“U.S. talks with Israel on release of spy Jonathan Pollard” Politico


"The United States is talking with Israel about the possibility of releasing convicted spy Jonathan Pollard early from his life sentence as an incentive in the troubled Mideast peace negotiations, a person familiar with the situation said Monday. Such an extraordinary step would show the urgency of U.S. efforts to keep negotiations alive. The person cautioned that a Pollard release — which would be a dramatic turnaround from previous refusals — was far from certain and that discussions with Israel on the matter were continuing. The person spoke only on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the negotiations on the record."  Politico


Idiocy.  pl  


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77 Responses to “U.S. talks with Israel on release of spy Jonathan Pollard” Politico

  1. Buzz Meeks says:

    You could smell this one coming a mile away. How much more being punked by Israel are you willing to take?

  2. walrus says:

    Not idiocy, non sequitor.

  3. turcopolier says:

    Typepad HTML Email
    Walrus. Yes. They will pocket this and give us nothing. Why should they? Pl

  4. different clue says:

    Since we have declined to release Pollard for this long, even the GOI’s default assumption would have to be that our default position remains the retention of Pollard. Does Israel even have the power to punk us on this? Or is it a free gift which the Obama Group freely wants to give the Netanyahu Group to fabricate the appearance of saving the peace talks? Is this simply Obama/Kerry/etc.s gift to look good on stage? Would this be more Obama’s narcissim and Kerry’s pride than anything else? Can the intelligence community and the armed forces community generate so much painful counterpressure so fast that the offer is cancelled? Could enough letters and calls to officeholders matter?
    If Pollard is that valuable to Israel, the least we should get in exchange is the unilateral Israeli dismantlement of every Israeli-built structure throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, plus the gunpoint roundup and forced march of every Israeli in those places back into Israel Proper in a non-reversible manner, plus the removal of every waste dump or any other trace of presence which the PNA and Syria would find to be objectionable, plus the removal of every bit of pipeline or other infrastructure involved in removing West Bank or East Jerusalem or Golan Heights water into Israel, plus the repositioning of the Great Chinese Wall of Israel onto Israel’s own border. Insist the government pass new laws cancelling the Annexation Laws for EJ and GH. That would be getting something for Pollard.

  5. jerseycityjoan says:

    Who does Israel government have lined up to take our place on the day they finally push us one step too far?
    They never seem to think about that.
    All the recent talk about avoiding conflict with Russia because we both have nuclear weapons made me think about Israel and its nuclear weapons. Will the day come that they start threatening people with those? So many of their leaders seem to think Israel can separate itself from the rest of us and operate in a parallel universe where “Israel rules” that can be changed at any time with no consequences apply.
    It is childlike thinking.
    I am sick of thinking about them and their problems.
    They clearly want to continue the status quo. They do not want an agreement. There is no “incentive” there can only be a stupid giveaway. That we even allow them to get us discussing Jonathan Pollard indicates our own weakness.
    We can refuse and we should.
    The only incentive would be for us to give them a deadline and tell them we’re walking away if they don’t meet it. Let them face their neighbors on their own. It’s about time they do.

  6. Jose says:

    Fund raising for the BSHO Library has begun!!!!

  7. 505thPIR says:

    List his crimes and their impact in the most complete, yet simplistic terms and get them out on social media. MSM will not do so. Get the word out, there is a pithy bunch of “the great unwashed” who will see it for what it is and raise Cain.
    At least do so here as complete and irrefutably as possible and let the cutting,pasting and sharing begin.

  8. MRW says:

    Idiocy? How about treason.

  9. RetiredPatriot says:

    Maybe he can be mailed back to his adopted country in a black bag sewn tightly shut? To me, that would be fitting.

  10. oofda says:

    Idiocy indeed.
    On the other hand, does he have to actually be alive when the U.S. releases him?

  11. confusedponderer says:

    Hmm, while idiody is a most plausible description, it could also be an early April’s fool’s attempt at a joke.

  12. 505thPIR
    A truly excellent idea. This is a golden opportunity for some useful ‘hasbara’, and it really should not be missed.

