Moshe Feiglin - Maariv NRG - October 21, 2007
Translated to English by J4JP
8000 days have passed since he was taken into captivity. At first there were abundant signs of life from him. In fact, everyone knew exactly where he was being held. It appeared that it would not take long to secure his release. After all, he was sent on his mission by the State of Israel; he carried it out devotedly; and in Israel, as every one knows, one does not leave abandon a wounded soldier in the field. But the more that time went on, and the days, weeks and months passed, the issue dragged on and became complicated.
The Israeli captive found himself in a completely different position than Ron Arad and the rest of the IDF kidnapped and captive soldiers. He found himself in a totally different situation than the Mossad agents who were captured in Europe or in Jordan. He even found himself in a different situation than former prisoners of Zion like Natan Sharansky who spent time in Soviet jails.
Our captive found himself in the worst position of all - incarcerated in the harshest unit of the toughest prison in the US Federal system, in solitary confinement in a dungeon cell 3 stories underground, and subjected to years of cruel and unusual punishment, both physically and mentally. He went years without ever seeing a ray of sunshine, and of course from the time he was arrested and until this very day, he has never once had a single day of furlough from prison (not even to attend his mother's funeral.) The captive we are talking about is Jonathan Pollard.
Pollard - for those who may have forgotten- is the Israeli spy who passed information to Israel about the nuclear threat from Iran and other enemies of Israel. Pollard worked out of the US, where our "friends" the Americans, according to strategic agreements between the two countries, were supposed to be supplying Israel with this vital information as a matter of course, but did not.
America is not a hostile Arab country where Israel would have to stand on its head, the way it does when it needs to free a Mossad agent like the one who was sent to execute Khaled Mashaal and messed up. America is not a simple European country like Norway where a similar event occurred and Israel rushed to rescue her agents, paying full price. America is also not a hostile country like the former Soviet Union, where prisoners of Zion, like Sharansky, who were jailed for their Zionist activities may have been guilty of strengthening the Zionist ethos, or of strengthening ties with the West, which is actually something we strive for.
A Common Enemy
It is nice that Israel finds itself facing an enemy in common with the United States. America is the Israeli dream. The United States is the anchor upon which Israel casts its burden. Israelis have developed an emotional dependence on "our ally" that goes like this: it is possible for us to be a normal nation just like every other nation; we are not entirely on our own, and the proof is the United States of America.
Then along comes this chutzpadik Jew, Pollard, and sacrifices himself on our behalf, not because we are Israelis but because we are Jews, just like him. Pollard is the Jew who saved the Israeli from the American who betrayed him, and the Israeli will never forgive him for holding up a Jewish mirror to him.
It is amazing to see the excuses Israelis make for themselves to rationalize the betrayal of Jonathan Pollard. "He was paid." And Ron Arad wasn't paid? Every soldier, every agent who serves the state receives a salary! "He betrayed America and he got what he deserved." Unbelievable, but there are Israelis whose loyalty to the American agenda takes precedence over loyalty to their own nation. In Israel, there are swarms of American spies. From time to time, they are caught, and of course they are soon released. One of them even served on the Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, was caught, and left the country.
And of course, the final excuse: of course Israel is doing whatever is possible in order to release [him] but the Americans don't want to hear about it.
Freedom was already in pocket
Now, pay attention: Israel has never officially requested the release of Jonathan Pollard. The only one who made something of an effort to free him was Binyamin Netayahu - and he also gave up on Pollard's release even though it was already in his pocket. 112 Members of Knesset signed a petition requesting Pollard's release. But then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon refused to relay it to the American President.
When Ehud Barak was president, he succeeded in releasing his billionaire friend, Marc Rich. [J4JP correction: Rich was never in prison. He was a fugitive from the law living in his Swiss villa. He was inconvenienced by the Interpol warrant for his arrest. Barak was instrumental in securing a pardon for him so that he would never have to stand trial for his crimes. The pardon wiped out the indictments, leaving Rich free to travel without concern for Interpol. See: What Marc Rich Did (NY Post) and related articles on the Clemency Page.]
Pollard's associates believe that the [pardon] granted to Rich was obtained at the expense of Jonathan Pollard. [For details, see Exposé: Using Pollard to Get Rich: Yediot Achronot Exclusive Investigation.] All of the governments of Israel have betrayed and abandoned Pollard.
All of us know where Jonathan Pollard is. Every year, I visit him. In order to free him, all it would take is a bit of good will on the part of official Israel. Spies from other countries who have been caught in the US and who committed far more serious offenses are freed two or three years later. But Israel doesn't want to. Israel prefers that this particular problem should just solve itself by dying in prison. I know Jonathan. From year to year his situation is deteriorating. If we do not make haste, this evil plan of Israel may, Heaven forbid, be realized.