A number of years ago, the American ambassador to Israel, during the second Bush Administration, expressed his opinion, and as the U.S. envoy, to a great degree, expressed his government's opinion, of the deeds of Jonathan Pollard. He said that Pollard's acts, were of such a serious nature, that Jews should be grateful that he was not executed. All the more telling, was that this comment was made before a Jewish and Israeli audience in the sovereign State of Israel! These comments came, not from some extreme right-wing member of a veteran's organization, of some rural area, isolated from developments, but one from a liberally educated, mainstream background. A former Soviet, Jewish dissident, appealing to the ambassador in a well worded appeal for Pollard, on the need to honor values of justice and human rights, had no idea how, just how ineffective she was in influencing the ambassador. She was not alone. She and most Jews do not understand what makes this matter so intractable and why efforts to help Pollard have been and continue to be largely ineffective.
A glimpse at a very similar sad, episode in Jewish history is helpful in bringing about a proper understanding.
When Alfred Dreyfus was given a pardon, he responded by stating, "The government of the Republic gives me back my freedom. It means nothing to me without my honor. From today on I shall continue to seek reparation for the atrocious judicial error from which I am a victim. I want the whole of France to know by force of a final judgment that I am innocent. (The Collapse Of The Third Republic, William Shirer, page 66)
Dreyfus formally accepted the pardon, procured by the French Premier and granted by the President of the Republic. But from his words, we know that he threw that pardon, back into the faces of his accusers and tormentors. A pardon, by its nature, unequivocally implies acceptance of wrongdoing and guilt. This, he emphatically denied.
Dreyfus understood the French anti-Semitism, which demanded his degradation. There was no way to appease them. He knew that, in as such that those who attacked him, felt that they could not regain their lost honor, if his was not totally destroyed, his continued struggle for dignity and truth added nothing to the fires of hatred against him, amongst those, whose hate was enflamed to the maximum. So too is the case, in the anti-Semitism of the Pollard Affair.
Dreyfus had allies in the anti-monarchists, and those who opposed the influence of the military, and the church. Pollard has no such allies. The American anti-Semites will only release their grip upon him when their efforts to degrade Pollard become counter productive. This could and would happen if there is enough of a morally obliged response, particularly now that there is a continuing media interest in Pollard .This would require a Jewish indignation and protest against the injustice Pollard has borne and continues to suffer, as well as a public Jewish recognition of Pollard's righteousness and heroism, in perhaps, even saving Israel from destruction, G-d forbid, from Iraqi gas carrying missiles. Many in Israel today feel that, perhaps indeed, they owe their lives to him. But this deliverance can only happen if Jews, particularly American Jews, understand the anti-Semitism of the Pollard Affair, in the same way that Alfred Dreyfus understood the Dreyfus Affair.
American Jews, have exceedingly slowly, during the years of Jonathan Pollard's ordeal, come increasingly to realize the role of anti-Semitism in the affair. In the meantime Pollard, languished away under thirty years of imprisonment. But they did not recognize, nor do they recognize now, that not only was anti-Semitism, a factor in the affair, in essence, the Pollard Affair, like the Dreyfus Affair, is about nothing other than, anti-Semitism. With this continuing inability to ascertain and come to grips with this real underlying reality, American Jews will continue, as they have been in the past, in their efforts to help Jonathan Pollard, and right a historical travesty of justice, to be dismally inconsequential and ineffective.
The general public, excluding large segments of it that are motivated by the same anti-Semitism which motivated the conservative elements in France, that persecuted Dreyfus, plus many of the new liberal "progressive" anti-Semitism, are basically indifferent to Pollard. Thus, the only ones in the United States who can help Pollard are, the Jews. Unfortunately, limited by varying degrees of indifference, for fear of anti-Semitic back lashing, or some combination of the two, they have not endeavored to learn, or have remained unexposed to, what is most pertinent in the Pollard Affair. If they desire to cease their marginality in the matter, they must gather up the courage to pursue and acquire an accurate assessment of what motivated, and continues to motivate, those favoring the continuing repression of Jonathan Pollard.
