Maariv Exclusive: FREE JONATHAN POLLARD. THE TIME HAS COME.
By Ben Caspit
Friday Edition Main Headline Front Page and
Cover of Weekend Magazine "Mussaf-Shabbat" & pages 2-4
November 12, 2010
In the Friday 12 November 2010 edition of Maariv, Ben Caspit, senior news analyst and veteran political correspondent presents a shocking report which reveals for the first time ever, the unvarnished truth about the role that Israel has played ensuring that Jonathan Pollard remain in an American prison, 25 years into a life sentence, for an offense that has a median sentence of 2 to 4 years.
Caspit's exposé relies heavily on the information, descriptions and details provided by Yitzhak Oren, a former high-ranking Israeli official with first-hand involvement in the Pollard case.
Justice4JP has translated to English selected excerpts of the Maariv exposé which follow below.
Front Page Top News Headline: Free Jonathan Pollard. The Time has Come
Subtitle: The conditions are ripe. Israel can extract her agent from an American prison. All that is required is for Israel to make the decision.
Front Page Text:
The time has come to free Jonathan Pollard. Now. Not after the building freeze in the territories. Not as part of an all-inclusive package deal, and not as an add-on. Free him now. Because it is the right and just thing to do. Pollard has been languishing in an American prison for 25 years for the offense of spying on behalf of Israel. A quarter of a century. He was imprisoned at the age of 31. Today he is 56.
It has finally been proven conclusively that Pollard is the victim of a terrible injustice. He was not responsible for the death of American agents. He never provided information to the Russians. Pollard is not the devil-incarnate that the USA has invented. Americans convicted of similar offenses have gotten sentences with numbers that have only 1 digit, and were on their way home in 5 years or less. But Pollard has been buried alive.
Israel simply has to decide that it is important to get him out of there and he will be out. It is that simple. The problem is that up until now, that decision has never been taken, ever. Pollard is the lowest possible priority. The public has forgotten him. The polls ignore him. The Prime Minister is far more troubled about the rotation between Ofir Akunis and Carmel Shama on the Finance Committee than he is about this inexcusable injustice that has caused a human being to be buried alive. A cynical burial - evil - spiced by narrow self- interest and fraught with inter-organizational rivalries amongst the intelligence agencies, and a dash of anti-Semitism. See the full article in the Weekend Magazine "Mussaf -Shabbat"
Front Cover "Mussaf-Shabbat":
Full size portrait of Jonathan Pollard with title and subtitles:
MIVTZAH JONATHAN (OPERATION JONATHAN)
It is clear that if the State of Israel wanted him out, he would be out.
All that is needed is for Israel to decide to do it.
The Time has come to Free Jonathan Pollard
Selected Excerpts from the text of Mussaf-Shabbat
"This whole affair stinks"
Yitzhak Oren, nearly 60, formerly the political advisor to two prime ministers (Shamir and Rabin), served 22 years in the foreign ministry, was the Israeli attaché to Congress in Washington, head of the co-ordination unit, retired about 10 years ago, and today the Chairman of the Rishon LeTzion Fund, is finishing up a doctorate in political science, and has to his credit 3 successful books. Thinking about Pollard gives him no rest.
"This whole affair stinks. We are talking about a long, on-going injustice.
Incomprehensible. Israel has made every mistake possible. The man is stuck there through no fault of his own. Not that he did not commit any offense. He did. But the sentence he received is grossly disproportionate, unjust. Today, even the Americans realize this. The problem is that on Israel's side of things, everyone was so busy saving their own skin that along the way they just handed him over to the Americans, they abandoned him, and they buried him alive. The Israelis ran away; Pollard remained there. What haven't we done to him?! We gave the Americans the documents which were used to incriminate Pollard. Without these documents, the Americans had nothing on him. This was an Israeli attempt, by Shimon Peres, to appease the Americans, to satisfy them, nevertheless the US sent a team over here to investigate and they still claimed we deceived them."
Oren, as was mentioned above, was the number 3 man at the embassy and the Israeli liaison with the Congress in Washington in the mid 1990's. He accepted the Pollard file in 1996 immediately after the Government of Israel granted Pollard citizenship and recognized him as its agent. Oren agreed to accept the mission. Between 1996 and 1998 he met with Pollard many times. He sat with him and has long intense conversations with him. He has investigated the Pollard affair and studied it long and hard from every angle.
Maariv: What would have happened, if Pollard had not been thrown out of the Israeli Embassy when the FBI were after him and he sought asylum there?
Oren: Nothing. The whole affair wouldn't have exploded. The Americans would never have known what happened. Maybe there would have been a mini-crisis but it would have blown over in a few months. That's all. Instead, they threw Pollard out of the Israeli embassy, handed him over to the Americans, abandoned him, and even to this day, now 25 years later, Israel refuses (to do what needs to be done) to free him.
