A Pollard Commutation?
I interviewed Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren about this and other subjects today, as well as Dennis Prager and Professor John Mark Reynolds. Prager made the case for mercy and Reynolds argued that it would serve the U.S.-Israel relationship well to release Pollard. (The transcript of the conversation with Ambassador Oren interview is posted here.)
Calls and emails have been evenly divided, and passionate on both sides. Given President Obama’s hostility to Israel. on so many occasions over the past two years, the appeal from the Prime Minister presents him with an opportunity to mend some bridges that he may find difficult to pass by.
UPDATE: Here is the excerpt from the transcript of the conversation with Ambassador Oren regarding Pollard:
HH: Mr. Ambassador, before we move off of the fires, if Americans are listening to this, and they want to help in the reconstruction or the aid of the victims, what’s the most effective way to do that?
HH: The JNF. Okay, people can Google Jewish National Fund and get to that. Now let me ask you about the report in the Jerusalem Post this afternoon, Mr. Ambassador, that Prime Minister Netanyahu will issue a pre-Christmas call for the release of Jonathan Pollard. What can you tell us about that?
MO: Well, I don’t want to comment about the report itself, but I will say that Jonathan Pollard acted for the state of Israel, that Israel takes responsibility for his actions. We don’t shy away from that. It was very regrettable. It happened a long time ago, and certainly, we would…no one would ever think of doing something like that again. But we hope for his early release, and we hope that the United States will show mercy here, because he’s been in prison now for a quarter of a century. It’s quite a bit longer than anybody who was accused of crimes that were spying, for example, for even enemy countries. This was working for a friendly country. So we hope for his early and quick release.
HH: Do you believe he is being treated more harshly because it was an ally, and because it was Israel, than had it been an adversary of the United States? I mean, we just tossed out the KGB deep cover people pretty quickly.
MO: Now I don’t know, and I can’t comment on it. I don’t know why he received the treatment that he did. You know, he was accused of spying, and this was the sentence that he got. And I’ll just reiterate, we really do hope for leniency in this case, and clemency, and that he can be released.
The balance of the interview is interesting for its discussion of Lebanon, DADT and many other subjects, but especially for the paratrooper’s view of tanks.