Israel is holding back on the release of the final group of 26 Palestinian prisoners promised in the current round of negotiations with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The talks are now deadlocked. Would releasing Pollard save them from collapsing?
The talk of releasing Pollard as a gesture to Israel in return for the previously promised release of the prisoners cropped up last summer between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Secretary of State John Kerry. Nothing came of it. Haaretz reports that the “prisoner exchange” has come up again in an effort to keep the talks from collapsing.
No names and no attributions to the story. Trial balloon? Idle chatter? Kerry trying to convince Obama? What guarantee that the talks would finally go anywhere even with Pollard in Israel and the Palestinian prisoners back home?
Haaretz, March 23, http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.581444
Bargaining Chip: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.565943
Wikipedia (a pretty grim indictment of Pollard) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Pollard