Why would the US agree to this lose, lose deal?

Captain's Quarters:

The Jerusalem Post reports that the Israel will open negotiations with with the US to release convicted spy Jonathan Pollard in exchange for the release of convicted Palestinian terrorist and Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti:

Officials in Jerusalem claimed on Saturday that the US would free imprisoned Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard in exchange for Israel releasing jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti.

According to Army Radio, Israel is set to offer the proposed prisoner swap deal in the next few months, following the unfolding anarchy in the Palestinian Authority. Seemingly, Israel intends to use Barghouti's release to strengthen the Fatah movement against the background of the much criticized rule of the new Hamas-led Palestinian government.

In 2004 Israel suggested a similar move but the initiative was rejected by the US government. Jerusalem officials predict that on this occasion the White House will accept the proposal.

This may be one of the dumber proposals regarding the Israelis in recent memory. Jonathan Pollard stole highly classified intelligence on threat analysis, some of the most sensitive information available. He richly deserved his sentence regardless of the cause for which he stole the information. The ongoing Israeli efforts to bargain for his release are nothing more than an occasional embarrassment for both sides.


It is hard for me to see why the US would want either man released. They are both exactly where they should be. If there is a good side to this proposal, it certainly is not obvious.


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