Zev Shandalov


Blackmail! It is pure and simple blackmail!

After nearly 30 years in prison, suddenly Jonathan Pollard has become a bargaining chip. The attempt currently by the United States is to cash in this barganing chip for an obscene demand. Israel is expected to release 400 (!) prisoners, including according to some reports Marwan Barghouti,  a mass-murderer by any defintion; impose a building freeze in Judea and Samaria and possibly other concessions on the part of Israel that we may not know about as of yet.

In return, we get….um, we get, now let me think a minute here….

Oh, right! We get an amazing opportunity: the “Palestinians” will deign to sit down with us and chat. It is incredible what Israel is being asked to do by putting murderers back on the street; prevent its citizens from building on her land and handing a MAJOR political victory to  Abbas with this “gesture.” It is truly unconscionable.

(It is now being reported that Fatah’s spokesman Ahmad Assaf has come out with a statement that the PA’s only reason for participating in the peace talks with Israel is to”blackmail” Israel into releasing incarcerated terrorists.)

The United States has turned a blind eye to human rights abuses in China, Saudi Arabia, Syria and dozens of other countries. Nary a peep is uttered about the wholesale slaughter by Syrians of their own citizens (“They used chemical weapons?! We will place warships at their door..oh wait, they agreed to play nice…we do not need to do that” said the US government)

The “Palestinians” do not live up to anything that was required of them (ending the rhetoric; recognizing Israel as a JEWISH state;  disavow terrorism;  etc etc.) And how are they rewarded? Israel is to release terrorists. Israel is to stop building. I got to hand it to Abbas, he is a great negotiator! He knows that the longer he remains silent, Israel will blink and he will get what he wants along with being a hero in his peoples’ eyes.

A government that agrees to these conditions for the release of Pollard is truly criminal. They will not only placing citizens in danger but sending a terrible message to the USA and to the “Palestinians.”

It is time to send a different message. It is time to tell the USA that the vast majority of all those involved in putting Pollard in jail have called for his unconditional release. It is time to send a message to the USA that Israel will not bow to pressure and put its citizens safety in jeopardy. It is time to send a message to the “Palestinians” that we have seen this horror movie before and we are sick and tired of it. Find another whipping boy.

About the Author
After living in Chicago for 50 years, the last 10 of which Zev Shandalov served as a shul Rav and teacher in local Orthodox schools, his family made Aliya to Maale Adumim in July 2009. Shandalov currently works as a teacher, mostly interacting with individual students.