Monday, January 16, 2006

"Justice, justice you shall pursue..."

It's days like today that make it clear to me how relevant the prayers that we say each day are.

Court rejects Jonathan Pollard's bid to become Prisoner of Zion
The High Court of Justice on Monday rejected a petition by Jonathan Pollard, an American Jewish citizen convicted and jailed in the U.S. for spying for Israel, to be granted Prisoner of Zion status, which would have required the government to do all it could to secure his release. Israel had previously refused to grant him this status, originally created for Jewish activists imprisoned in the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 80s.

The court rejected the petition on technical grounds, saying that Pollard did not qualify for Prisoner of Zion under Israeli law.

Let's take a closer look at the criteria that must be met in order to be recognized as a Prisoner of Zion, and we will discover that Jonathan Pollard meets every single criteria.

Background: Definition of "Prisoner of Zion" Compensation Law 1992
Chapter A Section 1 Definitions (A) In this Law -

"Prisoner of Zion" - each of the following:

(1) Someone who was imprisoned or who spent at least six months in detention or exile because of their Zionist activity in a country where such activity was illegal, and all this if he is an Israeli citizen by power of return and a resident of Israel;
(3) Someone imprisoned, detained or exiled because of any of the aforesaid reasons in passages (1) and (2) ...and all if the Law of Return 1950 would have applied to him.

IMRA: It should be noted that there is no reference in (1) to the country where the "Zionist activity" took place being an "enemy" country - only that the "Zionist activity" that the Prisoner of Zion carried out was illegal in that country. Jonathan Pollard's "Zionist activity" is illegal in the U.S.

Pollard is currently imprisoned because of his "Zionist activity" per (1) and Jewish, and thus the Law of Return of 1950 would apply to him - thus fulfilling (3).

The rejection by Israel's Supreme Court to grant Pollard Prisoner of Zion status (even though he has been officially recognized as a Prisoner of Zion by the Prisoners of Zion Organization, by former Prisoners of War and their respective organizations, and Israel's Knesset, which has issued a statement to that effect) basically condemns him - as far as the State of Israel is concerned - to rot in hell for the remainder of his life; his reward for years of service and self-sacrifice to the Jewish State and People being the continued abuse and torture (see end of the article) at the hands of our "closest ally", the United States.

Jonathan Pollard's Attorney in Israel, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, stated that...:
"The Government's refusal to grant Jonathan Pollard PoZ status, even though he legally qualifies for this status, can only be understood as politically motivated, and as an attempt on the part of the Government to continue to avoid discharging its legal obligations to Mr. Pollard.

Three times a day the Jewish People recite the following words in their daily prayers:
Restore our judges as at first,

And our counselors as in the beginning,

Removing from us sorrow and sighing;

Rule over us, You alone, Hashem,

With kindness and mercy,

And vindicate us in the judgment.

Blessed are You, Hashem, King who loves righteousness and judgment.

May we merit to see this blessing come to fruition speedily in our days (along with the release of Jonathan Pollard), and see the cruelty, tyranny and wickedness of the current judicial system come to an end, with those responsible for the current state of affiars being held accountable for their perversion of justice.


Wait until you see my guest post tomorrow at the Muqata. I wrote it today, but can only post it tomorrow.

By Blogger Joe Settler, at Mon Jan 16, 09:10:00 PM GMT+2  

I take it that it either has something to do with Pollard or the Supreme Court...?

By Blogger Ze'ev, at Mon Jan 16, 10:15:00 PM GMT+2  

Gee whiz Ze'ev, you wouldn't be insinuating that the High Court of Justice and the Honorable [?] Justice [?] Baraq might be acting against the law? How could anyone think such mean thoughts? I mean, like, you know, judges do their thing when dey do "justice" don't they? Or maybe Mistofer Baraq don't do no justice.
כבוד השופט המועד בחוק?? הייתכן??
I hope that you got my email re the book, Israel: Land, People, State, ed. by Avigdor Shinan.

By Blogger Eliyahu m'Tsiyon, at Tue Jan 17, 12:03:00 AM GMT+2  

It's a shame that the rule of democratic law no longer exists even in theory. Worst off, this is a prime example of the secular governments total disdain for halacha. how can a Jew be treated with such direspect?

I just really hope he survives in prison until the revelation of Moshiach, and then I want to see the screwballs who ignored his pleas beg for forgiveness...

Hey it's a good dream.

By Blogger Tovya @ Zion Report, at Tue Jan 17, 01:14:00 AM GMT+2  

I wonder- are people really crying out for justice day and night?

By Blogger thom, at Tue Jan 17, 01:54:00 AM GMT+2  

I can't speak for everyone else, but I know that I cry for justice day and night.

