Esther Pollard's Speech at the Pollard Freedom & Independence Rally

Actions Speak Louder than Words - Gadol HaMa'aseh Min HaDiboor

[Delivered in Hebrew and in English]


photos from the event.


J4JPnews - May 12, 2008

On the eve of the visit of President George W. Bush to Israel this week, to celebrate Israel's 60th anniversary, the message Jonathan asked me to share with you today is:

Actions speak louder than words.

To illustrate, let me share a couple of historic snapshots with you.

Snapshot: #1

It is 1988. Jonathan Pollard is taken from his jail cell at the Springfield Prison Facility and transported overland to USP Marion, the harshest prison in the American Federal Prison System. Throughout the journey his armed guards mock him and torment him.

After several hours, they arrive at USP Marion. With a loaded gun pointed at his head, Jonathan is led to the entrance of the prison. At the door, the guard cocks the gun and puts the muzzle to Jonathan's ear. "Turn around!" he orders. Jonathan turns around. "Take a good look," says the guard. "This is the last time you will see the outside world. When you leave here, it will be feet first, in a box."

The guard then escorts Jonathan into the prison and delivers him to R&D (which is the department that receives new prisoners.) The Assistant Warden is there to greet him. "Welcome to your final home!" he says. When Jonathan looks quizzical, the AW continues, "You will not leave here alive."

He turns Jonathan over to the R&D staff for registration and they too, mock Jonathan and deliver the message, "You will never leave here alive."

Jonathan is taken into solitary confinement, to a dungeon cell, 3 stories underground, behind 13 locks and keys. The guard who escorts him, informs him, "You will never leave Marion alive. You will die here.'

Several hours later, the Warden comes to see Jonathan in his dungeon cell, to make sure that he has gotten the message: This is the final stop. You will die here. You will not leave here alive.

Every day, every person he came into contact with at Marion gave him the same message: This prison is your grave. You will not leave here alive.

Anyone who understands the power of suggestion, which is the underlying basis for brainwashing, a technique routinely used on prisoners of war, will recognize that the reception Jonathan got at Marion was effectively intended to result in his death (G-d forbid) either by his own hand, or "assisted" by prison staff.

This was the original plan that the Americans and their Israeli Mossad advisors devised for Jonathan. He was supposed to die in prison. A dead man cannot defend himself. A dead man can never bring the truth to light.

Thus, America would forever have its myth, of the Jewish Spy, the "worst spy" in history! And Israel could continue to lie with impunity, claiming that Pollard was just some kook, a freelancer and a rodef betzah who got what he deserved.

By the way, when Jonathan called on the telephone today, I told him that I planned to share this with you. He pointed out that the prison authorities at Marion took perverse pleasure in telling him, at every opportunity, that the Israeli Government was kept updated and KNEW everything that that Jonathan was going through. Israel never did anything to stop the torture and affliction, or to help Jonathan at all.

Actions speak louder than words.

Snapshot: #2

Nearly a quarter of a century goes by. G-d's will prevails. Jonathan is still alive! (Baruch Hashem!)

In spite of the best "efforts" of Israel and the US, after 7 years in solitary confinement, Jonathan left Marion alive! For the last 15 years he has been in open population at FCI Butner, where he must fight for his life every single day. Every day that he survives is a complete miracle.

Although Jonathan is very ill and suffering tremendously, he is still alive. He is still fighting for his freedom. He is still faithful to the Land and People of Israel for whom he sacrificed the last 23 years of his life.

These days, I am often asked whether the recent hysteria in the media about the outing of Ben-Ami Kadish in America as an alleged spy for Israel, has lessened Jonathan's chances of release. The short answer is, "No, not at all."

Before the Kadish arrest, PM Ehud Olmert never made an official request to President Bush to free Jonathan. After the Kadish arrest, PM Ehud Olmert never made an official request to President Bush to free Jonathan. No change.

The American President's power of clemency is virtually unlimited. He may pardon whomever he wishes, without consultation, without affirmation, and without answering to anyone. But the President is not going to offer Jonathan Pollard to Israel as a gift, as long as Israel does not want that gift - as long as Israel does not ask for Jonathan.

Actions speak louder than words.

Jonathan has now served more than 5 times the usual sentence for transferring vital security information to save Israel. The Americans have never had any compunction about treating Jonathan harshly, torturing him or afflicting him. America presents itself as a great democracy, a bastion of freedom and justice for all. These are fine words.

But Actions speak louder than words.

The Government of Israel has no moral conscience and no compunction about ignoring Jonathan to death and then lying about its "efforts on his behalf." The fact that in 23 years neither Jonathan nor I have ever received a single cent of support from the Government of Israel, even though Jonathan is officially recognized as an Israeli agent, reflects the real attitude of the Government of Israel towards us.

Actions speak louder than words.

We, the People of Israel, are gathered together today to give testimony to Heaven and Earth. I do not mean verbal or written testimony. I mean physical testimony. Just the fact that we are here, now 23 years later, at a massive solidarity rally for Jonathan Pollard testifies as to who and what we are as a People and a Nation. What our values are. What we stand for.

It is time for all Jews to wake up and open their eyes. It is time for the Government of Israel to learn from good Jews like yourselves. This rally is about our values. Our shared values. Everyone here today, no matter what political or religious stream he or she may belong to, has in common the following values:

  • Mitzvaht Pidyan Shvuyim: the redemption of a captive

    : This is the greatest of all the mitzvoth. This mitzvah is so great that one is permitted to sell a Sefer Torah, or to desecrate the Sabbath in order to redeem a captive.

  • V Ahavta l' re'echa k'mocha

    : Love your neighbor as yourself is, according to the Sage Hillel, the essence of the entire Torah. Everything else is commentary. Our sages teach this concept as: what is hateful to you, do not do to any one else.

  • Al ta'amod al dam re'echa

    : Do not stand idly by as a brother's blood is shed. This is self-explanatory.

  • Arevut hadaddeet

    : Mutual responsibility for each other. All for one and one for all.

  • Lo masheerim patzuah bashetach

    : The principle of not leaving a wounded soldier in the field. This principle used to be sacred to the IDF. Today one has to wonder

  • Ahavat Yisrael v'Ahavat HaAretz

    : Love of the Land and People of Israel. All of the above values are the underlying basis of truly loving the Land and the People of Israel.

Thanks to your participation today, our rally does honor to G-d and His Torah. It gives honor to the Jewish People and to the Land of Israel. It is a piece of living history for all the People of Israel to learn from, and a lesson that the Government of Israel has yet to learn.

Most important of all, this rally is as much a cry to Heaven as a massive show of solidarity with Jonathan.

May our unity and love of our fellow man as it is being reflected here today, bring down the blessing of Heaven upon us, and may we merit to speedily greet Jonathan here in the Land very, very soon, in the wink of an eye! May the next rally be transformed from a protest rally to a Thanksgiving rally of thanks and praise!