IMRA Weekly Commentary: President Obama fails the test

Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA - December 2, 2010

A flurry of developments has dramatically transformed the release of Jonathan Pollard from a humanitarian issue to a question of justice. Releasing him now, especially in the context of the peace process, is easier than ever. Why is Pollard still in jail?

President Obama has failed the test. His commitment to the peace process is clearly less important than continuing the unjust incarceration of Jonathan Pollard

Before the first freeze ended the Obama administration was advised that they could literally force Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to agree to extend the freeze for three additional months by offering Mr. Netanyahu to free Jonathan Pollard in exchange for the freeze extension.

This proposal, that was first raised in my weekly commentary and then expanded on in an 20 September op-ed quickly took on a life of its own - being discussed at length in the Israeli media and then around the world.

The underlying veracity of the observation that such an exchange, if offered by President Obama, would readily pass in the Netanyahu Cabinet, was confirmed and reconfirmed by the Israeli media.

The Obama administration was aware of all of this. And I can personally attest to the fact that they were also aware of assessments that, as bizarre as it may sound, Prime Minister Netanyahu had absolutely no intention for Israel to present the idea, but that he would have no choice but to accept such an offer if it came from the White House (in part because if he rejected it the rejection would undoubtedly ultimately be leaked and used against him).

It would have been an easy move for President Obama.

A move made even easier by a flurry of developments that dramatically transformed the release of Jonathan Pollard from a humanitarian issue to a question of justice.

But President Obama opted not to offer the release of Jonathan Pollard.

He would rather continue the incarceration of a man who should, by all counts, be released simply as a matter of justice, than extend the building freeze, a move which he deems essential for the continuance of the peace process.

He has now shown his real cards.

The world now knows just how miniscule President Obama's commitment to the "peace process" truly is.

Dr. Aaron Lerner is the Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis) Website: