It’s Time to Free Jonathan Pollard

For a long time, I resisted calls to free Jonathan Pollard.  He was convicted of treason, spying against the United States of America.  Although his punishment was more severe and although he spied on behalf of the State of Israel, an ally of the United States, his sentence seemed acceptable to me. He was a convicted spy serving a life sentence for betraying his country-that was okay in my book.

However, it is clear from the latest round of Middle East negotiations that Jonathan Pollard became little more than a political pawn, to be played in order to achieve a settlement.  If our own government admits that Pollard’s punishment can be overlooked to achieve a political end, then the reason for his original punishment seems to have run its course, and he has paid the price.  I do not believe a pardon is in order but it seems reasonable that we permit the time served be sufficient punishment for his treasonous acts.

 Notwithstanding the collapse of the complicated formula that included his release to bring an agreement to the Middle East peace talks, Pollard appears to be merely taking up space in a prison as far as the US Government is concerned.  So therefore, it seems appropriate to release and deport him to Israel.  Pollard does not matter to the United States anymore as evidenced by our willingness to release him. Dangling Pollard in front of those who might believe he matters, only serves to distract the two directly affected parties from the important and hard decisions they need to make.   So let us now take the only reasonable course of action, release Jonathan Pollard now.