Ayelet Shaked and Jonathan Pollard
Ayelet Shaked and Jonathan PollardIsrael National News

Jonathan Pollard has retracted his endorsement of Zionist Spirit leader Ayelet Shaked.

Pollard wrote to Israel National News-Arutz Sheva Tuesday evening that "after the things I said regarding Ayelet Shaked this morning, it became clear to me that she refuses to remove Yoaz Hendel from her list and to commit that she will only join a right-wing government. This raises a real concern that she will once again transfer votes from the right to the left. Therefore, I retract my support for her."

Shaked said in response to Pollard's retraction of his endorsement of her: "I was happy to hear this morning about Jonathan Pollard's support for me."

"The poison machine directed at him from the moment he announced his support for me put Jonathan in an impossible situation and I'm glad he pulled himself out of the eye of the storm. An Israeli hero like Jonathan deserves to be at the heart of the consensus and not become a target in the toxic discourse of Israeli politics.

"As I have said from every stage in recent weeks - only together we will win, this is the secret of the strength of the people of Israel," Shaked concluded.

On Tuesday morning, Pollard released a video announcing his endorsement of Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked and her Zionist Spirit party in the upcoming 2022 election.

In the video statement, Pollard declared himself an independent, but said that given the “difficult and dangerous time” Israel is in, he has decided to offer his support to Shaked.

“As everyone knows, I am not a member of any political party or faction. And to date, I have not formally endorsed any individual or slate,” Pollard said.

“I’m an independent whose only loyalty and concern is for the Land and People of Israel.”

“Because of my unqualified love of this country, and my dedication to her survival and wellbeing, I must now endorse someone who I know will serve Israel in a way that will safeguard both our core interests and our honor.”

“That person is Ayelet Shaked.”

“Yes, she exhibited misplaced loyalty in our last government. But I truly believe that she realizes the mistake that she made and will not repeat her error.”

“We need her now, free and clear of the bad influences that hurt both her personal reputation and her political credibility.”

“We all make errors in judgment. The difference is between those of us who refuse to acknowledge such errors, and those of us who recognize their errors and commit never to repeat them.”

“I believe that Ayelet Shaked is just such a person, and deserves to be given an opportunity to continue being part of Israel’s leadership.”

“At this difficult and dangerous time in our history, we need and deserve a proven patriot like Ayelet Shaked.”

Likud MKs reacted with rage to the original announcement.

MK Miri Regev wrote on Twitter: "Ayelet, you managed to deceive Pollard as well. You managed to drag him into your dance of lies as well. Cynical and cold political exploitation of a dear and good man. Where else will you go?"

MK Galit Distel-Atbaryan wrote: "Did you have to drag this beloved man whom an entire nation cherishes and appreciates straight into your political mess? Do you even understand what potential damage you have done to this hero of Israel? And remind me exactly when you apologized? Should he apologize on your behalf? Specifically him?"

MK Yoav Kish added: "For those who forgot. The Yamina party led by Bennett and Shaked took right-wing voters to support the current Lapid government with the support of the Muslim Brotherhood. Shaked is still serving as a minister in this government. Zero value should be put on the statements that come out of her, they are all lies. Right-wing voters must not support those who brought this dangerous government to power. They are an anti-Zionist left in disguise."