Bibi & Barney: Spring Pollard for 3-month freeze extension
Rep. Barney Frank is attempting to get House members to sign a letter to President Obama which requests the release of Jonathan Pollard, who is serving a life sentence for spying for Israel. In exchange for Pollard, the US would get a three-month extension on the temporary and partial Israeli freeze on settlement construction on the West Bank. This deal is the brainchild of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu according to the Hebrew language version of Ha’aretz.
Frank is peddling Netanyahu’s deal as a US gesture of good intentions toward Israel. Gee, hasn’t the Obama administration made enough such gestures already? Frank’s office released the following statement which
…notes the positive impact that a grant of clemency would have in Israel, as a strong indication of the goodwill of our nation towards Israel and the Israeli people…. This would be particularly helpful at a time when the Israeli nation faces difficult decisions in its long-standing effort to secure peace with its neighbors…
Frank, who is supported by JStreet, the “moderate” Jewish lobby, surely knows how humiliating the terms of his proposed agreement would be for our government. A three-month extension on a freeze agreement which would only be selectively enforced is a ridiculously small price to pay for the return of a spy who many people believe did more damage to US security than any other. It is widely believed that then Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir sold much of Pollard’s stolen information to the Soviet’s in the 80s.
The terms of the deal are so one-sided it is difficult to not dismiss it as anything but political grandstanding. If Frank and Netanyahu were serious about this exchange they would have used a less public forum for communicating it to the White House. But the Israelis and their supporters in the US can never get enough of seeing a powerful US politician make that “I love Israel” gesture. Frank probably owes a favor to someone at AIPAC or he is planning a big Bar Mitzvah at the Wailing Wall for his nephew and wants to make sure that he and his family get the ultimate in VIP treatment.
Frank’s House letter is not the first time the Pollard clemency issue has arisen. Israel has periodically attempted to negotiate for Pollard, who is considered to be a hero and legendary spy there. President Clinton purportedly agreed to release him during the negotiations with Netanyahu which led to the Wye Agreement. However, when CIA head George Tenet threatened to resign, Clinton nixed the deal.
For years, contrary to all evidence and logic, Israel claimed that Pollard participated in a “rogue” intelligence operation. Finally, they admitted that Pollard was part of a Mossad spying operation in the US which was government-sanctioned. Israel gives so many different fanciful explanations about so many different illegal operations it is difficult for even government officials to keep up with the most current versions. Recently, Michael Oren, the Israeli Ambassador to the US, contradicted the new official government line by declaring that Pollard was not an official Israeli spy. Oren went on to claim that Israel does not spy on the United States. Right….
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How the Australian, British, and US Governments Shamelessly Helped Kill Countless People in Indonesia in 1965
The Hague-based International People’s Tribunal has ruled that the Indonesian regime that replaced Indonesian President Sukarno committed crimes against humanity in 1965. The governments of Australia, Britain, and the United States have also been pronounced guilty as complicit partners in the massacre of 500,000 to 1000,000 people or more in Indonesia. People were murdered in Indonesia due to their principles, political ideology, ethnic backgrounds, and opposition to foreign influence. Albeit the ruling is an important historical acknowledgment, the assistance that the Australian, British, and US governments provided to the coup and played in the massacres is not a secret.
Asia-Pacific Research presents these excerpts from the Australian journalist John Pilger’s book The New Rulers of the World, which was published by Verso in 2002, in the interest of providing the historical background about the massacres that took place in Indonesia. Reading them will educate one on the despicable and criminal roles that Australia, Britain, and the US played. “There were bodies being washed up on the lawns of the British consulate in Surabaya, and British warships escorted a ship full of Indonesian troops down the Malacca Straits so that they could take part in this terrible holocaust,” for example Pilger writes. In his work John Pilger also notes that the US was directly involved in the operations of the death squads and helped compile the lists of people to be murdered while the Australian, British, and US media were used as propaganda tools to whitewash the coup and bloodbaths in Indonesia. A key point, however, that is emphasizes is that the underlying economic motivations and plunder hidden behind the ideological discourse of the Cold War that really motivated the massacres in Indonesia. – Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Asia-Pacific Research Editor, 22 July 2016.
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