but no formal alliance or treaty exists between the U.S. and Israel.

    2. The information passed by Pollard did indeed endanger U.S. intelligence assets around the world by revealing the sources of the intelligence and placed many of them in deadly danger. The exact nature and extent of Pollard’s crimes may never be revealed but, as you may recall, when President Clinton was considering releasing him, the then head of the CIA, George Tenet, threatened to resign if Pollard was released. Tenet had no part in the Pollard investigation, trial or sentencing nor was he by any stretch of the imagination an anti-semite but, being privy to all of the information in the case, he felt that Pollard’s crimes were so heinous that he could not serve as CIA Director if the Administration treated intelligence concerns so lightly that it would consider releasing Pollard.

    3. Pollard made serious attempts to recruit other Jews in sensitive positions into his “ring”. His actions have placed every Jew in the intelligence community under suspicion.

  17. I fully support the positions held by “private” (comment #1), “straitforward” (comment #2), “too true not to post” (comment #6), and “Which Truth?!” (comment #7).

  18. In the next day, week, there will be an important initiative G-d Willing on part of Congress to obtain clemency for Jonathan POllard. This is an effort that has never been done before for Pollard. There will be influential members of Congress leading a letter in the House. I’ll keep you posted. Every Jew can be involved in taking action to help Jonathan Pollard.