The American Interest
Policy, Politics & Culture
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Releasing Pollard Don’t Do It, Mr. Secretary

John Kerry’s laudable attempts at restarting the Mideast peace process appear to be in trouble. Releasing Jonathan Pollard in order to keep them limping along would be a mistake.

Published on April 1, 2014
Reporting from Secretary of State John Kerry’s latest foray into Israeli-Palestinian peace making indicates that the United States may release convicted spy Jonathan Pollard as a “sweetener” for Israel to continue the process beyond Kerry’s April deadline.  If this is the case, it would be a decision driven by American diplomatic desperation—a decision very far removed from Kerry's brilliantly-crafted diplomacy thus far.  Perhaps this “hail Mary” maneuver is the only thing left before the talks collapse, or perhaps it is driven by domestic political calculations related to midterm elections.  Whatever the real motivations, the Secretary of State should just...