How could I not when one of my brothers rots away in an American prison?

I could only hope that at least one Jew would do the same for me if it were I who were in the same situation.

By Blogger Tovya @ Zion Report, at Tue Jan 17, 04:05:00 AM GMT+2  

Emet - me thinks you're right...

Zion - Let's hope that he doesnt have ot wait that long....

By Blogger Ze'ev, at Tue Jan 17, 07:29:00 AM GMT+2  

Good, but sad post.

By Blogger westbankmama, at Tue Jan 17, 11:38:00 AM GMT+2  

One small problem with your analysis Ze'ev.

Pollard wasn't arrested for being a Zionist or for Zionist activity. He was arrested for turning traitor to his country. He had never shown the slightest desire to come to Israel before he found out some top secrets. Then he betrayed the country which gave him an education and a job and gave those secrets to Israel. That isn't Zionist activity in any normal sense. Had he secretly made aliyah, then secretly gone back to his job as an Israeli spy, fine it could be considered Zionist activity, because he responded to the need of the jewish People. As it is, on his own initiative he endangered Israel's relationship with their "closest ally" (it is all very well putting that in quotation marks, but would you care to mention any closer allies? - France perhaps? Britain? Saudi Arabia?).

The term prisoner of Zion was not created for the circumstances which Pollard found himself in. While I agree with you that I think he should be released and Israel should make all reasonable attempts to release him, I think this concept that he is somehow a saint who has done ho wrong is ludicrous. He betrayed his country for another, which he had the right and opportunity to join, but chose not to. He did not make aliyah, he did not denounce america and say that he is only for the Jewish people, he simply betrayed his country for his own hoped for material profit. Just because he has gone frum, does not mean he is a saint. In fact, from what I have seen, quite the opposite.

By Anonymous H, at Wed Jan 18, 07:57:00 AM GMT+2  

Haim, so what about Sharansky, or people like him? He was a traitor to his country as well.

It is ridiculous to say tha twhat Pollrd did wasn't for the benefit of the State of Israel, as well as with direct coordination from the State of Israel.

You can't have it both ways.

Granted, he committed a crime against the US, but so has every other spy that Israel has ever emlpoyed, israeli citizen or not... and it is Israel's obigation to stay true to those who sacrificed on their behalf.

By Blogger Ze'ev, at Wed Jan 18, 09:29:00 AM GMT+2  

Sharansky's crime (and his treachery) was wanting to leave the Soviet Union and come and live in Israel. He was punished for being a Zionist.

Pollard's crime was selling (YES HE STARTED IN IT FOR MONEY!!!!!) secrets to a foreign power. There is a big difference. And anyway, Israeli Spies are not considered Prisoners of Zion. Does this not completely contradict your point?

By Anonymous H, at Wed Jan 18, 05:48:00 PM GMT+2  

Haim - and Pollard's crime was passing on classified info to Israel that the US was legally obligated to be passing on anyway.

Pollard's excessive punishment is directly a result of his having been both Jewish and working on behalf of the Jewish State of Israel, making his actions Zionist.

He did not do it for the money. Even Raful Eitan, his handler admitted that they forced him to take the money b/c they didn't want ot work with an ideologically motivated spy who could walk away at any moment.

Why is it so hard for you to accept that Israel has a responsibility to this man to do EVERYTHING in their power to secure his release, even if in the eyes of the US he is a criminal?

By Blogger Ze'ev, at Wed Jan 18, 08:07:00 PM GMT+2  


I have not argued against Israel's responsibility.

I have argued against the ludicrous double standard, hypocrisy and idiocy of the Free Pollard campaign.

Pollard was a mercenary - he worked for money on behalf of Israel. He was not an Israeli. He committed a crime in his home country and he got done. While we are responsible for him because we were complicit in the crime, the benefactors of the crime and encouraged him in the continuance of the crime, we can only do so much.

What appals me is the hypocrisy of the Religious right in their appeals for him. Where were they in the appeals for the release of Azzam Azzam? Who actually was Israeli. Or more to the point, why did they only start caring when Pollard went frum and started mouthing off right wing statements? How dare the religious right use the Pollard issue to score political points? And how dare Pollard the mercenary dare to be calling the Government of Israel bad Jews for the disengagement, when he chose to stay in America. Why does Pollard possibly warrant Prisoner of Zion status? Is this not demeaning the term?

By Anonymous H, at Thu Jan 19, 10:16:00 PM GMT+2  

And here I thought there was finally an issue that could unite Left and Right.

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By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Feb 13, 04:46:00 PM GMT+2  

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