Making the Most of Sharon's Meeting with Bush - Pollard MUST be freed
Aaron Lerner - IMRA - March 13, 2001
If Prime Minister Sharon's recent televised statement regarding the
importance of the release of Jonathan Pollard is to be taken seriously
by the Americans, this must be the primary issue at the top of the
Israeli agenda when Sharon meets with President Bush next week.
Why is this imperative? To counteract the damage done to Pollard by
Sharon's advance team and by the deep involvement of the previous
Israeli administration in the Marc Rich pardon.
Sharon's remarks on American television this weekend occurred against a
backdrop of extreme damage done to Pollard's position in the United
States by Sharon's advance team: Zalman Shoval, Moshe Arens and Dore
Gold. The advance team broadcast a message of such complete indifference
to the fate of the incarcerated Israeli agent that both the new
American administration and the American Jewish leadership took note and
avoided even mentioning Pollard's name when they met for the first time
If Sharon's televised statement is not followed up by making Pollard a
top priority issue when he meets with the President, the Americans will
conclude that Sharon - like the last 4 Prime Ministers before him - is
just "going through the motions" and that will be the final blow to any
hope of relief for a seriously ailing Pollard.
High level meetings are anything but spontaneous. Representatives of
both sides work out the agenda and talking points well in advance. Prime
Minister Sharon told American viewers that he intends to ask President
Bush to release Pollard and this must be expressed in the prepared
agenda for the meeting.
Among the compelling factors that must be raised at this meeting are:
POLLARD'S NEW LEGAL CASE NOW BEFORE THE AMERICAN COURTS
provides a solid legal framework for President Bush to respond
favorably to PM Sharon.
Pollard has already served 16 years of a life sentence for an offense
that usually carries a 2 to 4 year sentence.
POLLARD'S FAILING HEALTH provides the impetus for the urgency of PM
Sharon's request, lest a tragedy occur before Pollard's legal case wends
its way through the courts.
SHARON'S OWN ROLE AT WYE when President Clinton reneged on his commitment to free Jonathan Pollard as an integral part of the Wye
accords, provides a compelling eyewitness account that a promise was
made to Israel by the US that has yet to be fulfilled.
The new American administration must be helped to appreciate just how
important the release of Jonathan Pollard is to the State of Israel in
order to put to rest an affair that represents everything that was wrong
in American-Israeli relations. As long as Pollard remains in an American
prison this open wound will continue to fester and impair
American-Israel relations and cooperation.
Israel has a moral and legal obligation - long overdue - to secure the
release of its agent, Jonathan Pollard. It must emphasize to the US
the importance it places on gaining Pollard's freedom NOW. The only way
to do that is to place Pollard at the top of the agenda for the March
20, 2001 meeting between Sharon and Bush. After 16 years of doing hard
time on behalf of Israel, that is the least that the State can do for
Jonathan Pollard Statement Re Bush-Sharon Meeting
Sharon to Ask Bush to Release Pollard
Sharon to Ask Bush to Pardon Pollard
Pollard Not on Jewish Leaders Agenda