The latest round of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians is in deep trouble. But the
Pollard, 59, pleaded guilty to providing Israel with satellite photos and data on Soviet weapons and ship movements in the 1980s. Under federal sentencing rules, he will be eligible for parole in November 2015. Pollard may well have a case for clemency before then, based on good behavior and the argument long pressed by his supporters that his punishment was disproportionate compared to that meted out to other convicted spies. But successive presidents have been right to resist linking his release to diplomatic efforts to bring about an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
It's understandable that Secretary of State
Kerry reportedly has been exploring a deal to revive the talks that would include Pollard's release before
For one thing, Obama would be setting an unseemly precedent by using his clemency powers to oblige a foreign country that enlisted a U.S. citizen to betray his country. Whether Pollard should be released from prison should remain a domestic matter.