  13. turcopolier says:

    SST will do its best to make clear Pollard’s status as an Israeli spy against the United States. As we know the MSM will not do it for whatever reasons. My preferred form of release would be delivery to the Israeli Embassy in a marked US Marshals’ service van. He should be released in front of the embassy in prison clothes in his usual unkempt condition with the key to his manacles left in his pocket. He should simply be left in the street for the Israelis to retrieve. alas! None of that will happen. I see that Martin Indyk is behind this. pl

  14. Anna-Marina says:

    This is prostitution and treason in one package. The Pollard story must be placed next to the story of a crime committed by Israel against the USS Liberty.

  15. Marcy C. says:

    Marcy C.
    Gentlemen, Mr. Pollard has been in jail without access to any good information for a long time. Why would his bosses want him back, he does seem a bit useless as a spy nowadays?

  16. rjj says:

    people who actually know something can evaluate this clip.

  17. rjj says:

    can evaluate THE UTILITY of this.

  18. jonst says:

    Personally, I think this–if it happens–is less about getting the Netanyahu Govt to go along with anything. I think most understand, even if they don’t want to admit it in public, the talks are going nowhere for fundamental, long standing, reasons inherent in the dispute. I think however, that saying that is why the US govt is compromising, is a way to cover nothing more than a financial transaction. This is about money (personal and campaign related), and election wish/dreams about voters in Florida. My take anyway….
    I’m usually firmly with the Col in rejecting economic determinism. However, increasingly, I can little else motivating the elite of this nation.

  19. ISL says:

    Jose: Perhaps the library will be on the shores of the River Jordan?
    Realistically, it sounds like one of the gestures inbred emperors of the past made as a sign of their benevolence. Or something from a bad hollywood movie.

  20. JohnH says:

    And what will BO and Kerry get in return? Like Esau, a mess of pottage? More likely a few promises, which Israel will never deliver…

  21. LeaNder says:

    David, off topic admittedly, but in case you are around. I wish I hadn’t forgotten the name of your Jewish friend. At the time I looked up his father, a German emigrant, and there was a book I found highly interesting. Usually I save it, but for whatever reason I didn’t at the time.

  22. MRW says:

    “Release Pollard At the Nation’s Peril”
    by former past directors of Naval Intelligence, William Studeman, Sumner Shapiro, John L. Butts and Thomas Brooks, December 12, 1998
    “Jonathan Pollard is serving a life sentence for stealing massive amounts of highly classified and extremely sensitive U.S. national security information. In terms of sheer volume of sensitive information betrayed, Jonathan Pollard rivals any of the traitors who have plagued this nation in recent times. Nobody is clamoring for the release of traitors like Aldrich Ames, John Walker or Jerry Whitworth, but Pollard, by manipulating his supporters and conducting a clever public relations campaign both here and in Israel, has managed to generate a small but vocal movement advocating that he be released and allowed to emigrate to Israel, where he expects to be something of a national hero.
    We, who are painfully familiar with the case, feel obligated to go on record with the facts regarding Pollard in order to dispel the myths that have arisen from this clever public relations campaign aimed at transforming Pollard from greedy, arrogant betrayer of the American national trust into Pollard, committed Israeli patriot.
    Pollard pleaded guilty and therefore never was publicly tried. Thus, the American people never came to know that he offered classified information to three other countries before working for the Israelis and that he offered his services to a fourth country while he was spying for Israel. They also never came to understand that he was being very highly paid for his services — including an impressive nest egg currently in foreign banks — and was negotiating with his Israeli handlers for a raise as he was caught. So much for Jonathan Pollard, ideologue!”
    Israelis are traitors to everything the US stands for in demanding this, and I’m exercising extreme restraint in noting this.

  23. jon says:

    Maybe it would be more appropriate for Israel to first permit Mordechai Vanunu to emigrate from Israel, where he now lives essentially in house arrest.
    There should be no consideration of releasing Pollard, particularly if not in exchange for something of equal or greater value. The offer to think about starting meetings about negotiations is inherently valueless. The likelihood of these negotiation leading to any tangible results is vanishingly small. Israel is currently seizing yet more Palestinian land, a move calculated to poison any hopes of productive negotiations.
    Maybe the appropriate US counter offer would be to threaten to withhold a few hundred million of our annual appropriations to Israel, and to slow down some weapons shipments?

