Down in Egyptland

Lunghu thought he was just joking around when he casually remarked last month that Israel wouldn’t be satisfied with bombing Iran –they’d want Jonathan Pollard released from federal prison, too.  Some literalist in Tel Aviv must have thought that sounded like a good idea …

Israeli President Shimon Peres has dispatched a letter to President Barack Obama asking him to release convicted spy Jonathan Pollard.  The Pollard issue took on new life this week after his wife, Esther, said he had been hospitalized in extreme pain.  Pollard has been hospitalized at a prison medical center in Butner, NC, since April 4, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons said Monday.  

What’s the medical diagnosis?  Let’s ask a couple of defense attorneys:

Pollard’s lawyer, Nitzana Darshan-Leitner, said he suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney stones.  Pollard attorney Eliot Lauer says his client’s medical problems have included loss of balance, fainting, repeated falls, extreme dizziness, severe nausea and excruciating abdominal pain in the area of the gall bladder and pancreas.

Sounds like pancreatitis.  Inmate Pollard needs a low-fat diet, but from his photo, it doesn’t look as though he’s been keeping kosher.

would you buy a lightly-used classified document from this man?

In an emotional meeting with President Peres, Esther Pollard  said she did not want to become a widow.  Peres responded by appealing to Obama to release Pollard as a humanitarian gesture. The Israeli president’s office refused to release the letter [to the press], but officials said it noted the dramatic deterioration in Pollard’s health, Peres’ belief that Pollard does not pose a security threat at this point and the strong ties between Israel and the United States. 

The Associated Press has been doing its part to earn its AIPAC stipend by issuing three articles on this topic in the past three days.  Despite the fact that:

The White House issued a statement Tuesday saying American policy on the issue hasn’t changed and that the president has no intention to release Pollard.  Pollard delivered hordes of documents to his [Israeli] handlers, and the full extent of what was betrayed has never been revealed.  American officials [have told Israeli diplomats] they were convinced Pollard had an accomplice [and once] offered to release Pollard in exchange for the name of the other spy. … Much of the American military and intelligence community remains opposed to releasing Pollard.

South of the Border

Israelis are also showing themselves to be tone-deaf on another international relations issue: the Egyptian presidential elections.

Israeli legislator Binyamin Ben-Eliezer says former Mubarak spy chief Omar Suleiman would be the best president for Egypt in terms of Israeli interests, saying that Suleiman views relations with Israel as a strategic “cornerstone”.  Ben-Eliezer is a longtime friend of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Somehow Lunghu thinks that an endorsement from an Israeli politician is exactly what any Egyptian presidential candidate in  –or out of–  his right mind would desperately want to avoid.  Mr. Ben-Eliezer should instead have adopted the Brer Rabbit strategy of endorsing Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, on the grounds that his American mother is secretly a friend of Israel.  What, too subtle?

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