Maariv NRG: ICMIS Says Yes to Tanenbaum; No to Pollard

Tal Yamin-Wolfovitz - Maariv NRG - Originally published in Hebrew July 29, 2004

Translated by J4JP for release in English - August 17, 2004

Pollard activists are disgusted: the International Coalition for Missing Israeli Soldiers refuses to include Jonathan Pollard's name on their dog-tags; an honor which they did not deny to Elchanan Tanenbaum.


The International Coalition for Missing Israeli Soldiers refuses to engrave the name of Jonathan Pollard on the dog-tags it distributes throughout the world. Activists for Jonathan Pollard are disgusted, and even more so after they discovered who was included on the dog-tags: Elchanon Tanenbaum.

One of the activists told Maariv NRG that organizations working for the release of Jonathan Pollard have repeatedly asked the ICMIS to include Pollard's name on their dog-tags, but the organization refuses. The Pollard activists say that according to the Geneva Convention Pollard falls into the category of "a captive in a friendly nation".

"Pollard worked under the auspices of the Ministry of Defense, for the security of the State," said one activist. It is inconceivable that Tanenbaum, who was not taken captive in service to the State, be included on the ICMIS dog-tags, and Pollard be left off."

J4JP adds: In 1998, after years of denial, the Government of Israel formally admitted that Jonathan Pollard was a bona fide Israeli agent. Pollard was captured in the US in the course of his activities on behalf of Israel. His defacto status: an agent in captivity in a friendly nation. This is not speculation, nor interpretation; it is fact.

Tanenbaum, on the other hand was not taken captive while in service to the State. On the contrary, it is suspected that his captivity was the result of personal travel to a hostile nation in order to engage in illicit trade with the enemy. The exact nature of Tanenbaum's business with the enemy has never been fully revealed publicly, but he is suspected of drug dealing on a major scale, and of other illicit activities detrimental to the State of Israel, up to and including treason.

Unlike Pollard whose captivity status was never implemented by the Government of Israel, Tanenbaum immediately received all the benefits of captivity status - including full financial support for his family and an all-out government press for his release. Tanenbaum's freedom was bought this year at an exorbitant price: the release of hundreds of Arab murderers and terrorists, including two terrorist chieftains, Sheik Obeid and Mustafa Dirani.

J4JP wonders why the ICMIS policy virtually mirrors the Israeli Government's policy of abandonment towards Jonathan Pollard, and its morally reprehensible support of Tanenbaum. For example, the ICMIS web site carries numerous news reports about the law-breaking scoundrel Tanenbaum. [See Archives] But not a word about Jonathan Pollard who served the State of Israel. In what is exquisite irony, the ICMIS web site also includes a page of tribute to slain Minister Rechavam Ze'evi z"l ( This page features a photo of Ze'evi. The caption under the photo reads:

"MK Ze'evi wearing the Israeli army dog-tag engraved with the names of Israel's MIAs. For years he wore the ICMIS sponsored dog-tag in solidarity with the plight of the missing men and their families. He had promised to continue wearing the tag until all of Israel's missing soldiers were returned."

Justice4JP invites the ICMIS to inspect the photo of Rechavam Ze'evi's dog-tag closely. Jonathan Pollard's name is engraved on it.

Ze'evi personally added Jonathan's name to his ICMIS dog-tag. It was with great pride that he showed this to Jonathan the last time they met in prison, shortly before Rechavam's untimely death.

If the ICMIS truly wants to honor Minster Ze'evi, it ought to follow his lead by doing what is truthful and what is just. After nearly 2 decades, it is time for the ICMIS to show support for the release Jonathan Pollard, an Israeli agent in peril.

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