Pollard writes to captive soldiers' families
The Jerusalem Post - Aug. 23, 2006
The following letter obtained by the Jerusalem Post was written to the families of kidnapped IDF soldiers, Gilad Shalit, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, by Jonathan Pollard who is currently serving a life-sentence in the US for providing intelligence information to the state of Israel.
Dear Shalit, Regev and Goldwasser Families,
From the moment Gilad was taken captive and then Eldad and Ehud shortly thereafter, I have not been able to stop thinking about them or about you. I pray every single day for their safe and swift return home, together with all of our MIAs and captives.
My wife Esther and I feel for you with all of our hearts. Although it is not easy for me to speak about the issue of captivity, I feel I must share with you what is in my heart.
When I first heard that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had declared that Israel would not even consider entering into negotiations for a ceasefire, nor any cessation of operations against Hizbullah, unless our captive soldiers, your beloved sons, were first returned home, I immediately knew that these were just empty words.
Because fighting a war for the return of a captive requires a moral basis. It requires a commitment to G-d, country and fellow man. It requires the kind of morality that the State of Israel no longer seems to have.
I cannot say for certain just when it was that the State of Israel first disengaged from its moral roots and from our commitment to each other. But I do know that the moral decay was already apparent at least 21 years ago when I was thrown out of the Israeli Embassy in Washington and into the waiting arms of the FBI.
That moral failure has gone unchallenged and unrepaired for 21 years. It is a curse which still plagues us to this day. It is the original moral failure which gave birth to the abandonment of Ron Arad, Zachary Baummel, Tzvi Feldman, Yehuda Katz, Guy Hever, as well as the abandonment Mudhat Yosef who was wounded on the field of battle and left to bleed to death. It is the moral failure that led to the abandonment and destruction of Gush Katif, and more recently to the abandonment of all of the citizens of northern Israel. It is the moral failure that brought us a culture of empty words and broken promises which subsequent Governments of Israel have perfected to a high art.
Jewish tradition teaches that to save even a single soul, the entire Nation must be prepared to go to war. So it was when Avraham Avinu dropped everything he was doing and went out to wage war against four kings and their armies in order to secure the return of his nephew, Lot. So it was when the entire Nation went to war to secure the return of a single maidservant who was taken captive. How much more so should this be the case for our own brothers and sons, who are taken captive during their service for the security of the State!
When there is no moral basis for the return of a captive, there is of course no moral resolve, no determination to succeed, and as result no effective action is taken. This creates a vacuum which the politicians love to fill with empty words and empty promises so that they can hang on to their cushy jobs and comfy seats. Diborim yafeem lihlo ma'aseem (all talk, no action) will never bring any of the captives home.
Dear families, if my words seem unduly pessimistic, the reality is a harsh one, especially for those still in the pit of captivity. We cannot afford to ignore the truth. The only way we can hope to resolve the situation is to seek the roots of the problem, no matter how painful.
It hurts me to tell you that the real obstacle to bringing Gilad, Eldad and Ehud home is not operational or practical. On the contrary. The real obstacle has nothing to do with Israel's ability to formulate a plan of action or to carry it out. Indeed, the only real obstacle to their release is a lack of morality, a lack of arevut hadadeet (mutual responsibility).
Throughout the history of our Nation whatever Israel has truly wanted to achieve with all its heart and soul, it has achieved. The only times we have failed to realize any of our national aspirations, almost invariably the failure has been the result of some moral failure.
It was not always this way.
In June of this year we marked the 30th anniversary of "Operation Yonatan" the daring rescue operation which freed the hostages being held in Entebbe. Thirty years ago we did not have the equipment or the technology or the experience that we have today, but we still managed to pull off this amazing rescue mission. This mission which merited the blessing of Heaven, had at its root, the moral resolve of a Nation utterly committed to not surrendering to evil, and to absolutely never abandoning a brother in time of trouble.
Sadly, that is not the case today
We cannot, we must not allow this culture of abandonment to go on! The People of Israel must find the emotional strength to get right up out of the muddle of immorality - at once - and find its way back to the path of arevut hadaddeet (mutual responsibility). We must rekindle and recapture our strength as nation that stands united - all for one and one for all! If we can do this, and I believe we can, then we may once again be worthy of the blessing of Heaven and of the swift return home of all of Zion's prisoners.
May G-d bless us all, and may we soon see the speedy release of
Gilad, Eldad and Ehud, along with all Israeli captives and MIA's! Amain!
With much love and blessing,