Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA - May 25, 2017
It was supposed to be different.
The expectation was that Donald Trump would promptly sign off on the paper that would send Jonathan Pollard to Israel.
It was supposed to be a no-brainer for the Trump team:
They had a huge folder of endorsements of the move from both legal experts and former government officials with intimate knowledge of the case.
The move would be recognized as proof positive of a new spirit in the White House.
And it would be costless - requiring no offset "payments" to other parties.
But instead of ending this mockery of justice, the opposite has happened.
The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan set a speed record rejecting Pollard's appeal of his current bizarre treatment.
A decision that usually takes months was rushed to coincide with Trump's trip.
What's going on?
If Donald Trump has opted to follow Obama's lead and keep Pollard hostage as a bargaining chip this serves as a warning as to what he is capable of.
It could be even worse.
If Mr. Trump's failure to free Pollard reflects a victory of elements in the intelligence and defense communities this is an even greater cause for concern as it indicates that the most anti-Israel elements have Donald Trump's ear.
President Trump can change all this with the stroke of a pen.
No legislation required.
No judicial review.
Just the stroke of his pen.