And that's because it is highly unlikely that Kerry walks into this without knowing who Netanyahu is and what this deal is worth. I'm sure he knows perfectly well what he's doing. But you should consider the actual value of Pollard for the US, I believe it is very marginal. The US gets to buy 1 year's peace of mind, can ignore the Israeli-Palestine conflict because there is an ongoing "peace process" and most likely cools tempers in the area quite a bit so the body-count won't be excessively high. The cost is one man who's been in prison for decades and arguably has atoned for his crimes (although not by US standards). Sure the guy is a traitor and deserves what's coming to him and all that, but let's be serious: having a convicted spy rotting away for another decade, or however long he can survive, is not something that is very important for the US as a nation. As a bonus this is a concession to Israel so there won't be any big accusations from foreign policy hawks that Kerry is weak. And it is a move for peace so it will be liked by the doves. So it is a fairly safe move politically, and it probably is a good trade - so what's not to like?