  24. turcopolier says:

    IMO this is all about John Kerry’s massive narcissistic ego and his lust for a Nobel. At the same time Indyk is at this side urging obedience to Israel. pl

  25. Fred says:

    To teach the US who’s in charge and to show to all the other spies they have just what Israel can do for them when they get caught.

  26. turcopolier says:

    Marcy K
    Pollard’s only value as an intelligence asset was his US citizenship and security clearance at the Office of Naval Intelligence. This made it possible for him to lay his hands on classified documents, mostly concerning the USSR, and remove them from the facility so that his Israeli government handlers could photograph them before he returned them to ONI. He did not choose the documents. Some other or others in the US Government who were Israeli agents within the US government provided titles and serial numbers of documents within the classified library of ONI. Pollard’s present value to the Israelis and Zionists generally is that he has become a national hero for them, a Nathan Hale like figure who chose to side with “his own people” against the goyim, in this case other Americans. There will be a massive celebration in Israel when this “hero” is returned to them. pl

  27. turcopolier says:

    IMO, Pollard should be delivered to the street in front of the Israeli embassy in DC while riding in a US Marshals’ van, still handcuffed and in an orange prison jumpsuit. There the Israeli ambassador should be required to sign for the prisoner while cameras watch. This, of course, will not happen. pl

  28. Allen Thomson says:

    Assume that these Pollard reports are somewhat accurate but the Administration doesn’t want to take the heat for actually and visibly releasing him. Then could the WH just quietly inform Israel that the government will keep out of the parole hearing next year? Apparently Pollard has been a model prisoner and could get a good-conduct release in November 2015, especially if there were no objections brought forth…

  29. John Adamson says:

    “Zionist Occupation Government or Zionist Occupied Government (abbreviated as ZOG) is an antisemitic conspiracy theory that holds that Jews secretly control a given country, while the formal government is a puppet regime.[1]”
    If we let him go, this Wikipedia entry deserves serious consideration. It would be the last straw.

  30. John Minnerath says:

    What can be said? More disgraceful behavior by unconscionable power mongers in the country we’ve seen for the last several years.
    I fear we’re digging a very deep hole.

  31. russ says:

    Hi Pat,
    For a time while in DIA, I had the duty of reviewing his letters from prison to ensure they did not contain classified information. They did not but the did reveal a deranged delusional state on mind. If there is any plus out of this its that Israel will need to expend some (limited) resources on his psychiatric care. And any public utterances he makes will likely prove to be embarrassing for Israel. Small consolation.

  32. doug says:

    Amazing indeed!
    Earlier this morning I read on NPR the following headline:
    “Reports: U.S., Israel Discussing Release Of American Spy”
    Initially I scratched my head. Why would the US release an American Spy. Aren’t spies identified by the country they are spying for? Like Russian Spy, or Chinese Spy or, in this case Israeli Spy?
    Then, Oh, it’s Pollard. It’s a very strange headline.

  33. LeaNder,
    Actually, it’s not entirely off topic. The friend whom I think you mean, David Ganz, is actually not Jewish. His father, Peter Ganz, was not Jewish by religion, but an agnostic brought up as Lutheran.
    He made it here in 1939, after spending six weeks in Buchenwald following Kristallnacht. As an ‘enemy alien’ he was interned on the Isle of Man, and, according to the version he gave to his children and their friends, after he was released spent the rest of the war digging trenches in the Pioneer Corps.
    In 1996, the archives of transcripts of bugged conversations by senior German officers held at Trent Park were declassified – although nobody appears to have noticed this treasure trove until a German historian called Sönke Neitzel came across them at the Public Record Office five years later.
    Only after Peter Ganz’s death the following year did I discover that what he told us was untrue, and only recently has a fuller picture begun to become clear to me.
    Until 1943, however much they might have wanted to fight, ‘enemy aliens’ were not allowed out of the Pioneer Corps. One unforeseen benefit of this was that when the Trent Park bugging operation ran into problems due to a lack of people with the requisite fluency in colloquial German, they were able to draft in some of the brightest of the ‘enemy aliens’ – including Peter Ganz.
    As I also only learned after his death, his father had distinguished himself in the Imperial German Army in the First World War. As a refugee in England, Peter Ganz married an (ethnically) English girl.
    When I knew him, he was a scholar of medieval German literature – a major interpreter of German culture to successive generations of Oxford undergraduates. Approaching the official retirement age, he gave up a professorship at Oxford to go back to work in Germany.
    My friend’s brother wrote a radio play based on the history of parents. Two moments I remember from it, both having to do with the German émigré trying to explain matters to his English girlfriend. In one, he talks about arriving at Buchenwald, seeing all the different Jews who were being imprisoned there, and reflecting that they had nothing in common. In another, he talks about the German word ‘Heimat’.
    It may not be immediately clear why this venture in autobiography could have relevance to the current thread. So perhaps I can spell it out. Peter Ganz was an intractable and sometimes impossible man. But he kept faith with the country of his birth, Germany, and the country in which he found refuge, Britain – even to the extent of allowing his children to believe that he had spent the war digging trenches.
    The contrast with Pollard, both with his personality and history, and with the attitudes of Zionists both in Israel and the United States, to him, seems to me of some interest.

