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Convicted spy Jonathan Pollard plans Knesset run, wants to send Gazans to Ireland

Pollard also said the Israel Defense Forces should be renamed.

Published: February 26, 2024 2:13pm

Convicted spy Jonathan Pollard says he is planning on running for Knesset and he is proposing to move the Arabs out of Gaza to Ireland.

Pollard, a former U.S. intelligence analyst who pleaded guilty to providing classified information to Israel, spent 30 years in U.S. prison before being paroled in 2015. He told The Jerusalem Post this week that he has been considering a run for Knesset, Israel's unicameral legislature, ever since he moved to Israel with his now-late wife in 2020. 

Right-wing MK member Itamar Ben-Gvir of the Otzma Yehudit, or Jewish Power Party, offered to run with Pollard in the most recent election, but he turned down the offer since it was only months after his wife, Esther Pollard, passed away. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud Party had offered Pollard to run with him in 2021, but he also declined over concerns that Netanyahu would not win the election, which he ultimately lost. 

Now, Pollard said he would run with the Jewish Power Party and that Ben-Gvir has an undeserved poor reputation. Israel's next scheduled election is October 2026, but the next one may be sooner than that. Israel has held five elections since 2019 due to motions to dissolve the government. 

Pollard has numerous ideas if he's elected ranging from revamping the country's power grid to renaming the Israel Defense Forces. 

"I feel we have to develop small modular reactors that can be buried, hardened, and dispersed so that we develop a system of microgrids around the country, and the grid is basically a backup," Pollard said. 

He also said that the IDF is "incapable of thinking offensively. And we now know what the consequences are" after the Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas attack that resulted in the deaths of about 1,200 people. Pollard said the IDF should be renamed the "Israeli Army." 

If Israel wants residents to live in the south again, the country needs to annex Gaza, he also said. 

"I say we move the resident Arab population out," Pollard said. "I don’t care where they go. My preference is for Ireland. I think the Irish deserve it."

Ireland has had a particularly tense relationship with Israel since the Oct. 7 attack, as the island nation has expressed support for the Palestinians. The Jewish community in Ireland has also noted a major increase in antisemitism since the attack.

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