Joseph of our generation languishes in an American prison

Eretz Yisrael Shelanu (Vol.18) - Rosh Chodesh Adar Bet - March 7, 2008

[Translated to English by Justice4JP]

Five months ago Jonathan Pollard marked his 8,000th day in an American prison. Twenty-three years in prison in disgraceful conditions and desperately poor health is all that the Israeli agent has gotten in return for passing classified information to Israel which saved thousands of lives. The Government of Israel has distanced itself from him and prefers that he rot in prison to his final day. His story is a modern day version of micheerat Yosaif (the sale of Joseph by his brothers) - the 21st century edition.

In this week's publication, we are hosting Mrs. Esther Pollard, Jonathan's wife. She tells us: "Jonathan has been languishing in prison for 23 years for an offense which has a median sentence of 2 to 4 years. To this very day, the Government of Israel has never made an official request (to the US) to release him. Moreover, Israel has never clarified Jonathan's status to the prison authorities or to the Department of Justice. Consequently the American authorities do not relate to Jonathan an Israeli agent in captivity, but as a common felon."

"The on-going betrayal of Jonathan Pollard is so overwhelming it is beyond description," Esther Pollard says softly, her words laden with sadness and pain. "At the working dinner with President Bush (01/10/08 in Jerusalem) Israel's ministers and top security officials were all forbidden by Olmert from raising the issue of Jonathan Pollard. Worse still, these officials complied and did not raise the subject." A poll that was taken at the time indicated that 82% of all Israelis favored Olmert's raising the issue of Pollard's release with President Bush during his January 2008 visit to Jerusalem.

Jonathan Pollard has been incarcerated in harsh conditions, without even the most minimal assistance from the Government of Israel. His wife Esther also receives no help or assistance from the Government. "Many of those who are still in government today were involved in Jonathan's espionage operation two decades ago, including the ministers who ran Jonathan and who signed his tasking orders. All that they care about are their own personal interests."

"Jonathan's entire life is bound up in miracles," Esther tells us. "Even American officials have told us that they never expected that he would survive 7 years in solitary confinement and 23 years in prison; without appropriate medical care, and without any support from the State of Israel."

"HaRav Mordechai Eliyahu and other illustrious rabbis refer to Jonathan as the Yosaif HaTzadik (the Joseph) of our generation, languishing in prison, cruelly and knowingly abandoned by his brothers."

"Jonathan is a gift to us from HaKadosh Baruchu (the Almighty) to wake us up to arevut hadaddeet (the absolute obligation of mutual responsibility which we all have towards each other). Heaven wants to see if we care about Jonathan, if we are working for him, praying for him, crying to Heaven to release him. All of Jonathan's actions were for the sake of saving the People of Israel. The People of Israel owe a great debt of gratitude to Jonathan, who put his life on the line by passing vital information to Israel, when the United States was deliberately withholding it. The information which was being withheld from Israel concerned the build-up of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons by enemy States for use against Israel. Jonathan did everything in his power to get this information released to Israel through legal channels. Israel was entitled to the information according to an information-sharing treaty signed by both countries. However, the United States had implemented an illegal intelligence embargo to punish Israel for blowing up the Iraqi nuclear reactor (in 1981)."

Jonathan is up-to-date on everything that is going on in Israel. He speaks with Esther for a number of minutes every day. He even wrote a letter to the people of Sderot which was recently reprinted. It reads in part, "Five years ago, absolutely no one ever imagined, even in their worst nightmares, that the situation of Am Yisrael would degenerate to the extent that it has. Please know, Dear People of Sderot, that in your determination to put an end to the abandonment of your city to terror, you are fighting not only for the people of Sderot, but also for the State and for the Nation at large."

"We need a lot of prayers for Am Yisrael and for Jonathan's release," says Esther. "I ask everyone to make sure that Jonathan is a part of every congregation's regular daily prayers and a part of the Sabbath prayer service in every Beit Knesset. Raise the issue of Jonathan Pollard publicly! Do whatever you can to increase public awareness of his plight! Call, write, fax public officials and government leaders; tell them not to turn their back on the issue of Pollard! Write to Jonathan, preferably in English! (Hebrew letters are not given to him.) G-d willing, when Am Yisrael displays arevut hadaddeet for Jonathan, Heaven will spare us further tragedies and grant us the merit to have Jonathan speedily home!"

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