- Pollard, the Israeli spy, arrived in Israel after being released from parole.
- Several new parties are campaigning for the elections in March.
- Syria claims to have intercepted an Israel airstrike on Damascus.
Jonathan Pollard arrived in Israel after having been released from parole restrictions in the United States. Pollard was convicted of spying for Israel when he was working as an intelligence analyst in 1984. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. Israel considered the sentence severe because his espionage was for them, an ally of the United States.
He was convicted for giving Israel top secret satellite photos and information about Soviet weaponry which was critical for Israeli security. Pollard was the only American that received a life sentence for spying for an ally.
In 2015, he was released on parole. The parole ended and America allowed Pollard to fly to Israel. Pollard may not be considered a hero by all Israelis and Jews, since he was a spy.
However, all Israelis are happy about his release because his life sentence was not just. The relationship between Israel and America, especially under President Trump, has changed from in 1987, when Pollard was convicted. Israel and America today work together in espionage.
Pollard arrived Wednesday on a flight from Newark airport with his wife, Esther. They are isolating in a furnished apartment provided for them. Minister of Diaspora affairs Omer Yankelevich welcomed them tweeting, “how good it is for you to be home.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greeted the couple at the airport. His wife is receiving treatment for cancer. The Likud party is interested that Pollard should join them in their campaign for the next elections.
At the same time, George Blake, a British intelligence researcher who served as a spy for the Soviet Union, passed away in Russia at the age of 98. Blake was born from a Jewish father, and moved from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom during World War II.
He was caught for spying in 1960 and sentenced to 42 years before escaping to Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin eulogized Blake, saying that he was an outstanding professional of special courage and life endurance.
Benny Gantz, the Minister of Defense and the leader of Blue and White, praised the dispersal of the Knesset in preparation for new election. He said that it was the greatest achievement of his party to end the political career of Prime Minister Netanyahu.
He said Prime Minister Netanyahu is no longer the master of the game. Mr. Gantz, the former IDF chief, accused the Prime Minister of acting out of personal interests mainly to avoid his corruption trial.
The Tel-Aviv mayor Ron Huldai has made a new political party called The Israelis. Gideon Sa’ar has broken off from Likud to form the party New Hope. A new survey from 103fm and Panels Politics predicts the following:
- Likud: 26 seats
- New Hope: 17
- Yamina (Naftali Bennett): 13
- Yesh Atid (Yair Lapid): 12
- United List (Arab): 12
- The Israelis: 8
- Yisrael Beiteinu (Avigdor Lieberman): 8
- Shas: 8
- United Torah Judaism: 7
- Meretz: 5
- Blue and White: 4
The elections will be in March, and there will be a battle on all sides to reach the required majority of 61.
Syria claims that they thwarted an Israeli air strike in Damascus. One person was killed in the airstrike and three injured. Satellite footage after the strike showed that four production buildings were destroyed, used in missile development.
Israel this week claims to have stopped an attempted terrorist attack at the Lebanese border of three Hezbollah warriors. They were detected by Israel Defense and returned to Lebanon.