Thursday, October 30, 2014
Sunday, October 5, 2014
Israel erred, concedes Justice Elyakim Rubinstein, but convicted spy has served 29 years and 'that's enough'
Israel's Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein has called for the US administration to pardon Jonathan Pollard, the American jailed since 1985 for spying on Israel's behalf.
Mistakes were made, mainly by the Israelis, but by the Americans as well, and 29 years was enough, said Rubinstein at a lecture last week at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. His remarks were reported Sunday by Haaretz correspondent and analyst Amir Oren.
Rubinstein is expected to be named deputy chief justice of the high court next year.
Supreme Court justices rarely offer their views on current events, let alone comment about the decisions of foreign powers.
The lecture was delivered in memory of a former US ambassador to Israel, Sam Lewis, who died earlier this year.
Pollard was arrested at the end of Lewis’ term in Israel, when Rubinstein was acting ambassador in Washington. On November 21, 1985, Pollard tried to drive into the Israeli Embassy parking lot, was turned back by Israeli guards and arrested by FBI agents.
Rubinstein did not know that Pollard was being operated as a spy.
As Israeli attorney general in later years, Rubinstein was active in pushing for Pollard's release. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly raised the issue once again at his meeting Wednesday with President Barack Obama.
In his lecture, Rubinstein said he believed that Lewis also supported Pollard’s release.
Pollard's possible release was brought up earlier this year in efforts led by Secretary of State John Kerry to bring about a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. One proposal floated at the time called for Pollard to be freed in return for Israel's agreement to free Palestinians accused of terrorism.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
The terrorists of Hamas used UN facilities over the summer to attack Israel.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took the bitter criticism he leveled against the UN Human Rights Council in the UN General Assembly on Monday directly into the office of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday, saying the forum was badly stacked against Israel and defended Hamas.
Netanyahu, according to a statement issued from his office, complained to Ban that the council was focusing its investigation on Israel, rather than on Hamas which used UN facilities over the summer to attack Israel.
Jerusalem, Netanyahu said, will fight against this.
The prime minister stressed, as he did in his speech, that Israel did not intentionally target Palestinian civilians, and was sorry for every civilian casualty. He said that Hamas has taken the local population hostage, and compared the organization to Islamic State. He repeated his position that Hamas carried out a double war crime over the summer: firing on Israeli civilians, while hiding behind Palestinian civilians.
“I will not apologize for Israel having the Iron Dome to protect its citizens,” he said.
Netanyahu also complained that Israel was held to different standards from all other countries in the world. While some 200,000 people have been killed in Syria, he said, there is no proportionality between how much time the UN spends on Israel and on Syria.
Netanyahu was accompanied in the meeting by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman.
Regarding the Palestinian issue, Netanyahu -- who did not mention support for a Palestinian state in his address on Monday -- said that there was no change in his position regarding acceptance of a demilitarized Palestinian state that will recognize Israel as the Jewish state, as long as security safeguards were in place that would enable Israel to defend itself against any threat.
He also stressed to Ban, who condemns every instance of Jewish building beyond the 1967 lines, that the conflict with the Palestinians is not over the settlements, but rather over Israel’s right to exist in the region as a Jewish state.