Why Obama Will Free Jonathan Pollard

[Israelis are making a full-court press on Obama this week, to get him to release Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard from US prison.  The Yeshiva World Operation reported it in this way:  “Operation Jonathan: Peres In US Will Press Obama For Pollard’s Release — (Monday, June 11th, 2012)[By Itamar Eichner – Yediot Achronot

President Peres left last night for a six day visit in the US which will culminate 3 days from now when he is to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama. Peres is planning to use the opportunity to request that President Obama free Jonathan Pollard…..”  See, below, an analysis of the meaning of this by Grant Smith) — Frontlines ed.]
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President accepts Israel infallibility doctrine 

by , antiwar.com, June 09, 2012

The US Department of Justice has released new files about convicted spy Jonathan Pollard’s bid for presidential clemency.  Pollard was sentenced to life in prison in 1987 after passing more than a million highly classified documents to Israel while working as an intelligence analyst for the US Navy.  Documents in the Freedom of Information Act response (PDF) reference 32 pages of government agency deliberative communications and 37 pages of new communications between Pardon Attorney Ronald Rogers and Pollard’s legal team — all produced since July of 2011. While the contents have been withheld, their existence signals that the Pollard commutation request may be nearing a conclusion within the Obama administration.  June 18 could mark the culmination of a massive lobbying campaign for release.  Obama’s dismal record on Israeli accountability suggests Pollard will soon walk free.

Released documents reveal that the Rabbinical Assembly — claiming to represent “1.5 million Jews worldwide” — passed a formal resolution asking Obama to commute Pollard’s sentence.    Rabbi David Zwiebel of Agudath Israel of America and Moshe Kantor of the European Jewish Congress also urged Pollard’s release. Letters demanding release also continue to flood in from former and current members of the US Congress. Steve Symms, Matt Salmon, Alan Simpson, Robert Wexler, Barney Frank, and Gary Ackerman joined the ranks of fellow representatives already demanding release.  Moshe Kahalon, Israel’s Minister of Communications, gushed to Obama “I have no doubt that your decision to release Jonathan Pollard now as a humanitarian expression of justice and compassion will bring great relief to many, and will remove this impediment to the friendship between our nations.” Former New York City Mayor David Dinkins is also now rooting for Pollard’s release. Upping the ante, Israeli President Shimon Peres has explicitly linked his receipt of a US Presidential Medal of Freedom during a special June 18 White House dinner to Pollard’s freedom gambit — channeling even more intense pressure on Obama to take action in a specific context, place and time.

The linkage to Obama’s reelection bid is obvious.  Continue reading

Israeli military and settlers interrupt olive harvest celebration in Hebron

by Badia Dwaik, mondoweiss.net

October 24, 2011

The event was held in the land surrounding the Al- Sumood Centre on the beautiful hill overlooking the city. The coordinator of the youth movement and member of the council of students Murad Amro, invited the collection of students, who arrived in their droves, donning Palestinian state scarves and optimistic excitement.Youth Against Settlements (YAS) are a grassroots organisation who’s main objective is to engage the community in non-violent resistance, actions and to support and protect the local community and families against the abuse and provocations they endure daily from the settlers and Israeli Occupation Force (IOF), who are illegally residing in the centre of the city. YAS involve the locals in many community events, from teaching international languages, training in media to life skills and protests, one of which involved changing the name of Shuhada to Apartheid Street.

Olive harvesting is an ancient tradition and one which not only benefits Palestinians through stimulating local economy and supporting families in their steadfastness, but furthermore since the occupation of the country, it has political value. Since 2000, 1.3 million olive trees have been burnt, cut down and destroyed, so therefore it is of upmost importance for locals and internationals to support the families and to protect their land from such attacks. Continue reading

Israel gathering its Zionist supporters and opponents of Palestine from European legislators

Hundreds  of EU lawmakers arrive for pro-Israel conference
By GIL SHEFLER
02/04/2011
Forums will be held where issues like the boycotting of Israel, the threat of terrorism and Israel’s business sector will be debated.

Some 450 European parliamentarians from 37 countries including all 27 members of the European Union were set to arrive in Israel on Friday for a three-day conference that starts Saturday.

During the three-day event organized by European Friends of Israel, a pro-Israel lobby group, lawmakers will tour the country and meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Continue reading