Should a name from three decades past be an issue in today's Middle East diplomacy? Here's our contributor Ben Stein:
I see that the media are filled with gossip that the U.S. government might allow convicted spy Jonathan Pollard to go free as a way to get Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians in the "peace" drive that John Kerry is trying to ram down Israel's throat.
A few humble thoughts:
First, Jonathan Pollard should never have been sent to prison for life for giving secrets to our best friend in the Middle East, Israel. That sentence is off the charts, compared with similar situations.
Pollard's misconduct was obviously a disgrace, but he has paid for it insanely. He's been in prison longer than many people get for murder. Reports are that he's extremely unwell. This poor devil has been punished enough.
More important, the Palestinians in both Gaza and the West Bank do not recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state. How can Israel possibly make peace with people who do not accept its right to exist?
The Palestinians insist that Israel allow anyone of Palestinian descent to return to Israel -- that would automatically make Israel into a majority non-Jewish state within a short time. Obviously, this is also not a possibility for Israel.
Yet Mr. Obama and Mr. Kerry try to paint Israel as the villain here, and say Israel built apartments in East Jerusalem or nearby and that's what's killed the fantasy "peace process."
Maybe Israel should not keep building those apartments. But it seems to me it's a pretty small stumbling block, compared with the Palestinians' refusal to even acknowledge Israel's right to exist.
I hate to break this to Secretary Kerry, but no state can make peace with neighbors who allow terrorists to come over to their country to kill civilians, and who refuse to even agree that the state in question should exist as it was constituted.
The bottom-line truth: Israel wants peace. They will cheerfully acknowledge a Palestinian state if they get recognition. They won't agree to make peace with people who want to destroy them.
Would we? Would France? Would England?
Why should a perennially victorious Israel sign its own death warrant to satisfy some anti-Israel, anti-Semite campaigners in Europe?
Mr. Kerry is living in a wicked dream world. Time to wake up.
And for heaven's sake, stop torturing Jonathan Pollard.
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