Special to Hamodia: Esther Pollard Speaks
Since our inception, Hamodia has been a vigorous advocate for Jonathon Pollard. On numerous occasions we have published editorials, interviews, and opinion pieces calling for his release.
We were deeply disturbed to discover that some extremely erroneous information was inadvertently published in a recent article.
The facts show that Jonathon Pollard did not "sell" any information to Israel. He was an ideologue, not a mercenary. The FBI concluded after nine months of polygraphing that Pollard acted for ideological reasons only, not for profit. This fact was recognized by the sentencing judge who declined to fine Pollard. Furthermore, on May 11, 1998, Israel formally acknowledged Jonathan Pollard had been a bona fide Israeli agent. This fact wiped out any remaining doubt about Jonathan Pollard's motives. Being an official agent is the polar opposite of being a mercenary. An agent, by definition, does not sell information to the nation he serves; he transfers it or passes it.
Hamodia sincerely apologizes for any article that insinuated otherwise.
* * *
Everyone can help!
By Esther Pollard - Hamodia - February 6, 2008
My husband Jonathan Pollard and I have been able to survive the indignities, and afflictions for the last of his immoral and unjust captivity in the hands of our "best ally," the United States of America, because we are believing Jews.
As believing Jews, we know that:
- Hashem runs the world.
- Human beings have free will.
- Nothing is coincidence; and everything that occurs, for good or for evil, is infinitely meaningful.
- Nothing is morally neutral.
- For every cause there is an effect.
- Reward and punishment is not only individual, but also national and global.
- Cosmic response is not always immediate or obvious.
- Every single human being is ultimately accountable before the Heavenly Court. Excuses such as "I did not know," "I did not have time," "I did not have money" and so on, are not relevant to the Heavenly Court.
I alone cannot save my husband, Jonathan Pollard. Neither can you. Only Hashem can. And Hashem can, in spite of Ehud Olmert, and in spite of Ehud Barak and in spite of Rafi Eitan and a host of others in the government and at the Ministry of Defense who - for their own self-serving reasons - do not want Jonathan home.
But we, the Jewish People, have to deserve Jonathan's redemption. Jonathan's redemption is the key to stopping all of the abandonments that have occurred since Jonathan was abandoned by Israel, and all of the abandonments that continue to this day.
For 23 years, the State of Israel and the Jewish people around the world have watched as the American justice system is slowly, systematically, mercilessly crushing the life out of Jonathan Pollard. They have witnessed enemies of the Jewish People scorning Jonathan, holding him up to ridicule, and excoriating him, accusing him of crimes he never committed and was never indicted for - as a way of attacking Israel and the Jewish people. In 23 years, the State of Israel has never once taken any action to defend its own honor by defending Jonathan. The anti-Semites in American officialdom who exploit Jonathan's plight to advance an anti-Israel agenda have never been fooled. They understand that Jewish silence in the face of the on-going brutalization of one of their own is really Jewish weakness, and they relish it.
For 23 years the U.S. penal system has dealt with Jonathan in the harshest manner possible, relating to him as nothing more than a common felon. In 23 years, Israel has never once made an official request to the U.S. for Jonathan's release. Worse, Israel has never made an honest attempt to secure Jonathan's release.
Yes, Israel "secured" Jonathan's release at Wye, not so much for Jonathan's sake, but as a justification for releasing 750 Palestinian murderers and terrorists. This was the first time in Israel's history that murderers with blood on their hands were released. Israel paid the price for Jonathan's release, but never collected its due; 750 murderers went free, but Jonathan remained in prison.
A slew of Israeli ministers - Ephraim Sneh, Gidon Ezra, Fuad Ben Eliezer and others - vowed to release a captive; pledged their support and their political capital to free a captive whom they respect and envision as a great leader. The captive? Marwan Barghouti, a mass murderer who is serving 5 consecutive life sentences plus 40 years for his role in the murder of Israeli civilians! In the 23 years of Jonathan's incarceration, not one of these fervent Barghouti-loving ministers has ever declared his determination or support for the release of Jonathan Pollard, who did not murder a single soul, who loved and served the State of Israel, and saved her from her enemies.
