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Pollard case and Obama    Gil Hoffman
1. Fundamentally Flawed Israeli Policy
Threats and bullying in an election year make any American president look weak on foreign affairs, in the eyes of Americans and adversaries of the US. If Obama had capitulated, it would have weakened US foreign policy all over the world. It would convince Iran that the US can and is being bullied. Pollard is eligible for parole in 2015. Quiet diplomacy might still get the parole changed to commutation.
Mark ben Josef ,   USA   (06.17.12)
2. Announcing during Israel's nightly news that
the White House position on Pollard had not changed...Israel agreed to cooperate with the investigation in exchange for immunity for the Israelis involved. When asked to return the stolen material, the Israelis onlt turned over a few low-classified documents. At the time the Americans knew that Pollard had passed tens of thousands of documents. When the American investigatorstraveled to Israel they were treated with hostility from the moment they arrived in Israel to the moment they left. The israelis created a schedule designed to wear them down, including many hours per day of commuting in blacked out buses on rough roads, and frequent switching of buses leaving them without adequate time to sleep and preventing them from sleeping on the commute. The identity of Pollards original handler, Sella was withheld. All questions had to be translated into Hebrew and answered in Hebrew, and then translated back to English, even though all partiesspoke perfect English. The commander Jerry Agee remembers that, even as he departed the airport, airport security made a point of informing him that " you will never be coming back here again" Agee found various items had been stolen from his luggage, upon his return to the United States. The abuse came not only from the gaurds and officials, but also the Israel media. Obama needs to learn how to understand Israelis, Maybe it's the Israelis that need to understand Americans. Like don't humiliate the FBI The Feds don't like it and you may not get what you want. Offcourse most Americans know this
ben   (06.17.12)
3. Obama cannot and will not make the "ultimate movie"...
Peace will come from the Almightly. If we look to Obama to solve our problems, we are in sad shape.
Julie   (06.17.12)
4. Gil Hoffman sees the world through rose colored glasses.
Obama is a politician but hardly a statesman. He knows how to spin facts to his people the same as Bibi knows how to spin facts to Israelis. Aided and abetted by a very weak Press they can get away with telling you that night is day and day is night. The tragedy of Pollard is that Peres knew that Pollard would not be coming home with him before he even left Israel to fly to America. If he really cared he would have secured Pollard's release BEFORE agreeing to accept a sham "medal of Freedom" award which is nothing more than a propaganda gift for Obama's re election campaign. Footage of that silly empty ceremony will now be used for Jewish voter purposes. Peres is a shallow man who runs after kavod no matter what the price. Peres would eat a ham sandwich on national television if he could get an award out of it. It's all a game and guess who the stooges are....it is us!
Eli ,   Jerusalem   (06.17.12)
5. WHAT POLLARD DID WAS WRONG
What Pollard did was very wrong. And yes. the Israelis handled it badly. But still the fact remains that the sentence Pollard received was far more than he deserved. The Lockerbie bomber who killed scores got off easier. And so did other spies for other nations.
AMERICAN HINDU ,   USA   (06.17.12)
6. Pollard is still a traitor
Peres could have persuaded US President Barack Obama to begin the process of commuting Pollard's life sentence and announced it before they went to the White House dinner Obama hosted in Peres' honor. The reason why this did not happen is because of a fundamental difference between Israeli and American Jews. --- no ... it's because Pollard is a traitorous jew and put his jewishness ahead of his American citizenship. Let the sob rot in prison.
John Doe ,   Lebanon, USA   (06.17.12)
7. Obama lets the illegal aliens in by the boatloads
But won't let one Jew out of jail. It's okay for 800,000 illegals to cross the border and stay here which is against the law......but the Jew who spied 20 years ago......has got to stay. If Pollard could manufacture illegal votes at the voting booth for Obama....he would have a free flight home after the election.
Steven Wilson ,   Anchorage, Alaska   (06.17.12)
8. Shultz: The people who are best informed favor his release!
January 11, 2011 The President The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington, D.C. 20500 Dear Mr. President, I am writing to join with many others in urging you to consider that Jonathan Pollard has now paid a huge price for his espionage on behalf of Israel and should be released from prison. I am impressed that the people who are best informed about the classified material he passed to Israel, former CIA Director James Woolsey and former Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Dennis DeConcini, favor his release. I find the letter you received from former Attorney General Michael Mukasey of the Bush administration particularly compelling. With my respect, Sincerely yours, George P. Shultz
jim   (06.17.12)
9. Worst Traitor in History
The only real problem is Pollard should have been hung and gibbeted instead. He is the biggest Jewish Agent Traitor since Benedict Arnold. Off with his head would be the only real justice
Yosef ,   Washington D.C., USA   (06.17.12)
10. John Doe # 6
You are correct that Mr. Pollard was found guilty of being a spy. The sentence eventually leads to a time of parole and it is time to release him.
