The U.S. government is again determining whether an Israeli spy should be released from an American prison or not. The current Israeli government wants him released.
The Israeli’s spy is named Jonathan Pollard. His nationality is American and he was working as a Navy intelligence analyst when he was arrested two years ago. He was accused of passing classified secrets to Israeli intelligence and currently resides in a North Carolina prison.
The arrest of this Israeli spy was regarded as shocking 25-years-ago. Israel has long been an ally of the United States. Why would an ally spy on another ally?
The current Obama government has been accused of spying on its allies. Helen Merkel, the president of Germany, became incensed when she found out that the National Security Agency had been listening to conversations on her mobile phone.
The contemporary atmosphere would appear to be a perfect time to release this Israeli spy, except most of the U.S. intelligence community is opposed to it.
The reason that the U.S. government is talking about the release of Pollard is because of the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. John Kerry, the current Secretary of State, it is trying to resolve a problem over Israel’s release of Palestinian prisoners. This is another stumbling block in these peace talks. The question of the release of Palestinian prisoners needs to be resolved by a deadline of April 29th.
The release of Pollard would be to extend the talks between the Israeli government and the Palestinian government. Pollard cannot be released without Obama’s approval.
Some U.S. intelligence people are open to the possibility of releasing Pollard. This Israeli spy is now 59-years-old and quite ill. He is eligible for parole in November of 2015. His release could get the Israeli government to give more concessions on a peace accord.
Other intelligence analysts question why the U.S. should give up a leverage point when it is unlikely that it would lead to an extension of the talks. A full-blown agreement would even be more implausible.
In most intelligent circles, they really do hate Pollard as they feel that he betrayed his country and did serious damage to the national security of the United States.
According to Aaron David Miller, a former Middle East negotiator, the release of Pollard shows real desperation by the United States. This is an era of leaks and the release of Pollard would make no sense.
Jay Carney, the White House secretary, did not say whether Pollard would be released as an incentive in Israel. Carney had no updates on the Pollard situation.
Benjamin Netanyahu, the current prime minister of Israel, has long wanted Pollard to be released. The release of Pollard would give Netanyahu a way to make tough decisions in pursuing a peace agreement later. Political issues would be taken up in Congress and some people in the US intelligence community would not be happy with the release.
The release of this Israeli spy could help in getting a peace accord in the Middle East and it is up to Obama whether to release him or not.
By Tom Clark