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Netanyahu adds Pollard to Israeli-Palestinian equation

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to use the American espionage as leverage for releasing Jonathan Pollard, a deal which might facilitate the acceptance by the Israeli right of an agreement with the Palestinians.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) meets with Larry Dub, lawyer for convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard January 18, who has served 13 years of a life sentence in an American jail. Netanyahu has urged U.S. President Bill Clinton to pardon Pollard on humanitarian grounds but U.S. security officials have opposed his early release.

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It was not a coincidence that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to keep his harsh response to the US spying affair for the start of the weekly Likud-Beitenu meeting on Dec. 23. Netanyahu waited three days after the revelation of the National Security Agency's monitoring of the emails of Israeli prime ministers and defense minister to denounce the United States in this forum, characterized by the right wing's hard line and general suspicion toward the Barack Obama administration, which is leading the negotiations with the Palestinians.

“There are certain things friends mustn't do to each other,” Netanyahu said in a serious tone, “things that are unacceptable to us.” Immediately afterward, he revealed that he has ordered an inquiry into the matter and connected the events of recent days with the Israeli demand to free Jonathan Pollard from a US prison. The prime minister said that he met with the Israeli spy's wife, Esther, and said, “Pollard should have been released long ago. I think this is understood by everyone here and I believe it is also understood to an increasingly larger crowd in the United States.”

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