Daily Israel Report

ADL Slams Obama For Making Pollard A 'Bargaining Chip'

Obama has made no decision yet about Pollard; ADL argues his release should not be 'intertwined' in peace talks.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 4/1/2014, 11:00 PM

US President Barack Obama
US President Barack Obama
Reuters

While US President Barack Obama has made no decision yet about freeing Jonathan Pollard according to reports, Anti-Defamation League (ADL) slammed the Obama Administration for connecting Pollard's case to the peace talks in the first place.

It was revealed Tuesday that the US had offered the release of Pollard, in exchange for the release of over 400 Israeli-held Arab terrorists and a partial construction freeze in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, all in the name of propping up the failing peace talks.

ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman argued that the US should release Pollard, now in his 29th year in an American jail on charges of spying for Israel, "both on humanitarian grounds and in light of the important bilateral relationship between Israel and the United States."

Foxman stressed that Pollard's release "should not be intertwined with any potential resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict," criticizing the introduction of this factor in the peace talks that already suffer "enormous complications."

"We hope that the Obama Administration will take the step of releasing Pollard on humanitarian grounds without seeing him as a potential 'bargaining chip' to pressure Israel to continue to negotiate in the absence of a true commitment on behalf of the Palestinians," added Foxman.

Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday signed requests to join 15 international UN organizations, breaching conditions of the peace talks and potentially torpedoing the entire process. Abbas has brought talks to a standstill by refusing to recognize Israel as the Jewish state.

On Tuesday, White House Spokesman Jay Carney announced that Obama "has not made a decision to free Jonathan Pollard," although he did not rule out a future decision, according to AFP.

However, the talk of Pollard's release may be a moot point; in a dramatic move Pollard waived a parole hearing on Tuesday in protest of the reported deal, given his opposition to the release of terrorists. Reports indicate arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti was among the 400 Arab terrorists in the deal.