  34. Fred says:

    The article says Pollard’s spying was “still modest by Snowden standards”.
    Just what else did Snowden steal? The liberals who back BHO think Snowden is a hero, why are they silent – along with Mr. Hope and Change – on the damage Snowden did – as well as Pollard? It’s like saying Charles Manson killing spree was small by Ted Bundy’s standards.

  35. Edward Amame says:

    Isn’t Pollard up for parole soon?

  36. fanto says:

    not strange if one realizes who rules at NPR

  37. TomPM says:

    Col. Lang,
    And it’s not as though we haven’t “seen this movie” before. In 2009, Salon’s Joe Conason suggested that Clinton’s pardon of Marc Rich was Israel’s price for peace talks–Clinton badly wanted an agreement for his legacy. Conason writes, in part, “Following weeks of preparation by Clinton, the last round of serious peace talks opened in Taba, Egypt, on Jan. 21, 2001, the day after he signed the Rich pardon. Those negotiations eventually failed, yet they came closer to achieving a workable settlement than any before or since.” http://www.salon.com/2009/01/16/holder_4/
    In July 2013, Blogger Philip Weiss at Mondoweiss dismissed out of hand Conason’s theory of a peace-talks quid pro quo, but provides a chilling write-up of AIPAC’s reach (already well-known to regular readers of your blog) at http://mondoweiss.net/2013/07/clinton-and-israel-the-marc-rich-story.html

  38. turcopolier says:

    Not parole, time off for good behavior. pl

  39. Stephanie says:

    It’s standard operating procedure for countries to try to retrieve their spies, not because of future usefulness but past services rendered and also to demonstrate that you don’t leave your people twisting in the wind.
    Obama isn’t the first president to flirt with the idea of releasing Pollard to the Israelis. The resistance to releasing him has come from the intelligence community, not the politicians. And if the intelligence people put their collective foot down again and stymie any alleged plans to make a deal, he won’t be the last president to do so.

  40. turcopolier says:

    what you say about the need to retrieve assets is true but in this case it is further strengthened by Pollard’s status as a Zionist hero. pl

  41. doug says:

    The people over at Commentary and National Review have not infrequently referred to NPR as National Palestinian Radio. Such is the divide.

  42. tv says:

    Small change for the Ketchup Prince.
    He WILL get his Nobel prize.
    Are all you Obama voters REALLY surprised a this turn?

  43. jerseycityjoan says:

    Let me correct my assumption. The Israelis didn’t do their usual begging. According to the Wall St Journal, WE offered up the Pollard “incentive”:
    “The statement by White House press secretary Jay Carney threw a damper on 24 hours of negotiations between Messrs. Kerry and Netanyahu in which the U.S. brought a surprise offer to release the agent from his life sentence.
    Two officials familiar with the negotiations said that under the arrangement Mr. Pollard, who was convicted of espionage in 1985, was to be released in mid-April “before Passover.” The move was to free the former Navy intelligence officer after decades behind bars.
    In return, Israel would go ahead with the prisoner release, whose delay was becoming a stumbling block. Israel also agreed to release another group of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners at its own discretion in the future, the officials said.”
    The whole story is worth reading.
    Where does our desperation come from?

