Ron Arad and Jonathan Pollard

Jan Willem van der Hoeven, Director, International Christian Zionist Center
Freemanlist (Freeman Center for Strategic Studies) - November 13, 2003

The truth is that despite Israel's worldwide Jewish contacts, friendly governments, military powers and clever political maneuvering, she has been unable to bring her sons who have risked their lives for the state back in safety to their hurting families. Neither Ron Arad, held captive by the Iranians, nor Jonathan Pollard, already imprisoned for 18 years in an Israel-friendly country, can be brought back.

And all this is the fault of the governments of Israel who have never made these tortured souls enough of a reason to scare the daylights out of those nations by refusing to deal with any other issue until these sons would first be released to come home.

During the Clinton days, when the US administration was so very eager to produce a result from the peace negotiations with the Palestinian Arabs, Israel could have stated unequivocally that there would be no confidence-building measures forthcoming from her side unless and until Jonathan Pollard was released. If not, then there would be no further negotiations with the Palestinians.

Equally, Shimon Peres could have told Arafat there would be no further concessions to the Palestinians if Arafat would not use his excellent relations with the Iranians to force them to hand over Ron Arad.

Israel's governments never took this strong line in defence of the nation's sons who had risked their lives for Israel's security and as a consequence are still languishing in their lonely prison cells.

Deeply moving are the words and cry of Jonathan and Esther Pollard as related by Arutz 7 News (November 11, 2003):

His wife Esther reports that in a recurrent nightmare of his lately, he sees a "living sea of murderers and terrorists pouring out of Israeli prisons, [with] guns, knives, swords, grenades and every sort of weaponry in their hands. They are led by two men in robes and keffiyahs. The leaders are laughing cruelly [as] the mob screams bloodcurdling epithets against the Jews."

The description of the dream continues: "Through the black mist, Jonathan can see Ron Arad in his prison cell. Ron is sitting in a wheelchair, his head down in utter dejection. Jonathan is terrified. He senses that Ron is dying of heartbreak. Jonathan calls out to him, but Ron does not react. Jonathan starts to shout; still no reaction. Jonathan begins to scream louder and louder and waves his arms desperately trying to get Arad's attention. But Ron never gives any indication that he is aware of Jonathan. This only makes Jonathan more frantic, and he keeps screaming and screaming from the depths of his soul, 'Ron! Ron!'  Ron never moves, never picks up his head, never gives any sign that he is aware of anyone else. Jonathan shouts louder and louder and his voice is getting hoarse, but Ron just slumps lower and lower in his wheelchair and his strength appears to be ebbing out of his body."

Pollard himself told his wife after the latest dream, "This is killing me. I know how he feels. I know how he feels, and there is nothing I can do to help him."

May this excruciating cry touch all of our hearts, including the hearts of Israel's government leaders, and move them to act now, even at this almost too-late hour, on behalf of those held captive who have risked their lives for the security of the state!