Former Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard has said Israel should have silenced families of hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza, and even imprisoned some of them, in order to avoid public pressure to reach a deal with the terror group. Channel 14 airs a clip of Pollard making the remarks, saying the remarks came during an online call this week with Rabbi David Bar-Hayim of the Shilo Institute. “When we declared war, the first thing that the government should have done was to declare a state of national emergency and told all of the hostage families, ‘You will keep your mouths shut, or we will shut them for you. You will not interfere in the management of this war. You will not be used by the international community or by our own leftists, who managed the Shalit deal, as a weapon against us,’” he says.
He was referring to a 2011 deal, opposed at the time and since by many on the right, in which Israel released over 1,000 Palestinian terror convicts in exchange for a single kidnapped IDF soldier. “And if that means imprisoning, to silence certain members of hostages’ families, then so be it. We’re in a state of war,” adds Pollard, who served decades in US prison for espionage before being released during former US president Barack Obama’s tenure and later being allowed to move to Israel by then-president Donald Trump.
Pollard lambastes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for approving a new hostage deal this week, saying he will also not vote again for the far-right Religious Zionism party, which voted for the agreement. “I was dead-set against turning all these posters out, the kidnapped, with all these pictures of these poor people that were kidnapped,” Pollard adds. “Why? Because each one of them was a poison dart at our ability to wage total war against our enemies.” He advocates for Israel to go on with the war without any deal, even at the cost of killing many Israeli hostages.
Comment: What this odious creature had to say was apparently well covered in both Israeli and English language media. I doubt it was because Pollard is seen as someone who needs to be listened to. I think it’s because what he had to say is shocking and disgusting and stories like this sell newspapers. What is more shocking and disgusting is that he’s not alone in this thinking. This mindset is shared by the hard right in Israel, the faction that was and remains key to Netanyahu’s continued rule. The line between this kind of thinking and that of the Hamas jihadis is very thin indeed.