Two weeks ago the man who runs the country which is holding Jonathan captive came to visit us here in the Holy Land. After a whirlwind of activities, gala receptions and obsequious speeches, he sat down to a working dinner with the Prime Minister of Israel, 8 prominent Cabinet Ministers, and the entire 'who's who' of the Israeli defense intelligence establishment. If you were to hand-pick a dream team to meet with the President of the United States to negotiate the release of a captive after 23 years in captivity, you could not have chosen a better group than the one that met with Bush that night. What did they do with this opportunity?
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert immediately declared that the only subject that could not be brought up with President Bush at that meeting was - the plight of Jonathan Pollard!
President George W. Bush heard about a lot of concerns that night. But the man who holds Jonathan's fate in his hands, the man who could free him in a second with the stroke of a pen, did not hear a single expression of concern for Pollard.
Do you know why Olmert forbid talk of Pollard at the working dinner with President Bush?
Olmert insists that as soon as Bush arrived in Israel on Wednesday, he immediately asked the President to free Pollard, and he claims that Bush refused. Olmert quickly conveyed the news to Yediot Achronot: I asked; Bush said no; so enough about Pollard!
Now, if Bush had already refused to free Pollard, what difference could it possibly make to Olmert whether or not Jonathan's name were mentioned to Bush at dinner on Thursday night? So why did Olmert forbid mentioning Pollard?
Here's the reason. Olmert did not want the President to find out that the Prime Minister had already informed the Israeli press that Bush had refused to free Pollard, when in fact the issue had never been raised! Bush knew nothing about his alleged refusal to free Pollard - and Olmert did not want anyone at the dinner that night to tell him! We have been able to confirm this at the highest levels.
True, the Knesset has just taken a formal decision to investigate the handling of the Pollard Case by successive governments of Israel to see what went wrong. But a bogus investigation by the State Comptroller is of no use to Jonathan Pollard, who is sitting in prison waiting for the rescue team to arrive. There is a time to investigate and time to save a life. Now is the time to save Jonathan's life - to bring him home.
By the way, a sure sign that this investigation is bogus is the fact that the State Comptroller has committed to keeping his report and all of his findings classified. In so doing, the State Comptroller and the Knesset State Control Committee have virtually assured the very officials who bungled this affair for 23 years (the Prime Minister's Office and the Ministry of Defense) that they have nothing to fear, because no matter what comes out of the investigation, neither the public nor Pollard will ever know - because all of the findings will be classified!
There is no one today, in this country or in this world, who is not going to have to give an account of what he or she did or did not do, to the best of his/her ability, to save Jonathan Pollard while there was still time. To stop the chillul HaShem. To rein in the evil of our leadership.
I am weary of comments about my courage and my efforts and good wishes in my struggle. I am heartsick about those who see Jonathan as my struggle, but for the rest of the Jewish world a minor side issue. A problem indeed, a tragedy, but what can you do, they say, we have bigger fish to fry at the moment. It is this kind of thinking that is doing us in as a nation and as a People.
A line of causation connects the abandonment of Jonathan Pollard to all abandonments which followed and to all of the abandonments now occurring - up to and including the threat to the very integrity of the Holy City of Yerushalayim.
On the heels of Jonathan's abandonment came the abandonment of our MIAs and captives in the field, followed by that of the SLA collaborators, and of Mudhat Yousef, a soldier who was left to bleed to death at Kever Yosef. Then came the abandonment of the People of Gush Katif and the Northern Shomron (most of whom remain in dire straits today); and then abandonment of the soldiers and the people of the North during the Second Lebanon War, and of course the long, on-going abandonment of the people of Sderot, who are still taking a daily pounding by rockets and missiles. How much longer can we keep saying, "What a shame, but what can you do?"
Every single person in this city, in this country, and in the Jewish world has something to contribute to the struggle for Justice for Jonathan Pollard, which is ultimately the struggle for Justice for the Jewish People. No one has the right or the luxury to absolve him/herself of the absolute value of arevut that devolves upon the Jewish People.
Hashem has given us the opportunity to unite around an issue that is absolutely vital to the essence of our being as a nation and as People of the Book, the mitzvah of Pidyon Shvuyim.
The place to start, right now, today, is with prayer. Prayer that will shake the Heavens and storm the Earth; prayer that leads to concrete action. Wake up your family! Wake up your friends! Wake up the organizations you belong to! Wake up the leadership! Wake up the Jewish People all over the world! The house is on fire! We must act now!
It will take all of our resources and the fervent prayers of every single one of us to save Jonathan Pollard and along with him, to save ourselves.