Arnold ,   Canada   (06.17.12)
11. Shallow analysis by an author who doesn't get it
But his views will make hyper-nationalist Israelis happy--especially those who share the author's obvious disdain for American Jews (you know, the people who the author claims like "shiny things.") One day, perhaps sooner rather than later, the US will stop supporting Israel. It will be a DIRECT RESULT of people like the author who are so incredibly selfish and ungrateful that they have to (repeatedly) bite the hand that feeds them. Focusing on Pollard when Israel is in desperate need of US help over Iran is beyond stupid. It's the kind of thing that makes people question the wisdom of our people. Ever wonder why Israel is one of the most hated nations in the world? Ever wonder why Israel only has one ally in the world? Look to people like the author of the article for the reason.
Kelly ,   --   (06.17.12)
12. you have to see the US POV
Obama has a horribe Israel policy but that aside the Pollard issue is not a problem. He is a spy. What do you do with spies? What would you do if you caught a US spy? The fact he was sent here at all did damage to our alliance
sean green ,   pasadena usa   (06.17.12)
13. traitor
this guy betrayed his country.. he was born in america and just because he is jewish, israel granted him a citizen wile he is in jail. america should keep him in jail for all his life and israel should stop crying like baby
johnny ,   norway   (06.17.12)
14. Obama understands Jews???????
Don't worry, Obama doesn't understand American Jews either. They're finally beginning to wise up. The closer we get to election time, the Jewish "pro-Obama numbers" will keep on dropping!
Yossi ,   Arad, Israel   (06.17.12)
15. The Americans told Israel
If they fully co-operated with their investigations, returned all documents that had been stolen by Pollard, name his handlers and basically confessed to wrong doing. Pollard would be released after a couple of years in prison. The American government having made it perfectly clear what Israel has to do is still waiting. Pollard will remain in prison until this happens. Peres Netanyahu et al are using Pollard's predicament for internal Israeli political maneuvering. Probably because current members of the Israeli government were closely involved with spying on the United States and naming them would be politically damaging to israel's relationship with Israel.
Sarah B   (06.17.12)
16. #9, benedict arnold was jewish??
Think Robert Haansen and Aldrich Amnes might disagree with you about being the "worst traitor" in US history let alone history.
Danny   (06.17.12)
17. at 16
No, he wasn't Jewish. His aide de camp: Franks (I believe), however, was. And as far as I know he was the only connection Arnold had to Judaism. Franks was twice cleared of any complicity, so I am not sure what no. 9 means, or if he even alludes to Franks in the first place.
Gabriel ,   Leiden, Netherlands   (06.17.12)
18. Would'nt have happened if the US had honored
its part in the memo of understandings it had signed with Israel according to which information crucial to Israel's security was to be shared with Israel, and if Pollard had gotten a fair trial. Basically only antisemites and US gov personnel lose sight and heart of this. So please don't try to wax righteous as if all morality is a one-way street toward the US.
To ben (#2)   (06.17.12)
19. Pollard's Release Date
Is in November 2014. It's already posted on the Federal Prisons website. He'll be out in a couple of years.
Chanawashdc ,   Washington DC   (06.17.12)
20. To Arnold #10 Parole
Pollard has been eligible for parole for over ten years. He has never applied probably because he would have to ackowledge he committed a crime in order to secure his release. If he's still in prison it's his choice to be there. But he'll be out in a little over two years. Mandatory release.
Chanawashdc ,   Washington DC   (06.17.12)
21. I Dont trust the American J-Street "jews".
I also agree with Steve from Alaska, look at all the illegals let in by Obama. He loves trhem and needs them for his election. -- Do you think there arent any muslim terrorists that came in through the same porous fence???
Efraim ,   in Virginia   (06.17.12)
22. For all those who think Pollard should never be released
For what Pollard did, the average time in prison is 4 years with the longest time about 7 years. Pollard has now served 25 years, which is about 6 times more that average and about 3.5 times more than the long term
Don ,   Kibbutz Nahal Oz   (06.17.12)
23. :) Eli, I echo most of your talkback!
I've been saying basically the same thing over the past few weeks.
Zvi   (06.17.12)
24. ...and many Americans are still antisemites.
Never mind that Pollard's trial was grossly unfair and that any other US agents convicted of spying for allies have been released after 5 years tops.
To John Doe   (06.17.12)
25. Pollard should never have had to steal the vital intel
Given the crucial importance of this intel with regards to Israel, it was imperative that the US should have willingly shared it with Israel. Isn't this what "close allies" typically do for one another?
