The Betrayal of Jonathan Pollard

Helen Freedman, Outpost - [AFSI] - September 1997

Jonathan Pollard, convicted of spying for Israel, is currently serving his 13th year of a life sentence. The details of his betrayal by the Israeli government, which refused him sanctuary, his arrest by the FBI, the plea bargain that backfired, Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger's intervention, which closed the prison door on Jonathan - are all well known.

The New Jersey Jewish News and Israel's Ma'ariv simultaneously published an article by Pollard on August 14, 1997, requesting that it be reprinted. Here is a synopsis of his plea:

Esther Pollard, Jonathan's wife, has been spearheading efforts to get his case heard in the Israeli High Court of Justice. Jonathan believes the people understand that, "if one Jew is permitted to be sacrificed to serve political ends, and to protect private careers, then no Jew is safe, and neither is the State of Israel."

In Jonathan's article, he cites others who have been abandoned by the Israeli government, such as prisoner of war Ron Arad, and the other Israeli MIAs. He speaks of the Lavon Affair of the 1950s, when a group of Egyptian Jewish volunteers were allowed to suffer for 13 years in Egyptian prisons, because Israel did not insist upon their release. He refers to Israeli Army Major Yossi Amit, who was convicted of spying on Israel for the United States. Arrested in 1986 and sentenced to 12 years in prison, Amit was mysteriously released in 1993.

Jonathan discuses an investigation by Edward Jay Epstein (published in Penthouse in 1988), revealing the degree of American spying on Israel. The report was received without a ripple. It corroborates the information that Jonathan himself disclosed, "that there were at least 200 or more well placed sources within the Israeli intelligence, defense, and political ranks that were illegally feeding Israel's secret information to the Americans."

Another example is the case of Lieut. Michael Schwartz, who was indicted for spying on behalf of Saudi Arabia. Although he committed the same offense as Pollard, his sole punishment was dismissal from the U.S. Navy. He received no prison sentence at all.

Jonathan concludes that those who want him to remain incarcerated have "placed their personal goals and political agendas ahead of Israeli national security and national honor. They have blinded themselves to the fact that without national honor there can be no national security."

We agree with the Pollards that his case, fought in the Israeli High Court of Justice, will hopefully not only restore his freedom, but will "restore national integrity and national honor to a nation that has been sorely bereft of these qualities by its leadership."

In order to actively assist Jonathan Pollard in his pursuit of justice, please visit the Justice for Jonathan Pollard Web Site: