Lynching Jonathan again
Esther Pollard - The Jerusalem Post - Nov. 19, 2006
No matter how many ways the old lies about my husband, Jonathan Pollard, are repackaged, they are still lies. Whether as a series of leaks to the media by unnamed American officials, recycled by Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker, or repackaged in a new book by a "retired" intelligence officer - they are all lies.
For 21 years, the Israeli government has turned its back on Jonathan, enabling hostile elements in the American intelligence community to use his case as a weapon against Israel and the Jews. They point to Jonathan as "proof" of Israel's unreliability as an ally, and of American Jewry's disloyalty. Determined not to lose such a valuable weapon against Israel the American intelligence community lobbies fiercely to keep Jonathan in prison forever.
Hiding behind a veil of secrecy which denies Jonathan's attorneys access to his sentencing file, American intelligence officials are able to make the most outrageous accusations against Jonathan, knowing that they will never have to substantiate them or be challenged in a court of law.
Reusing a strategy from the 1998 Wye Summit, US intelligence officials recently turned to the ever-willing Israeli media to again attempt to torpedo any chance of Jonathan's release. The strategy is: Lies about Jonathan are entrusted to the Israeli media as an "exclusive" scoop. In Israel this "exclusive" is picked up by the foreign press, relayed around the globe and back to the American press. By the time the circuit is complete, public opinion is so thoroughly galvanized against Jonathan that his life sentence is virtually ensured.
This time, the patsy given the "exclusive" was Israel TV Channel 10; and the scoop: an "expos " about Pollard by "retired" intelligence officer Ronald Olive, in the form of a new book published by the US Navy press.
The book repeats all the old lies about Jonathan and reveals that the Navy even created its own video about Pollard for the Defense Intelligence Agency to train new intelligence recruits about treason. Even though Jonathan was never charged, indicted or convicted of treason - a crime which applies only to those who spy for enemies of the US - Olive boasts that this video makes the name "Pollard" synonymous with the crime of "treason."
THAT THE Navy chose to misrepresent Israel as an enemy state by making Jonathan the poster boy for treason speaks volumes. The Navy deliberately featured the Israeli spy over all the others it was holding at the time, including spies for Cuba, China, North Korea and the Soviet Union. This sends a strong message to new intelligence recruits that America regards Israel as the greatest threat to her national security!
Indifferent to the extreme sensitivity of the timing - the eve of last week's Bush-Olmert's meeting - Channel 10 chose not to question any of Olive's allegations or the American intelligence community's motivation in continually blocking Jonathan's freedom.
Part of the Channel 10 presentation featured a surveillance video provided by Olive. The video shows a clip of Jonathan putting documents into a briefcase, a routine part of his job as an intelligence analyst. The commentary by Olive, however, falsely describes the clip as "Pollard caught in the act of stealing a million documents."
Never questioning the content of the video, nor the vitriolic voice-over, nor the timing of its release two decades later, Channel 10 (followed by others) dutifully rebroadcast it.
Also cued by Olive, Channel 10 resurrected the canard that Jonathan would be freed unconditionally in the year 2015. This is another blatant lie. In 2015, after 30 years in prison, Jonathan would be entitled to make another request for clemency, nothing more.
Jonathan Pollard is not in prison for what he did, but for what he represents - Israel and the Jews. Those who oppose his release after 21 years in prison will continue to oppose it forever.
Not to be outdone by Israel TV's Channel 10, which broke the Pollard "scoop," the media in Israel jumped on the bandwagon and embraced the lies about my husband as if they were documented fact.
NOT A SINGLE media outlet asked Jonathan's Navy accusers for hard evidence or factual documentation. No one asked the basic, simple question: "If Pollard is guilty of additional crimes, and he spied for other countries, why was he never charged, indicted or tried on these charges?"
Media outlets which normally call us every time Jonathan sneezes, this time had no questions for us about any of these new accusations against Jonathan.
The media's marketing of all of the old lies about Jonathan exploits an urgent need on the part of the Israeli public to understand why the government of Israel has so cruelly abandoned him. Broadcasting the slander creates the impression that the indifference of Israel, of the American Jewish leadership and of the Israeli media to Jonathan is somehow reasonable.
Jonathan has already served 21 years in prison - far longer than the median sentence for this offense, two to four years. No one blinked when a recent decision of a US Court sentenced to a mere three months a pentagon analyst who had spied for China for more than a decade.
For China's spy, three months in jail is enough. But for Israel's spy, even 21 years is not enough?
The original sin of betrayal and abandonment by Israel remains the root cause of this latest smear campaign against Jonathan. The Israeli government has failed, once again, to come to the defense of her agent; and once again Jonathan has been lynched in the court of public opinion.
The silence of Israeli officials, commentators and opinion-makers as Jonathan enters his 22nd year in prison screams to the heavens.
What other country in the world demonstrates such an abject lack of national honor?