A Change of Venue - But a Repeat Perfomance!
Letter From Ruth Matar (Women In Green) Jerusalem
Wednesday, November 26, 2003
The following is an excerpt from an article in the FORWARD, of November 21, 2003, a New York newspaper.
" Activists in support of convicted American spy Jonathan Pollard leveled a charge of negligence (against leaders of American Jewry and PM Sharon.) Protesters gathered outside the opening ceremony (of the GA) on Sunday night, holding signs that read Pollard=Dreyfus' and chanting Free Pollard'. Not content with the street demonstration and an earlier prayer service at the Western Wall, a dozen protesters disrupted Prime Minister Sharon's speech from the audience, screaming Bring Pollard Home Now' while delegates booed. Inexplicably, security officials allowed the protesters to remain; after sitting quietly for three minutes, they interrupted Sharon's speech a second time before organizers removed them from the hall. Some of the delegates sitting in their section helped out by punching the protesters as they made their way to the door"
How very sad! Jews beating Jews! Why are the General Assembly delegates so angered at the protesters' demand to free Jonathan Pollard, so as to physically attack them? Were they embarrassed by the cry for help from these young Israelis?
Unfortunately, Jewish Americans have not been in the forefront of demanding justice for Jonathan Pollard. Jews rarely protest mistreatment of other Jews, lest they themselves become targets for anti-Semitism, and in this particular case, accusations of dual loyalty. It is much safer to fight for other causes, and to speak boldly, but only if the victim is not a Jew. For Jews who are wronged, they speak about using quiet diplomacy, when in fact they do nothing.
"Quiet Diplomacy" did not work for freeing the Soviet Jews to immigrate to Israel. It was only the loud, continual and tough protests that finally achieved a revolution that freed one million Soviet Jews. Ask Natan Sharansky, Ida Nudel and the other former jailed Soviet refusniks, who had the personal courage to defy the cruel anti-Semitic Soviets and, pretty much had to go it alone.
All the cards seem stacked against Pollard. November 21, 2003, marked the completion of Jonathan Pollard's 18th year in prison and the start of year 19 of a life sentence, with no end in sight. Jonathan's sentence was unjustly obtained in complete violation of his constitutional rights, and in open violation of a plea agreement which Jonathan honored and the government abrogated. He has already served time longer in prison than any other person in the U.S. ever convicted of a similar offense.
As an example: Abdel Kader Helmy, an Egyptian American rocket scientist, participated in a scheme to illegally ship ballistic missile technology -- technology later used to help increase the range of Iraq's Scud-B missiles. Helmy got less than a four year sentence. Jonathan, who warned Israel, a U.S. ally, about Iraq's capabilities, got life.
A short summary of the Pollard case: Jonathan Pollard was a Jewish American Naval Intelligence Analyst. In the mid 1980's, he discovered that information vital to Israel's security was being deliberately withheld by the United States. This information included Syrian, Iraqi, Libyan, and Iranian nuclear, chemical, and biological warfare. According to a 1983 Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and Israel, the United States was legally obligated to pass such information on to Israel.
Pollard at first pursued legal channels to have this information passed to Israel. When he asked his superiors why evidence of Iraqi's development of nerve and biological gasses was not being shared with Israel, he was told, "Jews are too sensitive to gas". When all American authorities up to the Pentagon refused to relay this intelligence information to Israel, Pollard took it upon himself to do so. He told Israel about the French building a nuclear reactor for Iraq, and Israel used this information to bomb Iraq's nuclear reactor in 1981. The information about chemical and biological weapons led Israel to revamp its entire civil defense program to include gas masks, sealed rooms, and biological and chemical antidotes.
Pollard's disclosures to Israel were potentially a great embarrassment to the American administration. If made public, they would have proved that not only were the Americans withholding vital security information from Israel, in violation of their agreement, but even more damning, that the United States was covertly aiding and arming Iraq, in hopes that it would overthrow the regime in Iran. This secret aid, by the way, continued up until the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait!
In an article in the Wall Street Journal published February 15, 1991, Pollard claimed that "American appeasement of Iraq made me a spy".
JONATHAN POLLARD: "the photos that I turned over to the Israelis were of a number of Iraqi chemical weapons and manufacturing plants which the government did not want to admit existed. Why? What the administration was really concerned about was being placed in a position where it would have to admit that it had tacitly condoned the creation of an Iraqi chemical weapons manufacturing capability."
Since his arrest Jonathan Pollard has publicly and repeatedly expressed his remorse. He regrets having broken the law, and is sorry he did not find a legal means to act upon his concerns for Israel.
Jonathan Pollard is the only person in the history of the United States to receive a life sentence for spying for an American ally. Why did Jonathan Pollard expose himself to the dangers of spending his life in prison? He certainly did not do it for material gains!
Yes, Jonathan broke the law, but by doing so he saved countless Israeli and American lives. Imagine if Iraq had had nuclear capability in 1991! In a letter to his Rabbi, published in that same issue of the Wall Street Journal, he explains his motivation:
"So what was I supposed to so? Let Israel fend for herself? If you think that is what I should have done, then how can we condemn all those who during the Second World Was consciously participated in the abandonment of European Jewry? Seriously, Rabbi, what would be the difference between what they did and a decision on my part to have kept silent about the Iraqi poison gas threat to Israel? I'd rather be rotting in prison then sitting Shiva for hundreds of thousands of Israelis who could have died because of my cowardice."
When Prime Minister Ariel Sharon introduced his new government, he promised he would work to free "our MIA's, the prisoners of war, and Azzam Azzam". He pointedly omitted another Israeli citizen imprisoned abroad, Jonathan Pollard. Even though the government of Israel has recognized Pollard as an Israeli agent, it has taken no concrete actions to free him, except for Netanyahu's attempt at the Wye Plantation, where President Clinton reneged on his promise to free Pollard.
