National Post | 23Sep2010 | Orest Slepokura

To release a spy  

Re: Israel Denies Asking U.S. For Spy’s Release, Sept. 22, 2010.

In 1996, Joseph diGenoa, former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia and the lead prosecutor in the Jonathan Pollard case, gave many compelling reasons why the convicted spy should not receive the special constitutional favour of clemency.

These included his singular lack of remorse, the far-reaching nature of his crimes, and a real possibility that were he free and able to move to Israel — which, unconscionably, granted him citizenship — Pollard could yet further damage U.S. national security by sharing his knowledge of intelligence data.

Pollard gave 360 cubic feet of classified documents to his Israeli handlers; material never returned.

Had he perhaps been motivated by misguided Zionist idealism, as some claim? In the words of DiGenoa: “In 1984, Pollard agreed to a 10-year plan of espionage against the U.S. for pay. He was to receive $540,000.”

Orest Slepokura, Strathmore, Alta.

If Israel didn’t ask the United States for Jonathan Pollard’s release, I’d be very disappointed in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This is probably one of the few opportunities to secure his release, and undo an act of outright anti-Semitism and injustice.

Equally, if Mr. Obama wants to wallow in the mire of Middle East politics, he has to learn that if you play in mud you get dirty.Past presidents have refused to release Pollard for fear of the State Department, CIA and FBI, combined.

If Mr. Obama wants to extend the three-month building freeze in the disputed territories, there is a price. In politics it’s what you do, not what you promise.

Moshe Sheskin, London, Ont.