  44. turcopolier says:

    I continue to believe that McCain and the candidate member of the council of the 12 would have been worse. Obama has not kissed a lot of Zionist ass yet. We will see what he does about his. How about forming a common front with your fellow Americans, gentile and Jew against the excessive influence of this Lilliputian tribalist state? pl

  45. FB Ali says:

    Col Lang,
    Is it possible that the continued Israeli efforts to free Pollard are to ensure that he doesn’t name the senior American official who supplied him with the links to the documents that he copied?

  46. turcopolier says:

    “the former Navy intelligence officer” Pollard was never a “naval intelligence officer.” The worm would not have been commissioned. He was a civil service employee of the Department of the Navy. If you do mot know the difference I assure you that there is one. pl

  47. turcopolier says:

    FB Ali
    An interesting thought but I think he never knew their identities. pl

  48. AEL says:

    My guess is that it is retaliation for Bogie Yalon’s comments a couple weeks ago. What better way to beat up Israel without getting retaliation from AIPAC.
    I am sure there will be lots of Administration crocodile tears when it turns out that no deal is possible.

  49. jonst says:

    ask what Hillary will get. I think we have moved on to the next game.

  50. jonst says:

    I gotta disagree with you on this one Col. The massive ego is there and has impact. No doubt. And it greases the skids that allows this to possibly happen in the first place….but he has know, suspect at least, he is going to get nothing. This is about 2016 and Hillary. And Florida. And money. We’re moving on to the set.

  51. FB Ali says:

    If this shameful act is to take place, a saving grace might be the resulting release of Marwan Barghouti. He can play a great role in the future as a leader of the Palestinians.

  52. Peggy says:

    Game over:
    “But not only has Kerry failed to secure his limited goals, the prospect of Pollard’s release may have actually contributed to the breakdown of his efforts on Tuesday. When the Palestinians compared the pittance they were receiving, in their view, to the plum Pollard prize that Kerry was bestowing on Prime Minister Netanyahu, they decided to walk away in a huff. If Bibi gets Pollard, they told Kerry, we will look like fools if we don’t demand something just as big, like jailed Palestinian activist Marwan Barghouti.”

  53. samuelburke says:

    That is an excellent idea, an honorable Nation could send a memorable message.

  54. MRW says:

    You forgot to mention that he should be horizontal. In a box.

  55. fanto says:

    doug, psychologists have found out that if someone wants to convey an opinion to a group of people, and wants that opinion to be accepted as true, one must present it as a kind of mix in certain proportion, say 3 to 1 or 4 to 1, never make it 100% in one way… I read it sometime long ago so I do not have a reference for that; that is why some people at Commentary may use that ruse. there is no ‘divide’ imho.

  56. Highlander says:

    Were Pollard’s handlers actually known to US Intelligence?
    If so, why weren’t they prosecuted?

  57. Will Reks says:

    Fred, the actual perception of Snowden is quite mixed on the left. Some, similar to many civil libertarians in the Glenn Greenwald mold, think of him as a hero. Obama has been overtly hostile, and not at all silent, in regards to Snowden and thus there are many of his devotees who are hostile to him as well.

  58. Yours In Peace....R.L.Kirtley says:

    All….I Read Tonight On A Jewish Site(Totpi.com) That Housing Minister Uri Ariel Said On Army Radio That People Close To Pollard Have Told Him That Pollard Opposes Being Freed In Exchange For Palestinian Prisoners, That Pollard Opposes “Such A Shameful Deal.” Ariel Too Said That He Is Against “The Release Of Murderers For Pollard.”….I Guess That They Want Us To Beg Them To Take Him Back And Of Course Without ANY Compensation!!!!!

  59. Will Reks says:

    If you had been been paying attention this last week as the GOP candidates for 2016 lined up to pay obeisance to Sheldon Adelson you would have realized that there’s not much difference between the parties here.

  60. turcopolier says:

    Pollard’s Israeli handlers were not known until after he was arrested at the embassy. in the investigation that followed their identity became clear but they had fled the country. pl

  61. rjj says:

    I noticed that and called it the t*rd in the truffle box.