Tahl   (06.17.12)
26. An Impotant Anniversary
Today is the anniversary of the Rosenbergs execution.Klaus Fuchs of England was sentenced to 15 years for smuggling egregiously more important documents to the Soviets on the atom bomb .It was the only peacetime execution of spies in the history of the U.S. Fast forward to Pollard; the average time spent in jail for spying for an ally, was THREE YEARS. The charge was giving out confidential information, period. He plea bargained with a guilty charge to no avail. Could it be that the hand of anti-semitism is with both instances? The Jewish community as a whole does not seem to face up to that possibility. . There's absolutely zero leadership in this role. Shame on them.
Sy Dill ,   Providence, RI   (06.17.12)
27. You're the shallow one..
and ignorant to boot...do you even know where Israel is? The fact that the world dislikes Israel has more to do with its treatment of Jews and not about this author's "hyper nationalist" column. You're basically another idiot who mouths off about Israel and knows nothing.
American Zionist ,   USA   (06.17.12)
28. U.S. IS IMPARTIAL, it spies on everyone
Anyone out there pretending to be concerned? Maybe you heard about Patrick Henry who they say had said “Give me liberty or give me death” and was hung for spying for the American Revolution U.S. SPIES ON ALLIES The US Mission in Geneva is under investigation by the Swiss Justice and Police Department (FDJP) and the Swiss Foreign Affairs Department for spying, despite being refused permission by Bern in 2007 to do so. Headlines around the world, based on one AFP story, say Swiss lawmakers are calling for diplomats to be expelled, but there is little evidence of this in Switzerland. NZZ, the Zurich newspaper, broke the story Sunday and Le Temps in Geneva Monday noted without confirmation that the US Mission is suspected of having 25-30 people involved in surveillance. The FDJP has refused to comment on the type of surveillance involved, electronic or humans spying or both, nor are details available about who was spied on, although WikiLeaks makes reference to a Muslim couple spied on in 2005. The Swiss were alerted by Sweden and Norway in the autumn of 2010 of “indications” the US was running an espionage program in Geneva, after WikiLeaks turned up evidence of similar surveillance operations there. The government in Bern “immediately approached the US Mission in this matter, reminding the US authorities of the legal force of the Federal Council’s decision of 2007 and demanding suspension of any possible surveillance activities”, according to a statement issued Monday 17 January by the FDJP. U.S. SPYING When it comes to spying on her friends America has been accused of illegally spying on hundreds of people in Norway, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Iceland. Officials in the five countries expressed their unhappiness at surveillance tactics that were conducted without the knowledge of the individual nations' governments. Nathan Hale is AN AMERICAN HERO, because he spied America claims officials informed the Norwegian government about the operation which was aimed at terror suspects
BEN JABO (MACHAL) ,   ISRAEL   (06.17.12)
29. #10 Chana - That's if he survives
Ameican has done far worse, spying on friend & foe alike, including the UN Anyone out there pretending to be concerned? Maybe you heard about Patrick Henry who they say had said “Give me liberty or give me death” and was hung for spying for the American Revolution U.S. SPIES ON ALLIES The US Mission in Geneva is under investigation by the Swiss Justice and Police Department (FDJP) and the Swiss Foreign Affairs Department for spying, despite being refused permission by Bern in 2007 to do so. Headlines around the world, based on one AFP story, say Swiss lawmakers are calling for diplomats to be expelled, but there is little evidence of this in Switzerland. NZZ, the Zurich newspaper, broke the story Sunday and Le Temps in Geneva Monday noted without confirmation that the US Mission is suspected of having 25-30 people involved in surveillance. The FDJP has refused to comment on the type of surveillance involved, electronic or humans spying or both, nor are details available about who was spied on, although WikiLeaks makes reference to a Muslim couple spied on in 2005. The Swiss were alerted by Sweden and Norway in the autumn of 2010 of “indications” the US was running an espionage program in Geneva, after WikiLeaks turned up evidence of similar surveillance operations there. The government in Bern “immediately approached the US Mission in this matter, reminding the US authorities of the legal force of the Federal Council’s decision of 2007 and demanding suspension of any possible surveillance activities”, according to a statement issued Monday 17 January by the FDJP. U.S. SPYING When it comes to spying on her friends America has been accused of illegally spying on hundreds of people in Norway, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Iceland. Officials in the five countries expressed their unhappiness at surveillance tactics that were conducted without the knowledge of the individual nations' governments. Nathan Hale is AN AMERICAN HERO, because he spied America claims officials informed the Norwegian government about the operation which was aimed at terror suspects
BEN JABO (MACHAL) ,   ISRAEL   (06.17.12)
30. Pollard is a Jewish spy--but an American traitor.
Liam ,   Ireland   (06.17.12)
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