Arlene from Israel: Hope Rising.

Credit: Sydney Morning Herald.
No, were are not about to see a new day, filled only with promise and light.  And yet, there is light enough today to sustain us for the short term and then some.

We have news, first – important news! – that Jonathan Pollard will be released from prison on parole on November 21 of this year.  He will have served 30 years to the day, of a sentence wildly excessive for the crime of which he was convicted: one count of passing classified information to an ally – Israel – without intent to harm the United States. The median sentence for such a crime is two to four years in prison..  The decision to release him was made by his parole board and was not political.  It comes at the 2/3 mark of a life sentence, which is calculated at 45 years – a point at which parole is possible.  You can see here a description of the legal battle, as described by his lawyers:


Pollard will not be able to come home to Israel for five years – unless the president commutes the sentence to time served.  I trust that none of my readers will have expectations of Obama doing this, although it occurs to me that perhaps the next president might.  Obama is the vindictive and hateful president who refused to let Jonathan Pollard out to visit his dying father one last time, or to attend his funeral.

What also occurred to me, as I received this most welcome news, is that what he needs most right now is time for healing, both psychological and physical, after his long ordeal.  He has been in ill health and failing for a long time now.  He has been in isolation in prison, so that entering the normal world will be a jolt.  Let him garner strength, and then we can talk about his coming home to Israel.

Jonathan’s wife, Esther, in an emotional statement, said just this:

“Please, understand that we will need time alone, privacy and quiet.”

I am relieved and I’m happy that our ordeal is finally coming to an end.

I can hardly wait. I am counting the days, the hours, the minutes, the seconds until I can take him into my arms.”



There are suggestions that Pollard’s announced release might mitigate some of the enormous tension that currently exists between the US and Israel.  No way.  Pollard deserved to be paroled – and the process was bureaucratic. This was not an act by political leadership, behaving with compassion or out of a desire to express goodwill towards Israel.

The ill-will that exists now between Israel and the Obama administration far transcends this issue.


The second piece of good news has to do with polling trends in the US on the issue of the Iran agreement.  The poll that has garnered the most attention is one released by CNN yesterday, which indicates that 52% of those Americans polled say Congress should reject the deal, 44% say it should be approved.

Omri Ceren of The Israel Project tells us today that this poll confirms a trend, in which “the ‘approve’ numbers are cratering and the ‘Congress should reject’ numbers are spiking.” (Emphasis added here and following.)

“…The erosion tracks across all demographics…

“…The President is underwater on his handling of Iran by 15 points (!). It’s by far his worst issue.

There is very little good news for the administration anywhere in the poll. Asked whether the deal will prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, the split is 31/54. Voters are prepared to punish lawmakers and presidential candidates who support the agreement. None of the White House’s messaging – including and especially ‘no alternative’ – i[s] getting traction. Throwing a veto into the mix and thereby raising the stakes doesn’t make a difference. Arguments made by critics beat arguments made by the White House across the board, sometimes by 2 to 1 margins. And there are still 50 days to go until Congress votes.”


Just perhaps, folks, we are approaching the tipping point: the moment of critical mass…according to author Malcolm Gladwell,

“that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.”

So hang in there, my friends.

  • Increase the pressure on your Senators and Congresspersons.  With proper courtesy and rational statements, express your distress about the dangers of the Iran agreement and let them know that how you vote next time will be directly affected by how they vote on this deal.
  • Tell Democrats that Obama is way down down in the polls on this issue, and that if they opt to follow him out of party loyalty, they will be following someone who is losing traction.
  • Then go public with letters to the editor, talkbacks on the Internet, postings on Facebook.  We see that the more people know about the deal, the less they like it.  So it is our job to spread the facts.


You do not need to deal with enormously complex information to make the case against the Iran deal.  Basic information leaps out at us.


Point out that the fact that Iran will be collecting its own soil samples at the military site at Parchin makes the entire agreement ludicrous:


Ask, as Charles Krauthammer did, why sanctions on conventional weapons should be lifted as part of what was supposed to be a nuclear agreement.  Or how it could be that Iran will be given 24 days before inspections can be instituted, and then, only Iran if agrees to them.


Utilize points made by Martin Peretz, for almost 40 years editor of The New Republic, in his article, “The Democratic Party, on the Edge of the Abyss.”

One point he makes with regard to the sunset clause stands out:

“…have these former Solons [former members of Congress, Obama, Kerry and Biden] stopped to wonder,

“Why Iran negotiated in the first place when their leaders still insist on claiming they don’t want nuclear weapons? The entire process is built on lies. If the Iranians didn’t want nukes, then why would they want a time limit?” (emphasis added)

And Democratic Senators and Congresspersons should be apprised of Peretz’s main thesis:

How the party of FDR and JFK deals with the Iran agreement will determine its credibility on foreign policy for decades to come.”  How the Iran deal is resolved, says Peretz, will mostly likely “deeply affect…the trustworthiness of the Democrats in foreign policy for at least a generation.”



Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), I will add in closing, is now taking the very same approach with regard to calling on grassroots America to be involved in stopped the deal:

“The only hope that a sufficient number of Democrats are willing to stand up to the Obama White House…is if millions of Americans across this country light up the phones.”


© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution. Contact:

If it is reproduced and emphasis is added, the fact that it has been added must be noted.


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