  62. rjj says:

    Are the Israelis relaxed about that sort of thing – agents getting exposed somehow in the course of an investigation?

  63. jerseycityjoan says:

    That was not me talking. That was part of the quote from the Wall St. Journal. I’ll repeat it below without the link so it doesn’t go six inches to the right of the margin:
    “The statement by White House press secretary Jay Carney threw a damper on 24 hours of negotiations between Messrs. Kerry and Netanyahu in which the U.S. brought a surprise offer to release the agent from his life sentence.
    Two officials familiar with the negotiations said that under the arrangement Mr. Pollard, who was convicted of espionage in 1985, was to be released in mid-April “before Passover.” The move was to free the former Navy intelligence officer after decades behind bars.
    In return, Israel would go ahead with the prisoner release, whose delay was becoming a stumbling block. Israel also agreed to release another group of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners at its own discretion in the future, the officials said.”
    Your comment made me wonder if this was a mistake by the WSJ writers or their sources, or if it was deliberate misstatement that got repeated. For one thing, if Pollard had been an officer, wouldn’t he have been in a military prison?
    I can certainly understand your annoyance. I am relieved to hear you say though that no such “worm” could ever have received a commission.

  64. robt willmann says:

    I read that one of Pollard’s main handlers was Rafi Eitan. I do not know if he was allowed into the U.S. before or after Pollard was arrested.

  65. Will says:

    “this Lilliputian tribalist state?” that has some 200 deliverable nukes. triad- bombers, missiles, and subs and due to Monseiur Pollard- targeting information on most of Europe. thnx to deGaulle and LBJ and our tax dollars.

  66. turcopolier says:

    You greatly exaggerate Israel’s military power. It has no power projection capability unless they choose t use their nuclear force. this seems unlikely. It is a deterrent. The material that Pollard extracted from ONI files was concerned with the ME and with the USSR and China and subjects of interest to those two countries. As I have said before it is clear that the Israelis wanted this material as trae goods for exchanges with the USSR. Let’s not exaggerate. pl

  67. turcopolier says:

    Pete Deer
    I have said repeatedly that this was the goal of Israel and so have many others. Do you think that excuses his espionage against the US? BTW, the Zionists want to create the impression that Pollard was merely a mercenary doing “piece work” for Israel. That was not the case. He was in effect a full time employee of Israeli intelligence whose motivation was essentially Zionist. He took money from them because it is a “rule” of the espionage game that the agency running the operation always seeks to have its assets take money on a regular basis to establish and employer-employee relationship that makes it easier to control the asset. this extends to signing secret contracts, escrow accounts, resettlement agreements and all the appurtenances of employment. In Pollard’s case the man has become a Zionist hero. Keep that in mind. pl

  68. Florent says:

    actually De Gaulle is the one who put an end to French support to Israel.
    the nuclear deal had been done before him and to a certain extent persisted for a while despite him wanted to stop it all immediately.

  69. robt willmann says:

    A comment above that mentioned National Public Radio (NPR) brought back to mind something I heard on the radio some years ago about Pollard while driving, and I drove up to the restaurant I was going to, sat in the parking lot, and listened to the whole thing. It was on the Diane Rhem interview show on NPR.
    It turns out the program was in 1999 (time does fly by fast) and her guests were Seymour Hersh, Vincent Canistraro (formerly of the CIA), Angelo Codevilla of Boston University, and Kenneth Lasson of the University of Baltimore. My impression at the time was, and still is, that the program was a clever propaganda piece to try to help Pollard. It came on at the same time as Hersh had an article in the New Yorker magazine about Pollard. You can listen to the radio program, which is 49 minutes long, here–
    The New Yorker magazine article is archived here, and you have to turn on “cookies” in your web browser to get it to display; it is a scan of the pages and you click on the arrows at the side to go forward and back–
    I am not a fan of Hersh, and when reading his writings carefully, they do not seem all that great. They sometimes have the feel of a modified limited hangout. A writer I know says Hersh helps the Israeli government. In any event, the article is there in full.
    The transcript of the recent talk by M.E. “Spike” Bowman, the video of which was noted above by rjj, is found here (Bowman was the main writer of the sentencing affidavit against Pollard)–

  70. Charles Dekle says:

    Col Lang,
    Bravo! Well said.

