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Dan Gilmore / Jul. 27, 2015

Obama Rolls Out Israeli Spy Prospect

In its political wheedling designed to grease the process approving the Iranian nuclear deal, the Obama administration pulled out the tired political bargaining chip it uses anytime it wants to politically leverage Israel — Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard. Of course, reminding Americans that Israel was spying on America is a brilliant play to undermine Israel’s criticism of the Iran nuke “deal.” In 1987, Pollard was convicted of selling the Israelis classified information after he had attempted to sell American secrets to three other foreign nations. Pollard is serving a life sentence, with a parole hearing this November. John Kerry waved him in front of the Israelis in 2014 to draw out the negotiations about the West Bank. As David Harsanyi writes, “It is far more likely that releasing Pollard is for the benefit of American Jews, in particular Democrats (but I repeat myself), many of whom must have deep misgivings about a nuclear Iran. There is already a concerted effort to pressure Israel supporters on the Left into supporting the deal.” What’s one convicted Israeli spy in the field of international diplomacy? Pollard is like a free meal: He does much to smooth over relations, but he changes nothing about the insidious nature of the nuclear deal.

Update: What’s Israel’s response to all of this? Sure, the nation that made Pollard a citizen in 1995 wants to see him released. But he’s not worth acquiescing to the whole Iran deal. Nachman Shai, a member of the Israeli parliament said, “No other prisoner has served in a U.S. prison for such a long period for a similar crime. They did not treat him well and they took it up to the worst point, so to say that this is a gesture from the American side to soften the Iran deal is an insult, and that is the least I can say.” Indeed, the county that preaches the destruction of Israel stands to make $150 billion once the sanctions are dropped. Meanwhile, since it’s been in existence, Israel has received only $124.3 billion in total aid from the U.S. It’s a deal that’s probably not worth the life of one political pawn.

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