The Betrayal of Jonathan Pollard by the Government of Israel

July 28, 1997

Does the end justify the means?

With commentary by Rabbi S.R. Hirsh

The abandonment of Jonathan Pollard 12 years ago by the Israeli political establishment as they cooperated in his prosecution and acted in complicity with his American prosecutors has always been dismissed by the political establishment as 'in the best interests of the nation'. Similarly for the last 12 years, successive governments of Israel have publicly gone through the motions of support for their agent Pollard while behind the scenes sacrificing him quietly on the altar of political expediency so as not to disturb relations with the American ally.

Ironically enough, what disturbs the Americans the most is Israel's continued use of 'implausible deniability' as the State continues to deny responsibility for the Pollard affair and refuses to be held accountable. Twelve years later Jonathan Pollard continues to bear the brunt of American anger over Israeli Government disinformation about the case which continues to be pandered " in the best interests of the State."

Jewish Law prohibits this approach and requires without exception that both the MEANS and the END must be CLEAN.

In his commentary on Parshat "Vayehi" Genesis 49:7 the eminent Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsh explains the concept:

"It is most significant at this point when the foundations of the Jewish people are set down, a curse is laid upon any demonstration of force that runs counter to justice and morality, even if it is intended for the common good. All other nations and states have adopted the principle that any action is legitimate as long as it serves the interests of the state. Acts of cunning and violence that would be punished by ostracism or execution if practiced by an individual for selfish gain are rewarded with laurels and civic honors if they are committed for what is alleged to be the welfare of the state.

The other nations assert that the laws of morality are applicable only to private affairs and that the only law recognized in politics and diplomacy is that of national self interest. In our text, by contrast, the last will and testament upon which the Jewish people was founded pronounces a curse upon all acts of cunning and violence even if they are committed for the most legitimate interests of the nation, and it sets down for all time the doctrine that even in public life and in the promotion of the common good not only the ends but also the means used to attain the ends must be clean."

Pentateuch "Treumath Zvi", page 202-203, note #7
Commentary by Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsh

See also:
  • Pollard News Bulletin
  • Israel Court Case Page