Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Pollard is US Ace in the Hole

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

A few weeks ago I wrote about murmurings emanating from the White House suggesting that freedom for Jonathan Pollard would be dangled in front of the Israelis as a means of luring them into making difficult concessions to the Palestinians.

Now clearly articulated voices are even tossing around dates for his release. I have heard that if it happens, it will happen before Passover which takes place in two weeks - on April 14.

Spokespeople in the State Department and the White House have no comment on whether this is a real or fantasy proposal.

Meanwhile, the Palestinians have threatened to launch full scale bid for recognition in all UN agencies if Israel does not release the third and final set of prisoners originally scheduled to be released this past Sunday.
When US Secretary of State John Kerry made an unscheduled trip to the region yesterday he was slapped with this Palestinian ultimatum.

So in order to mollify the Israelis, the Obama administration might play the Pollard card. No US presidential administration has come this close to freeing Pollard who was arrested on November 21, 1985 and convicted in 1987.

The problem is that the United States holds very few cards - and even fewer aces, when it comes to enticing Israel. The one ace is Jonathan Pollard. As it now stands, it is not even clear that the Palestinians are ready for a peace deal. And if that is the case, it would be a waste for the United States to play their ace right now.


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