  71. robt willmann says:

    Also, here is an article written by M.E. Bowman about Pollard published in 2011 in the journal of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, and is in the pdf computer file format–

  72. Tyler says:

    There are a nontrivial number of Jews who believe the Rosenbergs were either framed and damn VERONA as anti semitism, or that their intentions were good and they were persecuted because of anti semitism. The idea that Pollard did nothing wrong is likely an article of faith over there.
    Cannot say this act comes as a surprise from a people that simultaneously play the victim card and make a virtue out of chutzpah at every opportunity.

  73. LeaNder says:

    Thanks, David, wonderful story. Yes indirectly he is some kind of counterpoint to Pollard. From the Nazi perspective he surely would have been a “traitor to the Fatherland(/Vaterlandsverräter) too. 😉
    Yes, maybe that was him. You mentioned two fathers I think. And yes, I had this vague memory of medieval German history too. I have to check. One of the books I found interesting at the time, but it wasn’t in medieval history. As far as I remember it was published in the 70s. I’ll check.
    take care, be well.

  74. LeaNder says:

    I see that Martin Indyk is behind this. pl
    Hmm, I wondered who “the experts” around Kerry are Because it is quite remarkable to what extend earlier agreements seem to be forgotten:
    “Israel would go ahead with the final tranche of prisoner releases promised when the negotiations began. Chief U.S. negotiator Martin Indyk argued that Pollard’s long-sought release would serve as a sweetener for the Israelis, helping Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hold his fractious political coalition together, according to two people familiar with the discussions who spoke on the condition of anonymity about the sensitive diplomacy.”
    Well that is of course one of the worst.

  75. LeaNder says:

    Thanks David. On first sight it wasn’t Peter Ganz. Although I surely won’t forget that name now again.
    Interesting story. I like these biographical details. Makes one aware of more complex layers in history.
    You mentioned two friends who had German fathers. Who was the other again?

  76. LeaNder,
    Ironically perhaps, the other figure to whom I referred, Joseph Peter Stern, although he ended up as a professor of German literature, wasn’t German. His ‘biographical details’ are quite interesting, in relation to both Jewish and German worlds.
    He came from a Jewish family in Prague who were Roman Catholic in religion, and opted to become Czech. His father fought with the Czechoslovak Legion on the side of the Entente during the First World War, and Czech was his first language. He arrived in England on the last boat out of Gdynia, having crossed over the border to Poland after the Wehrmacht marched into his native city.
    He volunteered for the Czech Army in 1941, but became a ‘tail-end Charlie’ – rear-gunner – in a Wellington bomber flown by 311 Squadron, the Czech bomber squadron with the RAF, who in April 1942, at a time of crisis in the Battle of the Atlantic, were shifted to hunting U-boats.
    And he was lucky not to end up among the rather large number of the squadron who did not make it through the war, as it was only pure accident that led to his crew being rescued from the Atlantic after they were shot down, and he badly wounded, in September of that year.
    As a student I knew him slightly, but later read some of his writings. Among them is a short study originally published in 1975, entitled ‘Hitler: The Führer and the People’.
    When ten years later he was asked to write an introduction for a Czech ‘samizdat’ edition of the book, Stern was obviously enormously pleased, and wrote an introduction which is more personally revealing than anything else of his that I have read.
    Having talked about ‘totalitarian’ regimes – and he quite patently had no desire to ‘whitewash’ the Czech communists, but for whom he would returned home after the defeat of Hitler – Stern argued that the communist regimes were still more open to ‘universal’ values than that of Hitler had been.
    And he argued that this was because Marxism, disastrous as it was in so many ways, was based upon, was ‘one of the tenets of Western civilization as a whole’. And he went on to explain how he saw this ‘tenet’:
    ‘I see it as the imperative, voiced for the first time in the modified Judaism of the Christian gospels, that each man, woman and child, regardless of birth or rank, is to be thought of and treated with equal seriousness and of equal value in the sight of God; and the concomitant of that imperative is love of your neighbour as the highest human commandment.’

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