Glick: Imprisoned Pollard is Bad For U.S., Israel & U.S. Jewry

Arutz 7 News - Politics and Government - May 24, 2005

Jonathan Pollard's continued imprisonment is bad for Israel, America and U.S. Jewry, according to Caroline Glick, Senior Middle East Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC.

Jonathan Pollard is into the 20th year of a life sentence for passing intelligence information to Israel.

Glick was interviewed on Israel National Radio's Eli Stutz and Yishai Fleisher Show about her recent visit with the imprisoned US Naval Intelligence officer.

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to listen to the interview on Israel National Radio.

"I see Pollard on three levels," Glick said. "The first is as a human being. His life has been destroyed. He's been in prison for the past 20 years, in a maximum security prison for seven years, mostly in solitary confinement - something almost unheard of."

"The second thing," Glick said, "is how his case relates to American Jews - specifically those who work for the US government. Jonathan Pollard is a symbol that is used very much against American Jews. He is the symbol that is always in the background to constantly point a finger at them and cast suspicion on them for the claim of dual loyalties that make it very, very hard for Jews in Washington to operate without fear. It is a terrible situation."

"The third level is Israel, and Israel's relations with the US," Glick added. "The fact that Israel never did anything to help Pollard [was bad enough], but in 1985 and 1986, Israel was the first country to help with the prosecution of its own agent."

Glick, who is a Jerusalem Post editor and a columnist for the Hebrew weekly Makor Rishon, said, "Israel harmed its own relations with the US, and emboldened Israel's enemies in the US governing bureaucracy, to cast baseless aspersions about Israel's trustworthiness as a US ally."

Glick herself visited Pollard for two and a half hours in his prison in Butner, North Carolina last month. "One of the things that was most shocking to me in talking with Jonathan Pollard is how lucid and sane he is," she said. "I was expecting somebody crazy, and in fact the craziest thing about him is how sane he is."

"Why was it important for you to visit Pollard?" Eli Stutz asked Glick.

"I was in high school when he was arrested," she responded. "And I saw in what he did a basic problem with American Jewry, in that if the United States is not acting as an ally for Israel, where is one's loyalty supposed to lay? I never understood why Pollard, feeling as he did about Israel, ever joined the US government, why he hadn't simply made Aliyah [immigrated to Israel]. In fact the whole Pollard issue was an important thing that led me eventually to decide to make Aliyah after I graduated from college. It seemed to me that if your loyalties are called into question, you have to be willing to make decisions... I could never imagine anybody who was spying for anybody but Israel could receive this kind of sentence. I think that there was a lot of anti-Semitism involved in the way he was treated by various US government agencies and I think that he has to be released."

Glick stressed that although "the anti-Semites in the US" are partly responsible for Pollard's continued imprisonment, the main actor against Pollard is none other than Israel: "I mean, he provided Israel with incredible information that we needed, that was necessary for national security, [information] about Arab and Muslim actions and operations to acquire chemical, biological and nuclear weapons as well as missile technology. This was information that the U.S., in breach of its agreement it signed with Israel in 1983, denied Israel access to."

"Israel gained a great amount of extremely vital information from this man," Glick said. "Rather than stick by him, as every country does for its agents when they are caught - whether they are Soviet, Russian, American, Korean, Japanese, German, French or Chinese - Israel, of all countries, simply abandoned Pollard. Not only did Israel abandon him, but transferred much of the information he had transferred to them back to the United States without stipulating that the information not be used against him in court."

Israeli Cowardice Bred American Disdain

Glick, an expert in security affairs, claims that Israel thought it could appease the Americans by cooperating, but instead, simply emboldened its enemies in the US government. "I think that Israel decided to abandon Pollard because they wanted to end the situation cheaply. I think they thought by betraying Pollard as an Israeli agent, it would mean that the Americans would immediately forgive and forget, but instead what immediately happened is that the cowardice bred disdain for Israel. They figured we don't have to take the Israelis seriously, they betrayed their own agent, we can step on them whenever we please."

She says that Pollard's release would immediately ameliorate the situation on all three levels. Pollard himself would be out of prison, US Jews working in the government would be spared the "specter of Pollard hanging over them, allowing the pressure that has been put on them for 20 years to dissipate," and finally, it would eliminate the "lingering bone of contention in Israel's relations with the United States" that provides for the casting of "aspersions on the importance of the US alliance with Israel for American national security interests."

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