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Could US Embassy open in Jerusalem with Pollard in attendance?

World Israel News logo

Trump is reportedly examining an Israeli request to pardon Pollard in honor of Israel’s 70th Independence Day, allowing him to leave his restricted freedom in the United States.

By Steve Leibowitz, World Israel News

Speaking at The Jerusalem Post conference in New York, Transportation Minister Israel Katz raised the matter of the possible lifting of legal restrictions that prevent convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard from coming to Israel. Katz issued an appeal to President Donald Trump to allow Pollard to make Aliyah and celebrate the opening of the new US Embassy in Jerusalem on May 14.

Trump is reportedly examining an Israeli request to pardon Pollard in honor of Israel’s 70th Independence Day, allowing him to leave his restricted freedom in the United States. Pollard is a former intelligence analyst for the US government who pleaded guilty in 1987 of spying for Israel and providing it with classified information. Originally sentenced to life in prison, Pollard was freed in 2015, albeit with restrictions, including a prohibition from leaving the US. In his defense, Pollard says that he committed espionage because “the American intelligence establishment collectively endangered Israel’s security by withholding crucial information.”
Asked by a visitor to New York if he thought there was a chance that the Trump administration would commute his sentence and allow him to go to Israel, Pollard responded, “I am praying for a miracle. I just want to come home,” the Post reported.

Bobby Brown, former Diaspora Affairs adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told World Israel News (WIN) that “Pollard has been used by successive American governments as a warning against Jews in public life.” Brown offered a prayer that Trump will indeed release Pollard, saying, “I would thank the Lord for allowing me to see this day.”

“This would be a second taboo that Trump would be breaking. Other presidents ducked their responsibility to move the US embassy, but Trump is doing it. Pollard paid the price by serving over 30 years in prison, and the time has come to allow him to come to the place which he considers home and to a country which loves him. I know there is still stiff opposition to this move in parts of the US government. Trump has the guts to make this happen,” Brown said.

Lenny Ben David of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs advised against a public campaign to lift restrictions on Pollard. Ben-David told WIN, “I would hope that this takes place, but we must be careful not to upset the US intelligence community, which still opposes lifting Pollard’s restriction. If he is released to come to Israel, we must avoid embarrassing the US by receiving him as a hero, like we did when Natan Sharansky left Russia. Pollard was severely punished, perhaps unfairly, but we must not be seen to honor a man who spied on the United States.”

‘Pollard is not Sharansky’
Middle East analyst Amotz Asa-el went further by telling WIN, “Minister Katz was wrong in making this a public issue. Pollard is not Sharansky, nor is he Elie Cohen (an Israeli who spied on Syria). Israel is responsible for this spying episode. We worked to eventually secure Pollard’s release, but we should make do with his relative freedom. This must not be seen as an Israeli national goal and should not be presented that way.”

Mark Zell, who heads Republicans in Israel, said he is unaware of Trump ever speaking about the issue, and he knows of no one in the administration pushing for this to happen.

“I will not be at all surprised if Trump makes this gesture. The initiative is coming from outside Washington, including a pro-Pollard lobbying effort in the US,” he told WIN. “It would be a very welcome gesture from the president,” he said.

据报道,特朗普正在研究以色列要求赦免波拉德以纪念以色列第70个独立日的请求,并允许他将自由限制在美国。

世界以色列新闻史蒂夫莱博维茨

在纽约的耶路撒冷邮报会议上,交通部长卡特兹在会上提出了可能取消防止以色列间谍特工乔纳森波拉德来以色列的法律限制的问题。凯茨向总统唐纳德特朗普发出呼吁,允许波拉德制造阿里亚,并庆祝5月14日美国驻耶路撒冷新大使馆的开幕。

据报道,特朗普正在研究以色列要求赦免波拉德以纪念以色列第70个独立日的请求,并允许他将自由限制在美国。波拉德是美国政府的前情报分析员,他于1987年承认为以色列进行间谍活动并向其提供机密信息。 Pollard最初被判处终身监禁,但在2015年获释,尽管有限制,包括禁止离开美国。在他的辩护中,波拉德说他犯下了间谍活动,因为“美国情报机构通过隐瞒重要信息共同危及以色列的安全。”

如果访问纽约的访问者问他是否认为特朗普政府有可能减刑并允许他去以色列,波拉德回答说:“我正在祈求奇迹。我只想回家,“邮报报道。

前总理本雅明内塔尼亚胡的前海外事务顾问鲍比布朗告诉世界以色列新闻(WIN)说:“波拉德曾被美国历届政府用作公共生活中对犹太人的警告。”布朗提出了祈祷,特朗普确实将释放波拉德,说:“我会感谢主让我看到这一天。”

“这将是特朗普打破的第二个禁忌。其他总统却放弃了移动美国大使馆的责任,但特朗普正在这样做。波拉德通过服刑30年来付出了代价,现在是时候让他来到他认为的家乡和爱国的国家。我知道美国政府部分地区仍然坚决反对这一举措。特朗普有勇气做到这一点,“布朗说。

耶路撒冷公共事务中心的莱尼本·戴维建议反对一项旨在取消对波拉德限制的公共活动。本 – 戴维告诉WIN,“我希望这会发生,但我们必须小心,不要让美国情报界不高兴,因为它仍然反对取消波拉德的限制。如果他被释放来到以色列,我们必须避免让美国尴尬,因为他接受他为英雄,就像我们在纳坦夏兰斯基离开俄罗斯时所做的那样。波拉德受到了严厉的惩罚,也许是不公平的,但我们不应该被看作是为了纪念一个窥视美国的人。“

“波拉德不是夏兰斯基”
中东分析家Amotz Asa-el告诉WIN进一步表示,“Katz部长在将此视为公共问题时是错误的。波拉德不是夏兰斯基,他也不是埃利科恩(以色列人是叙利亚人)。以色列负责这个间谍活动。我们努力最终确保波拉德的释放,但我们应该改变他的相对自由。这不能被视为以色列的国家目标,不应该以这种方式呈现。“

谁是以色列共和党的负责人,马克泽尔说,他不知道特朗普曾经谈论过这个问题,他知道政府中没有人会推动这个事情的发生。

“如果特朗普做出这样的表态,我一点都不会感到惊讶。这项倡议来自华盛顿以外,包括在美国的亲Pollard游说努力,“他告诉WIN。 “这将是总统非常可喜的姿态,”他说。

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