Pollards to Lazer Beams Rabbi: Please rethink!
Justice4JPnews - December 23, 2009 - B"H
Dear Rabbi Lazer Brody,
Your latest post Why Gilead Shalit Must Go Free - Now! supporting the proposed swap of 1000 terrorist murderers for the release of one captive came up in our "Google Alerts" because, for the first time ever, you mention my husband, Jonathan Pollard.
Jonathan's plight has been defined by the great rabbis of our generation, not only as the mitzvah of pidyan shvuyim, but as the most supreme form of the mitzvah: namely, the mitzvah of pidyan shvuyim for one who was moser nefesh for Am Yisrael. (See Rabbi Mordecai Eliyahu's Letter and An Urgent Appeal From The Great Rabbis.) It is therefore deeply distressing to note that your one-and-only mention of Jonathan in 25 years was apparently to promote the sale of a book.
We are unable to reconcile your extreme concern for the mitzvah of pidyan shvuyim in the case of Gilad Shalit with your failure to ever show any concern for the fate of Jonathan Pollard, who has been held captive for 2 decades and whose day-to-day survival is an open miracle.
(I would also like to point out that your offhand mention that Jonathan has read "The Garden of Emunah" three times is erroneous. As I responded to one of your readers in a private email which found its way to you, Jonathan has received 3 copies of "The Garden of Emunah" as gifts. I have never asked him if he read it at all. I only confirmed that he received it.)
Next, with regard to your post, Why Gilead Shalit Must Go Free - Now!, the premise is that this unholy deal for Shalit is about the mitzvah of pidyan shvuyim. It is not.
Jonathan and I co-authored an op-ed for the Jerusalem Post on this issue to highlight the danger this deal poses to Am Yisrael and to expose its duplicitous nature. A copy of our op-ed follows below. We hope you will read it and that it may help you to rethink your position for the sake your readers.
There are no names used in our op-ed, because it is about principle. It is not personal. Its goal is to sound the alarm against reckless endangerment of the people of Israel via the infusion of massive numbers of murderers and terrorists into the civilian population of neighboring areas of Gaza and the PA.
It exposes the hypocrisy of the Government of Israel in "negotiating" a massive release of murderers and terrorists in exchange for a single captive, on the claim that this lopsided "swap" is based on the principle of never abandoning one who served the State.
Jonathan and I decided to used a literary device, an anonymous comparison of two cases, to demonstrate that if principle were truly the reason for the Government's insistence on making such a monstrous deal, then the same principle would rule in every case for every captive, not just for one. Because that is not the case, it is obvious that principle has nothing to do with formulating this deadly deal.
The bottom line for us is: political expediency is driving the Government's plan to engineer the wholesale release of murderers and terrorists, not ideological concern for a captive.
It cost Jonathan in blood to be able to write and put his name to this op-ed but he felt he had to do it, to wake people up. If you wish to reprint it and this letter, you may do so with attribution.
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Refusing to remain silent in the face of evil
By Jonathan and Esther Pollard - The Jerusalem Post - November 25, 2009
Why is the life of one Israeli captive deemed so precious that Israel's leaders are willing to dispense with all logic and morality in order to redeem him? Why is the life of another Israeli captive dismissed as if it were worthless?
Why is the life of one captive such an urgent national priority that the safety and security of every single Israeli citizen must be put at risk? Why is the life of the other captive so inconsequential - after decades of captivity - that negotiations for his release have never been undertaken?
Are we, the People of Israel, so incompetent, so bereft of will, talent, imagination and faith in God that we really believe the only way to secure the release of the former captive is at a price so exorbitant that it beggars the imagination? Do we really believe that the wholesale release of terrorists and murderers is a rational response? Are we, the People of Israel, so bereft of vision that we cannot grasp that burying one captive alive while we pray for the release of the other drives the blessing away and brings shame and dishonor upon us all?
Are we, the People of Israel, so politically brainwashed that we cannot see that, in both cases, mere expediency reigns supreme in a morally-bankrupt government? This is not fulfillment of the mitzva of pidyon shvuyim!
AS LONG as Israeli leaders demonstrate a unanimous will to exploit the value of rescuing one captive because it suits their political ends, while simultaneously ignoring another captive, there can be no national honor, nor national self-respect. There is only political expediency. Self-serving, opportunistic, political expediency.
Those who are willing to close their eyes to the truth and follow lockstep with Israel's "leaders" in support of this unconscionable plan to unleash the forces of evil by allowing the architects of mass murder to pour forth from Israeli jails are placing their own lives at risk as well as the lives of their loved ones.
Those who fail to speak out and protest Israel's lopsided, immoral policy of selective rescue - damning one captive while saving the other and simultaneously putting the lives of all citizens in jeopardy - must know that they are complicit in this criminal deed.
It is painfully clear that Israel's mainstream media has stymied all rational debate on this issue, just as it has, for its own self-serving reasons, lent its support to the government's cowardly abandonment of the latter captive.
Nevertheless, moral conscience does not permit us to remain silent.
If our words are not heard today, so be it. A time will come when they will be heard. We hope that by then, it will not be too late.
Jonathan Pollard is an American-born Israeli citizen who worked for Israel's Ministry of Defense. He is currently in his 25th year of captivity in an American prison for his activities on behalf of the security of the State of Israel. Esther Pollard is his wife.
This article can also be read here.