Pollard Was An Israeli Agent

November 5, 1997 - Motti Lerner - Ma'ariv
Translated from Hebrew

The Courts have been asked by Jonathan Pollard's attorneys to rule that he was an Israeli agent when he passed documents lifted from the archives of the American Navy to Israel. It may be that in the fine print of the law, the judges will find that no employer-employee contract was drawn up between Pollard and Lakam, the unit that ran him. But the basic facts are clear: Pollard dealt with a senior Israeli Air Force officer, and with the head of Lakam. Pollard passed the documents to an employee of Lakam in Washington. Pollard received an amount of approximately $27,500 from Lakam to cover operational expenses he incurred because of his activities.

The very fact that Pollard has been forced to turn to the High Court of Justice to file suit that he was indeed an agent exposes the ugliness of Israeli politicians. They lie with such disgusting ease. They lie even when it is clear to them that they will be forced to cover their lies with even more lies when they have to defend themselves in court. They lie as though demeaning truth were an important value, while completely denying the fact that wholesomeness is an important factor in the development of Israeli society.

In everything related to the Pollard affair they complicate matters with a two major lies. Firstly, they lie when they deny knowing about the activities of Pollard. Whoever was involved in the affair knows full well that the National Unity Government in 1985 knew about the running of Pollard and okayed the operation. And secondly they lie out of the side of their mouth when they say that the security of the State of Israel would be jeopardized if the truth were known about the Pollard affair.

Today it is clear that the security of the State has been irreversibly damaged by the affair only because the politicians responsible, did not concentrate on minimizing the damage to the State of Israel, but only on protecting their own political standing. The suffering of Pollard as he languished in prison played no part in their thinking.

Thus the politicians set the norms that permeate all areas of public life. It becomes possible to lie. It is possible to lie and to show so little respect for the public, that things never happened and never were. It's possible to lie in court about failed intelligence operations (see: "Bus 300"). It is possible to lie in police investigations (see: the Baron affair). It is possible to lie to parents about failed military operations (see: the helicopter tragedy; see: the navy commando disaster). And it is possible to lie to the public at large about every failed policy in the economic management of the State, about Aliyah, about Education and so on and so on. Lying has become a political means, used at the drop of a hat, without the slightest twinge of conscience.

Anyone who claims that the Israeli media is too critical, simply isn't aware of the depths of the disinformation that politicians disseminate to the Israeli public. Only rarely does the media succeed in burrowing through the thick layers of lies to reveal a semblance of truth about their deeds.

It seems to me that it is time to turn to Peres, Shamir, and Arens who are no longer at the center of the political arena, and to let them know that taking personal responsibility for the affair will do them no harm as public figures. They must be required to fulfill the most elementary obligation to Pollard by declaring that he was an Israeli agent, and that the National Unity Government which they headed took full responsibility for running him, and must now take full responsibility for seeking his release.

And that is not all.The three of them, Peres, Shamir, and Arens, must go to Washington and knock on the doors of power in the American Administration to bring about the release of a man who has been languishing in prison for more than 12 years. And they should not come home without him.

Motti Lerner is a gifted Israeli playwright whose works often deal with Israeli historical events. He is the author of "Pollard - The Patriots", which packed Israeli theaters.

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