Jonathan Pollard’s Final Cruel Punishment

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jonathan pollardBy Rabbi Benjamin Blech

After thirty long years of imprisonment, unprecedented punishment for the crime of spying on behalf of an American ally, Jonathan Pollard is at last a free man.

Almost.

Pollard’s incarceration in a maximum security prison which he spent in solitary isolation for lengthy periods of time is finally over. Even those appalled by his offense must surely find sufficient compassion in their hearts to be gladdened by his long-awaited release, having more than paid for his unlawful actions many years ago. Today Pollard is a frail and sickly man, far from a threat to American security, anxious only to live out his remaining years with a small measure of comfort and tranquility.

But Pollard’s punishment is not yet over. By the terms of his release, he will be denied the one dream most precious to him, the one hope for which he prayed while fulfilling the terms of his sentence. Jonathan Pollard wants to end his days on earth together with his wife in the land of Israel. And this, the American government has told him, he is not allowed to do for at least five years.

What is the rationale for this cruel ruling? Why add this restriction if Pollard’s release from prison clearly makes the statement that he has paid his dues to his country, to his government and to society? We just learned the answer from Joseph E DiGenova, the former United States attorney who prosecuted Pollard. “If Mr. Pollard were allowed to go to Israel, where his case has been a cause celebre, there would be a parade and events just rubbing it in the United States’ face.”

The United States was afraid to release Pollard earlier and continues to be afraid to let him now emigrate to Israel because there might be some who will publicly express approval for his past actions – and the highest priority must be given to prevent criminals from becoming lionized.

But, with galling hypocrisy, that is a policy which America chose for itself but never deemed necessary when it came to Israel. For years, the United States has pressured Israel to release Palestinian prisoners as “a goodwill gesture,” an indication that Israel “truly wants peace,” a step forward “demonstrating compassion.” These were not people who merely spied for a friendly ally. These were butchers of innocent civilians, men, women, children and infants. These were terrorists guilty of the cruelest and most barbaric acts imaginable. At White House urging, all too often, Israel complied. And brutal murderers became Palestinian national heroes, released killers turned into heroic role models for a new Arab generation to be guided by hatred and brainwashed into martyrdom.

Palestinian society’s habitual glorification of terrorists is one of its most effective means of promoting terror. This is how the Palestinian authority entices future terrorists by offering them an opportunity for future glory and honor. Terror and murder are the Palestinian’s tickets to fame and national adoration

Those who are idolized are a veritable rogue’s gallery of sadistic and brutal killers. Those who have killed the greatest number are paid the greatest honor. Abd Al-Baset Udeh, killer of 30 at the Passover Seder massacre, had a soccer tournament for 14-year-olds named for him. His brother was honored with distributing the trophies. Dalal Mughrabi, terrorist bus hijacker who led the most lethal terror attack in Israel’s history in 1978, when she and other terrorists killed 37 civilians, 12 of them children, has had summer camps, schools, graduation ceremonies and sporting events named for her, as well as many TV documentaries honoring her.

We might imagine, based on America’s antipathy to criminal glorification with regard to Pollard – albeit only as a possibility – there would be strong denunciation of this continued ongoing practice among Palestinians, particularly coming from the supposed “moderate” camp of Prime Minister Abbas. Yet there is not a peep of protest, in the aftermath of the horrific stabbings and killings of innocent Israeli victims, when stabbers become saints and killers become poster models for martyrdom.

On Oct. 3, 2015, Palestinian terrorist Muhannad Halabi, 19, attacked Aharon Bennet, 21, and his family, who were on their way back from prayer at the Western Wall through the Old City of Jerusalem. The terrorist killed Aharon and Nechemia Lavi, who came to the family’s aid, and injured Aharon’s wife and 2-year-old son. The Palestinians honored “Martyr (Shahid)” Muhannad Halabi by naming a football tournament after him.

The PA Ministry of Education is now planting olive trees honoring the “Martyrs” who have taken part in brutally murdering and injuring Israelis throughout the country.

“This event is meant to illustrate the devotion of the ministry and its staff to honoring the Martyrs, among them school students, and to strengthen the sense of belonging to the land… [and] in order to highlight the permanent presence of the Martyrs and to honor their sacrifices,” PNN, an independent Palestinian news agency.

And the list goes on and on.

If the fear of glorifying criminals was strong enough to delay Pollard’s release for years and to prevent him now from going to Israel to avert a possible parade in his honor – a fear which is far from a certainty – why is it not reason enough to be applied to the Arab world which continues to do precisely that for its terrorists? Can we still maintain the absurd delusion that those who idolize terrorists want anything other than ongoing terrorism?

And can we – America and the civilized world – not demand that if Palestinians truly seek peace they cannot continue to hold up as saintly role models those who know only the ways of fanatic extremism and violence?

This story first appeared at AISH.COM.