They should be aware, that after Jonathan Pollard's activities were revealed, the American government conducted a policy, against him, of swift and merciless ant-Semitic retribution. Tempered by only recent expedient political considerations, this policy remains, unchanged. Pollard was vilified in the juryless court, in spite of the reality, that at the time of the legal proceedings against him, it was so undeniable that Pollard had no desire to harm the United States, that the official indictment, submitted to the court, says specifically just that! Pollard's enemies were and are, impervious to the fact, that publicly verified indications, that Pollard hurt American security, were non existent, as they are today. Comments, by former Senate Intelligence Committee member, Angelo Codevilla, which dealt with the Pollard Affair, reflect this dearth of incriminating evidence. When asked if there are undisclosed acts which Pollard committed, which caused harm to American security, he replied, "No, that is something I can be absolutely certain about. Because I know what the classification system… allowed Jonathan Pollard, to see, to have and to give…. He was after all merely an analyst, and analysts do not have access to methods and sources of intelligence." "These are wild allegations which make sense only to people who are totally uniformed. Unfortunately, that is the majority of the people." (Voice of Israel, "Should Israel Threaten U.S, to Force Pollard Release?", Gil Hoffman, November 23, 2014) Furthermore, the inability to publically present, provable accusations of acts, harmful, to the security of the United States, after thirty years of revolutionary technical changes, under the guise of security considerations, speaks for itself.
The plight of Jonathan Pollard continues. He himself, described his parole requirements as "embarrassing and humiliating". He is electronically handcuffed. Any time he moves a certain distance from a receiver, the transmitter by which he is legally and physically bounded, is activated. In his recent parole review, he was even given new restrictions! He is now to being prevented from being in the vicinity, of not only the Israeli diplomatic facilities, but in addition, he is not allowed to come close to the Russian, Chinese or South African embassies. This directive, after thirty years of judicial error, specifically, a sentencing based on unsubstantiated accusation of grievous acts of disloyalty, clearly insinuates, without basis, even now, today, that Pollard was guilty of some kind of aid to the Russians, Chinese South Africans and Israelis, that would lead them to cooperate with him, in reward for his past or potential future acts of disloyalty. Clearly, there are those in the American government, who desire that Jonathan Pollard, continue to suffer, be degraded and humiliated, decades after it has never come to light in any provable, verifiable way, what allegations of damage which was done to the security of United States, which justify the punishment received, or the current restrictions with which he is now shackled.
Thus now, one should know that this desire exists, in essence, solely because Jonathan Pollard is a Jew who acted without authorization, to successfully help Israel! Undoubtedly, aside from the Holocaust, this is the most significant and malicious episode, of anti-Semitism, governmental or otherwise, in the West since...,the Dreyfus Affair, in a France, more than 100 years ago, beset by the anachronistic, monarchical, clerical and militarist elements and thinking, of the period. It is also important to note, that the Pollard Affair, has been part and parcel, and continues to be so, of the most liberal government the United States has ever had, the Obama Administration. President Obama's strident, judicially and morally unjustified comment, about Pollard, in March of 2013, that Pollard "He has committed a serious crime", does not fall too short in meaning and significant, from the remarks of the American ambassador in Tel Aviv, mentioned above, in the service of a much more conservative administration. Furthermore, it is rather remarkable, that at the time those words were spoken, for the efficacy of Jews of the Israeli television audience, as well as other Jewish viewers, the honorable President did not sense, that those capable of a more deeper sense of Jewish or general thinking, than those invited to White House Chanuka parties, would some day find those words more than just a little disingenuous.
One can even hear the words of Alfred Dreyfus, annunciated deep within the heart and soul of Jonathan Pollard." If the Republic of the United States of America gives me back my freedom, it means nothing to me without my honor. From today onward, I shall continue to seek recognition of the atrocious judicial error of which I am the victim. I want the world to understand that I did nothing harm the security of the United States". This article is only an encouragement to enable Jews, in regard to Jonathan Pollard, to do the right thing. For those who do not independently possess that motivation, this article will have little meaning. They, in perhaps an effort motivated to escape from how the affair impinges, personally on them, will remain ineffectual and peripheral in alleviating, the continuing sad saga of the Pollard affair. For those who have a genuine Jewish, human heart, they will pursue the truth and demand justice for Jonathan Pollard who is still very much alone in his struggle. This is in spite of the reality that he has been struggling for, and is continuing to struggle, for the whole Jewish People .Perhaps the words of Micah, the Prophet, say it best. "He has spoken to you, humanity, as to what is good and what He demands from you, 'Do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your G-d'."(Micah, chapter 6, verse 8)
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