I remember standing outside the White House lawn on March 26 1979, protesting the signing of Camp David accord between Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and the ex-wanted British terrorist turned Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. An Egyptian speaker addressed his president across the street “If You Feel No Shame Then Do As You Wish.”
Today, the “feel no shame” Israeli leaders are able to do” as they wish” with unparalleled brazen impunity.
US Secretary of State John Kerry offered Israel an upfront Palestinian commitment to forgo their rights of joining UN organizations for nine months. In turn, Israel pledged to release 104 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails.
Palestinians kept their word and delivered, Israel reneged. In a last minute maneuver it added a new condition. Not on the Palestinians this time but on the US demanding the release of Jewish American Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard.
In addition to torpedoing the peace process, balking on fulfilling its part under the US mediated understanding undermines American credibility as an impartial peace broker and its international standing.
Adding the release of the Jewish spy to an existing agreement was another chicanery act pulled from Israel’s magician box of tricks to derail the peace process. Just like the invented “new” recognition of an ethno centric Jewish state or the continued expropriation of land for Jewish use only or leaving Israeli army inside the “independent” Palestinian state.
While Kerry would refuse to admit, it was all predictable. Last December, Israel’s Channel 2 revealed that Benjamin Netanyahu will insist on releasing Pollard before endorsing a “framework agreement” or freeing the last batch of Palestinian prisoners.
But why didn’t Netanyahu demand releasing Pollard as part of the understanding last July? He knew that he would be in a better position to blackmail the US at the eleventh hour.
In 1998, Netanyahu did exactly that when he asked President Bill Clinton to release Pollard before agreeing to sign the Wye River memorandum. The receptive Clinton had to back down after his CIA Director George Tenet threatened to resign.
Pollard compromised US security like no other. According to retired Navy lawyer Spike Bowman a senior legal advisor to Navy intelligence when Pollard was caught, “no other spy in the history of the United States stole so many secrets, so highly classified, in such a short period of time.”
To make it worst, Israeli officials lied to their teeth denying any high level knowledge of the spying operation.
In response to Ronald Regan’s demand that Israel hold accountable Pollard’s Israeli handlers, Abba Eban, chairman of the Intelligence Committee of the Knesset concluded a sham investigation in 1987 claiming that there was not “a single shred of evidence“ to blame any of Israel`s senior leaders.
According to US intelligence officials, Pollard passed information on US intelligence collection in the Soviet Union– resulting in the arrest of American spies– which Israel traded with the Soviet Union to allow greater Jewish immigration.
Invertebrate US political leadership accepted Israeli’s phony investigation– wanting us to believe that only a low level staff negotiated with Soviet leaders to increase Jewish immigration.
Palestinian prisoners and peace are used as pawns sadly because US political leaders lack the resolve to tell Israel that Pollard was a citizen who damaged US security and must pay for his crimes, just like every other spy– Jewish or not. Frankly the peg should rot in prison, not just for being a traitor but for causing others to rot in Soviet’ gulag.
Israel denied that Pollard was an Israeli spy for ten years. Since 1998 however– after initial American anger cooled off– they adopted Pollard, granted him an Israeli citizenship and named a park in his honor.
Israel is unprincipled and habitually dishonest political entity and can’t be trusted with agreements and it betrays its benefactors.
Mr. JAMAL KANJ is one of the frequent contributors for The 4th Media.