Jonathan Pollard, Israel, and Anti-Semitism

Prof. Paul Eidelberg - The Jewish Press [NY]- May 20 2005

Can it be that the age-old hatred of Jews and the present demonization of Israel are symbolized by the cruel treatment of Jonathan Pollard, now in his twentieth year of imprisonment?

Contrary to his anti-Semitic detractors, Pollard was not indicted for treason. And contrary to CIA allegations, American national interests and CIA operators were not compromised by his passing classified information to Israel concerning Iraq and other Arab dictatorships-information the US deliberately withheld from Israel in violation of the Strategic Cooperation Agreement between the two countries.

Pollard received a life sentence without benefit of trial, as the result of a plea bargain which he honored but which the government abrogated. After sentencing, he was thrown into solitary confinement for seven years, beginning in a prison facility for the criminally insane. He has been repeatedly subjected to physical as well as psychological torture. In one prison he remained naked for five weeks, without bedding or clothing. Every few days he was made to sit chained hand and foot to an iron chair, while a high-pressure spay of ice cold water was aimed directly at his naked and immobilized body.

Contrast the barbaric treatment and life sentence of Jonathan Pollard, an American Jew who spied for Israel, America's ally, with the humane and absurdly brief incarceration of gentile Americans who spied for America's enemies. Moral reversal? Yes, but also anti-Semitism.

Both are displayed by the American State Department's hostile attitude toward Israel versus its benign attitude toward Israel's enemy, the Palestine Liberation Organization-a consortium of terrorist groups that supported Saddam Hussein before and during the American invasion of Iraq. Anti-Semitism is clearly an ingredient of US policy in the Middle East.

May it not be the case, however, that Israel's Government is partly responsible for this anti-Semitic and immoral state of affairs, including the American Government's monumental injustice to Jonathan Pollard?

Aside from more directly related factors in the cruel and unusual punishment of Pollard-which factors have recently been reported by Caroline Glick-ponder the following. The Oslo or Israel-PLO Agreement of 1993 is based on the policy of "territory for peace," a policy that has produced not peace but some 10,000 Jewish casualties. What has this to do with Jonathan Pollard?

The deadly policy of "territory for peace" is a betrayal of the Jewish people's birthright. It has made Israel and Jews appear despicable and has thereby fostered the American government's ceaseless degradation of Jonathan Pollard. Anti-Semitism has low and high tides, which can be influenced by the policies of Israeli governments and the behavior of its prime ministers.

It has gone unnoticed that the current explosion of anti-Semitism coincides with the tenure of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Why?

Instead of pursuing, with moral clarity a policy of zero tolerance for Arab terrorism, which would require the elimination of the Palestinian Authority-once doable in a matter of days--Sharon has deliberately pursued the feeble and protracted policy of self-restraint-a policy that tolerates the murder of an "acceptable" number of Jews.

Almost 1,000 Jewish women, men, and children were murdered during the first four years of his premiership. This on-going humiliation of Israel on the one hand, followed by merely intermittent Israeli attacks on Arab terrorists and "collateral damage" on the other, has resulted in a tsunami of anti-Semitism.

Contrast the universal admiration of Israel resulting from its stunning victory in the Six-Day War of June 1967, or from its Entebbe rescue of July 1976. And contrast these marvelous accomplishments with Sharon's pathetic and immoral release of hundreds of Arab terrorists knowing they will return to the murderous activity which alone endows them with Arab honor. But mark well that Sharon's readiness to release Arab terrorists while refusing to press for the release of Jonathan Pollard constitutes a monstrous example of moral reversal.

This ignoble behavior of Israel's Prime Minister arouses and magnifies contempt and hatred of Jews. Is it any wonder that a French ambassador compared this country to excrement?

Can it be, however, that the eruption of anti-Semitism during Sharon's reign serves a positive function, that it has prompted Sharon to kowtow to the nations by his irrational and pusillanimous policy of "unilateral disengagement"-a policy that will bring about his own demise as well as that of the self-destructive policy of "territory for peace"?

With the end of this absurd and ignoble policy, Israel will at last stand alone, proud and defiant. It will demand and obtain the release of Jonathan Pollard. His freedom will mark the personification of Israel's freedom, just as his bondage has symbolized Israel's bondage.

And what of anti-Semitism?

Can it be that the ancient hatred of Jews is the manifestation of fear--the Gentile's fear that the Jews are the repository of Truth? What else has sustained the Jewish people through so many centuries of exile, persecution, torture, and decimation? And what else sustains Jonathan Pollard? -30-

See Also:

Spotlight on Jonathan Pollard
by Caroline Glick:

A Makor Rishon Special Feature in 3 parts: