The Washington Post

Jonathan Pollard: Did Netanyahu make the U.S. into Hamas?

Center for a New American Security fellow Andrew Exum took exception to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the Knesset earlier this week. In it, Netanyahu spoke of the decision to negotiate with Hamas to bring home Gilad Shalit, the release of Ilan Grapel and the hopeful release of Ouda Tarabin from an Egyptian prison.

But then Netanyahu included a case that seemed something of an outlier--Jonathan Pollard. “And I want to tell you and the entire people of Israel, I never, not for a moment, forget Jonathan Pollard, who has been in jail in the United States for 26 years. We will continue to do everything we can to bring him to Israel and we will not cease to try to obtain information about the fate of our missing soldiers,” said Netanyahu.

And that’s where Exum had enough.

Really, Mr. Netanyahu? You’re now elevating Jonathan Pollard to the same level as Gilad Shalit? (And what does that make us? Hamas?) Jonathan Pollard is a U.S. citizen and intelligence analyst who betrayed his country and sold secrets to South Africa and Israel -- and he attempted to do the same for Pakistan. He deserves to spend the rest of his life in a dark hole.

Considering the number of times the United States has bailed out Israel this year -- from Cairo to the United Nations -- one wonders what goes through the prime minister’s head when he insults the United States like this.

It’s worth noting that, as a prisoner, Israel granted Pollard citizenship in 1995.

Allen McDuffee writes about politics and policy and covered think tanks for The Washington Post from 2011 to 2013. He freelances and hosts a podcast at and is currently working on a book about the influence of think tanks in Washington.


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