Jonathan Pollard expressed strong opposition to Israel’s freeing of terrorists.
Pollard, who is jailed in the United States for spying for Israel, accused Israel of being a “strange kind of democracy that pays no heed whatsoever to the will of the people” in an Op-Ed Friday in the Jerusalem Post.
The article followed Israel’s release earlier this week of 26 prisoners convicted of terrorist activities as part of peace talks with the Palestinians. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to release another 78 prisoners in the coming months.
Pollard, who was given a life sentence in 1987 for giving Israel classified U.S. intelligence information, argued that Israel was harming its own citizens to satisfy its critics and enemies.
“Israel is the only country in the world ever to voluntarily expel its own citizens from chunks of its homeland in order to hand over the land to its enemies,” he wrote.
In an accusation that seemed to refer also to his own case, Pollard wrote that Israel “holds unenviable world records for betraying those who serve the state.”
Pollard was first jailed in 1986. Several Israeli leaders have made requests that the United States pardon Pollard.
President Barack Obama has rejected those requests, insisting that Pollard receive a fair hearing by a parole committee review set to take place in 2015.
On Thursday, Jewish Home MK Ayelet Shaked berated US Secretary of State John Kerry for helping engineer the release of Palestinian prisoners, denouncing him for “foolishly” risking her and her children’s lives.
In a letter sent to America’s top diplomat and released to the press, Shaked, chair of the right-wing party’s faction in the Knesset, called on Kerry to focus his energies on other crises in the region. By forcing Israel to engage in peace talks, she wrote, Kerry was raising unrealistic expectations that, if frustrated, ran the risk of the entire Middle East spinning “out of control.”
“Your forcing us to release these terrorists with actual blood on their hands is made all the more absurd, cynical and vicious by the fact that your country refuses until this day to release Jonathan Pollard from jail, despite the unprecedented term he has served thusfar [sic],” she wrote.
Raphael Ahren contributed to this report.