Excerpt from the epic "Werb Letter" by Jonathan Pollard

Justice4JPnews - Posted to website: April 6, 2008

No one can fully appreciate the Pollard case who has not first read the epic " Werb Letter," as it has come to be known. The letter was written circa 1989 by Jonathan Pollard, in solitary confinement, in a dungeon cell 3 stories underground at USP Marion, in response to an American rabbi who asked him why he had done what he did for Israel. More than 80 pages long, the letter includes an overview of the historical and political background of the era. The following excerpt occurs towards the end of the letter:

"In retrospect, Rabbi, I know that there may have been other ways in which I could have exposed Weinberger's treachery. At the time, though, I was so scared of what might happen if the embargoed intelligence did not reach Israel that I threw caution to the wind.

But tell me, Rabbi Werb, what would you have done in my situation? Go to the press and run the risk of having sensitive information inadvertently leaked to the Russians? Turn your eyes away from what was going on and try to live with the potential consequences? Convince yourself that the security of 4 million hard-pressed Jews was worth less than your loyalty to a man who was pledged to destroy them?

The decision I made, Rabbi, may very well have been illegal, but I honestly thought that I was doing something morally right. Should I have just sat there and done nothing while Israel was being stabbed in the back? What kind of self-respecting Jew could do that?

Oh, I know, Rabbi, that there are many within the American Jewish community who are absolutely furious over what I did. No matter what, they wail, I should never have endangered our position here by exhibiting such loyalty to Israel. So what was I supposed to do? Let Israel fend for herself? If you think that this is what I should have done, then how can we condemn all those smug, self-righteous "American" Jews during the Second World War, who consciously participated in the abandonment of European Jewry? Seriously, Rabbi, what would be the difference between what they did and a decision on my part to have kept silent about the Iraqi poison gas threat to Israel? After all, the same gas which the Nazis used 40 odd years ago to murder our European brethren could just as easily be used today by the Arabs to exterminate the Jewish population of Israel. Was I really expected to just let history repeat itself without doing anything to protect our people from such a calamity?

Could you have stood by silently and let this happen? Granted, I broke the law. But, to tell you the truth, Rabbi. I'd rather be rotting in prison than sitting Shiva for the hundreds of thousands of Israelis who could have died because of my cowardice.

I ask you, Rabbi, have the fires of the concentration camps grown so cold that people have forgotten that 6 million Jews were butchered while the whole world looked on in silence? Have the screams of Neve Shalom grown so faint that people have forgotten that we are still considered fair game for slaughter? Have the burial ceremonies on Mount Herzl grown so commonplace that people have forgotten the grim price of independence? Well, I don't forget these gruesome images, Rabbi. I kept them in the forefront of my mind to serve as a constant reminder of just how precarious our existence really is. So you see, Rabbi, I just couldn't walk away from the problem of the intelligence embargo and pretend it didn't exist. I had to act."