Speaking about efforts to release convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, Knesset Control Committee Chairman Uri Ariel said, “It is wrong to say that the State did everything in its power to release Jonathan Pollard. At the end of the day, the man who acted for Israel is still incarcerated.”
The Knesset Control Committee on Tuesday held deliberations on the government’s efforts to bring about the release of Pollard who has been imprisoned in the US for over 26 years.
MK Ariel stressed that Government Secretary Zvi Hauser and Ron Dermer who serves as Senior Advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have for two months now refused to attend the committee meetings and explain the actions the government has taken to release Pollard.
This, in spite of his efforts to find aמ agreed upon date for their attendance.
Thus, the committee convened on Tuesday to discuss the officials’ absence and discussed the possibility of seeking the state comptroller’s opinion on the government’s conduct o the matter.
According to MK Ariel, the state comptroller has previously written a report on the matter, but with no results.
MK Ariel who served in the past as the chairman of the Knesset lobby for Pollard’s release said at the meeting that he would consider issuing a habeas corpus against Hauser and Dermer which would then obligate them to report to the next meeting.
The fact that the prime minister’s advisors who organize all State activities on the matter of Pollard’s release avoid presenting an account of their actions to the public is (a) very serious (matter),” he said.
“No other spy has sat in prison for such a long period of time. Even the heads of the American intelligence services said that 26 years is beyond a doubt, out of proportion,” Ariel added.
MK Arieh Eldad (National Union), criticized President Shimon Peres’ decision to accept an award from US President Barack Obama, “while Obama mocks Pollard’s freedom.”
“Israel no longer has anything to lose,” Eldad noted, adding: “We must demand (his) release and add wholeheartedly that friendly countries do occasionally spy on each other, as the Americans do (in Israel) today.”
Source: YNET NEW ISRAEL