Two Former American Ambassadors to Israel Switch to Support Clemency for Pollard


Two former American ambassadors to Israel who, in the past, opposed clemency for Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard have changed their minds, The Jerusalem Post reports.

Sam Lewis, who served as ambassador until 1985, when Pollard was arrested in Washington, and his successor Thomas Pickering, spoke to the Walla News.

Both senior diplomats are considered close to Secretary of State John Kerry and support his Mideast peace initiative.

“I’ve been opposed to releasing Pollard for a long time, but if you said that such a step would assist reaching a framework, in a fundamental way — I would support that,” Pickering said. “He did some really bad things to us and I don’t accept the Israeli ’ over his arrest, but reaching a framework for peace is so much more important than keeping this guy in jail. Diplomats take challenges and make them into opportunities.”

Lewis, on the other hand, favors the release of Pollard on humanitarian grounds, apart from any considerations relating to the peace process.

“He betrayed us, and I am glad he sat in prison, but 28 years is enough time,” Lewis said. “Even if he may get out in two years from now, I think there is something compelling about the appeal by more than 100 Members of Knesset to President Obama to free him now.”