Celebrating the Downfall of LAKAM
Pollard's misfortune was that he worked for LAKAM, a liason office, an independent, unbridled intelligence bureau which was run by Rafi Eitan, under the auspices of the Ministry of Defense. The Israeli Mossad (a competitor of LAKAM) which has close ties to the American Intelligence community, celebrated the capture of Jonathan Pollard and rejoiced at the subsequent closure of LAKAM as if it were Independence Day.
Maariv: What about the Intelligence Community Track?
Oren: "Here Pollard is still paying the price for the hatred that was intended for LAKAM, which was regarded (by the Mossad) as an upstart, unwanted next of kin, bothersome and annoying, rebellious and undisciplined. Everyone was happy that LAKAM crashed and burned and that Pollard crashed and burned with it. The LAKAM was a kind of bastard child, bold and wild, the kind that stepped on everyone's bunions, and crossed all red lines, until it was caught. But then instead of punishing those who were in charge -- they escaped in a panic to save their own hides - they are punishing the one who put his own life on the line to for Israel.
"I am telling you that if the Intelligence establishment in Israel had wanted to rescue Pollard, they could have done a little give and take with the Americans the way that intelligence agencies do with each other - it goes on all the time. But the Mossad absented itself from the picture, celebrated the disaster, and has been unwilling to touch Pollard with a kilometer-long pole.
"The Pollard file has been rotting in the hands of every deputy chief of the North American office of the Foreign Ministry since time immemorial - an office that has no real authority of its own. I have had the same conversation over and over again with one deputy chief after another, and I told them that the reason you have the Pollard file is to ensure that nothing is done for Pollard, that this is the government's way of burying Pollard alive, and more than one has agreed with me."
Not so long ago, Lawrence Korb, deputy of and right hand man to then Secretary of Defense, Caspar Weinberger, who drove Pollard's life sentence, exposed the truth: the Weinberger memorandum and all of the false charges made against Pollard by Weinberger and senior intelligence officials, were fabricated -they never happened. Pollard was just a scapegoat. Up until now, the only one who ever made this claim was Pollard's wife, Esther. But now, this claim is an official fact.
And another thing. Pollard also touched a sensitive and exposed nerve especially in America, and that is the issue of "dual loyalty" of its Jews. Here was an American Jew who came to a senior intelligence position who betrays his native land for his historic homeland. This is what American Jews feared for generations. This was their primal fear. And along comes Pollard and realizes the nightmare. So just about everyone was happy when he was thrown into jail. This was their atonement. This is what is done to one who shocks the nations of the world and dares to raise sensitive questions about our loyalty. Let him rot in prison.
In the meantime, a quarter of a century has gone by, new revelations that have recently been revealed will not permit the of American intelligence agencies in the US to oppose Pollard's release, the way that they have done previously.
Israel only needs to make the decision that it is important to get him out of there, and he will get out. It is that simple. The truth, right up to this very moment, is that that decision has never been taken by Israel, ever. Pollard is the lowest possible priority. The public has forgotten him. The polls ignore him. The Prime Minister is far more troubled about the rotation between Ofir Akunis and Carmel Shama on the Finance Committee than he is about this inexcusable injustice which has caused a human being to be buried alive. A cynical burial - evil - spiced by narrow self- interest and fraught with inter-organizational rivalries amongst the intelligence agencies, and a dash of anti-Semitism.
Oren: "I am convinced that the American intelligence community would have removed its opposition if on our side there had been anybody willing to provide a quid pro quo in terms of intelligence. But on our side, no one was interested. Pollard has been a non-issue all these years to the real channels. There has never been any real dialogue about him between the intelligence communities. The Israeli intelligence community never had any interest in doing anything for him. Listen, between the branches of our intelligence community and theirs far more complex problems have been solved Any problem can be solved when there is a will to solve it."
Maariv: So what needs to happen?
Oren: "The Prime Minister has to give the order to the relevant bodies and individuals, it is his responsibility.
And it is not just a matter of authority, it is also a moral imperative. Perhaps Pollard may not an electoral advantage, and he ought not to be, but someone has to finally get up and declare that enough is enough, that it is over, that this injustice cannot be allowed to continue any longer. Binyamin Netanyahu has to make that decision. It's a lot easier than a similar wrenching decision in the case of Gilad Shalit. In Pollard's case there is absolute consensus. There is no price. There is no public dissent. All that there is, is a man who continues to rot in prison because of all the things that have never been done. A man who worked on behalf of the Jewish State and who was abandoned by it in the lowest, most cowardly way imaginable. "
Make the decision, Netanyahu... it may not win you any votes, but it will ease the nation's conscience.
You have to free Jonathan Pollard; and it needs to be done now.