* * *
Just days before the General Assembly of United Jewish Communities met, a U.S. District Court rejected Pollard's request for resentencing or, for that matter, a fair hearing with the heretofore SECRET WEINBERGER MEMORANDUM unwrapped from its 19 years of secrecy.
The secrecy of the Weinberger Memorandum has always greatly bothered me. Why, 18 years after Jonathan's incarceration, is he not allowed to know what is in that secret Memorandum which persuaded the trial judge to sentence him to life imprisonment? Why aren't Pollard's lawyers allowed to see this Memorandum? And why aren't the American people allowed to know what is in it?
I kept trying to jog my memory about Casper Weinberger -- then it came to me. President Bush, Sr. at the tail end of his presidency, had "pardoned" Casper Weinberger.
Pardoned him for what? I decided to do some background research. Thank G-d for Internet! The search I did revealed the information that President Bush, Sr. pardoned six people for their role in the Iran-Contra scandal. Casper Weinberger was one of them.
In addition, I found the following information about Casper Weinberger:
Weinberger was Secretary of Defense during the course of the Iran-Contra affair. In June, 1992, he was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of concealing from congressional investigators and prosecutors thousands of pages of his handwritten notes. The personal notes, taken during high level meetings, detailed events in 1985 and 1986 involving the Iran-Contra affair. Weinberger claimed he was being unfairly prosecuted because he would not provide information incriminating former President Ronald Reagan.
Weinberger was scheduled to go on trial January 5, where the contents of his notes would have come to light and may have implicated other, unindicted, conspirators. While never directly linked to the covert operations of the Iran-Contra affair, he is believed to have been involved in the cover-up of the ensuing scandal.
According to Special Prosecutor Lawrence Walsh, Weinberger's notes contain evidence of a conspiracy among the highest-ranking Reagan administration officials to lie to Congress and the American public. SOME OF THE NOTES ARE BELIEVED TO HAVE EVIDENCE AGAINST THEN VICE-PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH.
The mention of the Iran-Contra affair rang a bell. I had a vague memory reading about this affair in "The Secret War Against the Jews" by John Loftus and Mark Aarons. I went back to this book and very carefully re-read chapter 18, "The Iran-Contra Debacle". If you want to learn the truth about the Pollard affair, don't fail to study this whole chapter very carefully.
As a practical matter, Pollard had little access either to communications intercept or satellite data, let alone secret National Security Agency codes. His primary access was to U.S. Navy data banks on ocean shipping. In the spring and summer of 1984, Pollard noticed a pattern of vessels going back and forth from Greece to Yemen, where the PLO had a major base. Pollard never realized that he had busted the most secret White House operation of modern times. The summer 1984 Greek shipment was a dagger over Bush's head.
To this day, Congress believes that the Israelis started the Iranian arms-for-hostage-deals in 1985. The problem with that is that Bush's shipment through Greece took place an ENTIRE YEAR earlier. The Greek shipment in 1984 exposes the entire successful White House cover-up. Just recently have the Israelis begun to work out that they were dragged into Iran-Contra as scapegoats for a bungled Bush-British smuggling operation.
Because Bush Senior realized that he had led the intelligence community into complete disaster, he publicly blamed the Jews for the Iran-Contra scandal. And, of course, Jonathan Pollard became the perfect "fall guy" for the whole mess of the Iran-Contra debacle.
Chapter 18 of "The Secret War Against the Jews" uncovers powerful anti-Semitic forces in the U.S. intelligence community hiding behind the secret Weinberger Memorandum.
A few words about Casper Weinberger's personal background:
His father was Jewish, but he seemed to go out of his way to oppose Israel on any issue, and to blame the Israelis for every problem in the Middle East. Weinberger's anti-Israeli tilt was an underlying current in almost every Mid-East issue. Some people explained it by pointing to his years with the anti-Semitic Bechtel Corporation, with which the Bush family has always maintained very close ties.
Other people believed it was more complicated and had to do with his sensitivity about his own Jewish ancestry. Either way, it seems quite clear that the motivation for Casper Weinberger's secret Memorandum is unadulterated anti-Semitism.
Why did I use the title "Pollard=Dreyfus?" I hereby confess: I was the one who made these posters carried by the demonstrators outside the convention hall, and I was the one who made sure that the photographers saw us. I do feel that it is important that we understand the almost identical nature of these two cases.
- In both cases there was extraordinarily cruel treatment. Dreyfus was imprisoned in the solitary hell of Devil's Island; Pollard is in Butner Prison in North Carolina, where many of his fellow prisoners are black Muslims and American Nazis who continually threaten his life.
- The major Dreyfus protagonists, Georges Picquart and Emile Zola, were gentiles. Likewise, of the three judges reviewing Pollard's trial, only Steven Williams, the only non-Jew, said unequivocally: "The Government's conduct in this case resulted in a fundamental and complete miscarriage of justice. "
- Dreyfus' counterintelligence co-workers falsified documents. His chief detractor, Major Hubert Henry, furtively submitted a forged document to the presiding judges just before the verdict, leading to a unanimous guilty verdict. Casper Weinberger slipped a recommendation to Pollard's judge. In both cases, the submission was illicit, and the contents of the documents kept from the public and the defense. In both cases, the accusing parties were anti-Semitic.
- The French Jewish community distanced itself from the Dreyfus affair; so has the U.S. Jewish Community distanced itself from Jonathan Pollard.
Jonathan Pollard warned of dangers that not only threatened Israel, but the entire Western world. Will his reward be to spend his entire life in a prison cell?
With Blessings and Love for Israel,
The author is co-chair of Women for Israel's Tomorrow/Women In Green