Monday, November 21, 2005

This day in Jewish History...

I write the following words to myself, more than to anyone else, as I am guilty of every word written below.

20 years ago today, Jonathan Jay Pollard, a US Navy intelligence officer, began serving his life term, convicted by the United States of spying for the State of Israel. He has been imprisoned for 7,304 days.

Now, let us put aside whether or not what he did was justified, as one can make a very strong case that it was in fact the United States that had betrayed Israel by witholding vital security information that it was legally bound to share with Israel, and which led directly to Pollard's actions.

The bottom line is, that whether or not Jonathan Pollard committed a crime against the United States, he was acting solely in the best interests (and on behalf) of the Jewish People and State, and as such, while it may explain why there are those in the US who are against his release, it is unforgivable that the Jewish State of Israel (and the Jewish People, in general) have abandoned him.

Jonathan Pollard said before the expulsion of thousands of Jews from their homes and the destruction of the Jewish communities of Gush Katif and the Shomron:
Any government that can abandon one person, can do the same to entire communities.

We, too, must share the blame for this.

We have been silent for too long. We have collectively expressed one of the worst traits that a person can have, that of being ungrateful for good that has been done on your behalf. We have forgotten Jonathan Pollard and all that he sacrificed for the Jewish People and State. We have placed our relationship with America at a higher priority than loyalty to our brother.

This can be extended even further. Today, as we speak, the Temple Mount is being destroyed by the Muslim Waqf, with the tacit approval of the Government of Israel. Where is the outcry? Where are the demonstrations and protests? How is it that we are able to go on with our lives as if nothing is happening?

When we abandon our brother and when we abandon our history and heritage, ultimately, we will find ourselves abandoned as well, Heaven Forbid.

This coming Wednesday there will be a rally on behalf of Jonathan Pollard Independence Park and Agron St. in the Jerusalem, beginning at 5 PM.


It's imperative that we never forget what happened at the Israeli embassy in Washington DC that fateful day. Pollard arrived at the Israeli embassy, and demanded diplomatic asylum.

He was allowed in, and then thrown out at the behest of the Israeli Legal Attache at the time, who decided he should not be in the embassy.

The Legal Attache made a crucial decision that has been the source of misery to Jonathan Pollard for 20 years.

We should never forget the cruelty and insensitivity of that person.

Today he sits atop the Supreme Court's ivory tower and dictates legislation via judicial activism.

Elyakim Rubenstein, Shame on you.

By Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata, at Mon Nov 21, 01:27:00 PM GMT+2  


Yishar Koach!

By Blogger Cosmic X, at Mon Nov 21, 01:28:00 PM GMT+2  

While I cannot say I know the whole story, it seems reasonably clear Pollard did something else or has other information. The US isn't usually in to "spiteful" punishments, particularly those who committed crimes similar to Pollard's.

That said, I'm quite unimpressed with Pollard - he had an opportunity to be pardoned by Clinton after R' Aharon Soloveitchik worked out a deal. He would acknowledge the crime he had committed, and would then be pardoned. When R' Aharon came back with the letter for Pollard to sign, he refused - Avi Weiss had come and convinced him that he had done nothing wrong and therefore should not sign the letter.

Pollard could have been released, and blew his chance. He did commit a crime, no matter your feelings on the subject (to which I agree). It's hard to feel any sympathy for him.

By Blogger Ezzie, at Mon Nov 21, 07:44:00 PM GMT+2  

As far as I can make out the facts of the case stand like this:

Jonathon Pollard was a member of the American Defense establishment, who at his own initiative, and for personal gain chose to sell America's secrets to Israel.

Israel gladly accepted his help and turned him into a paid foreign operative (that is to say, at the time of his betrayal of america, he was an american citizen, and not an Israeli citizen, and did not at any time make aliyah, or take Israeli citizenship though he could have done.)

When he new he was going to be found out, thus creating greater problems for Israel, through his own stupidity, than he had helped them through his betrayal of America, he decided to ask Israel for help.

Israel selfishly acted in their own interests, by admitting that they had accepted his advances to betray his country, but not allowing him to avoid punishment by his government for that betrayal. Had Israel not done so, they would have jeopardised their relationship with the united States - not a particularly wise move.

Pollard has been deserted by the State of Israel, and the State will have to recompense him for the time he served. That is clear. However, if as Ezzie points out, it was his own fault that he was not released earlier (something I had never been made aware of by the free Pollard brigade), then it is he who should recompense Israel for acting as a continual strain on their relationship with the country he betrayed.

Jonathon Pollard was entitled to exactly the same protection as was offered to the SLA mercenaries who aided Israel while they occupied Southern Lebanon. Unfortunately after an original sympathetic approach to them, this country also tossed them to the dogs.

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