Do not conflate history. The fact that Jonathan Pollard’s release is now a humanitarian matter should not shroud the truth: From the day he was arrested some 30 years ago, few if any of the top Jewish leadership in this country thought that he actually did something wrong. Thus began the Pollard obsession, and now the chickens are coming home to roost.
The excessive and indeed obsessive focus on Pollard as an innocent victim — the repeated, dramatic, high level pleas for his release — has communicated to the US administration that the Jewish community will pay any price to get Pollard out of prison. So now comes the Obama administration and, apparently, says: OK. You get Pollard. We get major concessions from Israel in the current Israel-Palestinian negotiatons — the security of Israel be damned.
Read related news coverage, "Pollard for peace?"
It is, of course, manipulative in the extreme to pit the freedom of one convicted criminal against the security of six million Israelis, but, on one level, we cannot blame the Obama administration. The supreme importance of Pollard’s freedom has been the message that the Obama and many previous administrations has received, from day one, from the American Jewish leadership.
For the record: “Spying for a friend” — Pollard’s crime and, supposedly, the basis for the American Jewish leadership’s feeling that Pollard really didn’t do anything wrong — means this: The information illegally delivered to Israel by Pollard was not traceable by the US. The information did not necessarily remain with the friend. Israel could have circulated that information to any enemy of the US. That is why Pollard’s espionage was, indeed, heinous.
That Pollard was railroaded by a broken plea agreement is true, reprehensible and worthy of consideration in any plea for mercy. But not at the expense of the security of the State of Israel. Not as a bargaining chip. The US is playing, as Dry Bones (see above) aptly puts it, the fantasy game of “appeasing the Palestinians” by demanding one more Israeli release of Palestinian terrorist prisoners — as if the release of one criminal, Jonathan Pollard, could or should compensate for the release of hundreds of terrorists.
Copyright © 2014 by the Intermountain Jewish News