{Matzav.com}

16 COMMENTS

  1. The U.S. doesn’t want to be made to look like fools with a massive Israeli celebration hailing the “Conquering Hero” upon Pollard’s arrival in Israel. For starters, let Israel reassure the U.S. that if they’re so kind as to allow Pollard to emigrate there will be nothing done to embarrass the U.S. in any way. (Actually, I’d assume that that’s already been done.) A public statement by Israel again acknowledging wrongdoing and expressing contrition couldn’t hurt either.

  2. The Democrats in power are the Party of HATE and they certainly hate Jews. Burt no need to worry. The Jews will overwhelmingly vote Hillary into power.

  3. The author is missing facts. He did not mention anything about the Shabtai Kalmanovich connection, which is what kept Pollard in jail most of the years. Although the Kalmanovich connection was pure conjecture and eventually a proven myth, it created strong belief in Washington regarding the extent of Pollard’s “crimes.” In addition, the facts surrounding Kalmanovich’s bizarre murder in October 2009 increases the intrigue. The issue is significantly more complex than mere glorification. Therefore, a thorough examination of the facts is required before penning such an article.

    Pollard pleaded guilty to a crime that’s sentence ranges 2-7 year. The government should have released then, without draconian parole requirements. Although doubts lingered about a Kalmanovich-Russian connection, such doubts remained doubts, which should have never been relevant to the case.

  4. The last thing that supporters of Israel should be doing is to remind Americans that Israel recruited an American to commit espionage against the United States.

  5. #2 Exactly

    Yes, I would certainly vote for Clinton against the Fascist Trump, who has been fanning the flames of hate against anyone not of White European or African ancestry. We have not seen anyone like this run for President in over four decades.

  6. Pollard was railroaded by Caspar Weinberger who blamed Pollard for all the sins of Ames and others who got out much earlier than Pollard while spying for Russia. Pollard is an example of American anti Semitism.

    Charlie Hall we know that you will vote for Hillary the proven liar and open traitor to the United States by selling off 50% of American Uranium to Russia. We are sure you would vote for her even if she murdered her parents in public and invoked a pogrom because she is Leftist.

  7. ” Pollard was railroaded by “Caspar Weinberger ,whose father was jewish

    #4 The USSR was far from an ally by 1953.

    But you are right. There is both now and then a common denominator :they were/are jewish

  8. Fact check: 1) “Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed after having been convicted of spying for a then-ally.” Analysis: At best a major distortion, closer to false. During WWII the USSR and USA were officially allies, but that was only while facing common enemies. The Rosenbergs’ spying took place before, during and after the Berlin blockade which was an act of war and they certainly weren’t allies then. 2) “The last thing that supporters of Israel should be doing is to remind Americans that Israel recruited an American to commit espionage against the United States.” Analysis: False. Pollard approached a former IAF member on his own initiative offering information, he wasn’t “recruited”.

  9. “At best a major distortion, closer to false. During WWII the USSR and USA were officially allies, but that was only while facing common enemies. The Rosenbergs’ spying took place before, during and after the Berlin blockade which was an act of war”

    Wrong. Julius Rosenberg lost his security clearance in early 1945 and after that time had nothing to sell.

  10. “Hillary the proven liar and open traitor to the United States by selling off 50% of American Uranium to Russia. ”

    You are the liar.

    The US has been providing Russia with uranium for over 20 years. Russia taking over a US uranium mine (20% not 50% of US production) simply continues this.

  11. “Pollard approached a former IAF member on his own initiative offering information, he wasn’t “recruited”.”

    Israel paid lots of money for America”s secrets. If you like that, or defend that, then you hate America.

  12. To Mr. Hall: Julius and Ethel Rosenberg spied for Russia, a cold war enemy. It was called the cold “war” for a reason, as both were killed in 1953, during the cold war. Two sides of a war are not allies; they are enemies.

    Pollard approached the Israelis with information that Reagan ordered given to Israel through executive order. The Americans ignored their own President’s order, so Pollard approached the Israelis. The Israelis did not recruit Pollard. Nor did Pollard plead guilty to espionage; he pleaded guilty to passing over classified information to an ally. See the Orchos Tzadikim shaar haemes.

  13. Fact check, part 2: 1) “Julius Rosenberg lost his security clearance in early 1945 and after that time had nothing to sell.” Analysis: False. Rosenberg left his government job in late 1945, but per the FBI continued to actively participate in spying for the USSR until 1949. The details, including the dates, can be viewed by the public on the FBI’s website. 2) “Israel paid lots of money for America”s secrets. If you like that, or defend that, then you hate America.” Analysis: Irrelevant fact / ad hominem false-fact attack. Israel’s paying for the data is irrelevant to the original claim that “Israel recruited Pollard”, which remains false. There was no justification given for Pollard’s actions in the previous “Fact check”, making the “…you hate America” statement both false and an ad hominem attack.

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