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YISHAI: You're listening to IsraelNationalRadio.com. Yishai and Alex, the dynamic duo, the two proud Jews hanging out in the studio here in Beit El, Israel, home of the stairway to heaven.
you know what time it is. It's time to think about the real issues that shape and move this country, where it's going and what it's doing and there's nobody better to analyze the situation, where we're going and what we're doing than Moshe Feiglin from Manhigut Mondays, but it's Tuesday.
Moshe, welcome to the program.
MOSHE FEIGLIN: Good afternoon.
YISHAI: It's good to have you on with us.
Moshe, you just returned from Chutz l'Arutz, from outside of the Land of Israel, and you visited a dear friend of the Jewish people and his name is Jonathan Pollard. You visited Jonathan Pollard in jail.
First of all, how many visitors does Jonathan Pollard get? A lot?
MOSHE FEIGLIN: I don't know. I don't think so. I don't think he gets a lot. It's a procedure that you have to go through and, on the other hand, not so many people are aware that it can be done. I think it should be done.
YISHAI: Why do you think it should be done? Why do you spend your time visiting Chutz l'Arutz visiting Jonathan Pollard? What's the point?
MOSHE FEIGLIN: We may be, both of us, living today because of him. He saved us and as a punishment we let him -- we're letting him rot in jail. I feel obligated to him and I wish the State of Israel would have felt the same.
YISHAI: In the Likud primaries you guys put out, Manhigut put out a beautiful little flyer that had a letter written from Jonathan Pollard saying that he backs you as the candidate to lead Likud.
I wonder out loud like this: Is it smart for him politically to back you? Doesn't he want to, let's say, reach out to the majority of the people of Israel?
Why would he back the -- what some people perceive as an extreme right-winger in the Likud as opposed to trying to curry favor with people like Ehud Olmert?
MOSHE FEIGLIN: First of all, he's a very brave man and if I would have thought that Yehonatan is putting himself in danger, I wouldn't have asked him even though it was, of course, his decision, but I personally don't think that there is any difference, meaning my feeling is that nothing good can come out of the existing politicians in Israel and that's why I felt I'm not putting him in any danger.
ALEX: Let's not forget that Jonathan Pollard has been in jail for 20 years already.
MOSHE FEIGLIN: 21.
ALEX: If he wanted to curry favor from the Israeli government, that could have been done already over the past two decades.
MOSHE FEIGLIN: That's exactly what I'm saying. I believe Jonathan Pollard is in jail because of Israel, not because of the United States.
Therefore, I don't see any difference if he's coming out in favor of Feiglin or anyone else. Israel today is the biggest enemy of Yehonatan Pollard.
YISHAI: That's a very painful statement. I know that Jonathan Pollard did seek asylum in the Israeli embassy in Washington and --
MOSHE FEIGLIN: He was thrown out of the embassy.
Look, he was not the only one that the Americans wanted Israel to let go from the embassy and fall into their hands. There was another one, Aviam Sella, a high ranking officer that worked with him at the same time in the same embassy.
Israel betrayed a Jew, Jonathan Pollard, and kept -- and fought and kept and saved the Israeli, Aviam Sella. That's the whole story.
That's the bottom line. Israel is the state of the Israelis, not the state of the Jews.
I'll tell you more than that. Again, I'm talking for myself. I'm not talking in Pollard's name. I'm just telling you how I understand the situation.
The basic dream of the (secular) Israelis was to aspire become something else instead of Jews. Let's be "Israelis" instead of Jews. Let's be like the Americans. Then along comes the Jew from America and saves the Israelis from the Americans! In other words, Yehonatan destroyed the whole "dream"! So, who needs him here?
YISHAI: His life itself has been destroyed. If it's true that he destroyed somebody else's dream, I guess the dream of his normal life has been destroyed. He sat 21 years in jail.
You get to see him. What state is he in? North Carolina?
MOSHE FEIGLIN: Yes. Butner, North Carolina.
YISHAI: You got to see this man. Describe to us, please, what you see there, what you see when you try to go visit Jonathan Pollard.
MOSHE FEIGLIN: You expect to see after 21 years -- a very, very hard thing that he went through. He went through torture and horrible things were done to him. You expect to see a broken man and you find the complete opposite -- the other way around.
You find a brilliant person, very strong. I cannot describe how amazed -- I'm already the second time, but even though I already saw it once, now my second visit, the guy -- Jonathan Pollard is a brilliant man. He has what to say about everything. He has an opinion. He brings records from the bible, from history, from all kinds of other directions, very knowledgeable, very smart, very strong and a very good man; a very good and important Jew.
Let me tell you something. When Yehonatan Pollard, B'zrat Hashem, will come to Israel, we need him even more than he needs us to save him. We really need that man here. We need his talent.
YISHAI: Mark from Boston has just put up on the virtual studio Jonathan Pollard's address in jail and it's Jonathan Pollard, 09185-016, FCI Butner, PO Box 1000, Butner, North Carolina, United States of America 27509-1000. If you need that information again you can find it right now in the virtual studio or you can e-mail me and I'll give you that information again.
The question is what are his surroundings? Is it the world of a prison? How did you get to see him?
MOSHE FEIGLIN: You go through security checks and through a lot of gates and many, many bars. You have to be scanned.
I brought my new book to give him as a present, my new book that I dedicated especially to Yehonatan Pollard. I thought I'll be able to give it to him directly. I couldn't. I had to just show it to him and then the book was taken away. It has to be sent by the publisher to the jail. They have to go all through it. A person from the American intelligence has to sit there (at the meeting) all the time, listening to the conversation. It has to be in English.
I don't know. After 21 years, I don't know what kind of secrets he has but the whole procedure is really -- and he's -- don't forget,
there are no furloughs over there (Ed: in Israel, prisoners get weekend furloughs to go home), no -- when the Americans are holding a person in jail, he's in jail. He's not going out of there.
YISHAI: I know what you mean.
MOSHE FEIGLIN: One important thing I think people are not aware. Esther Pollard does not get a penny from the State of Israel, not a penny,fom the Defense Ministry, nothing. The State of Israel denies Yehonatan Pollard completely. We are betraying Pollard every day again and again.
The fact that the Supreme Court of Israel just decided that he does not deserve to be a Prisoner of Zion, it's crazy. He was good enough -- America was putting us in enough danger to send Pollard, to put him in jail for 21 years; but for us it is not enough to call him a Prisoner of Zion! This is ridiculous!
ALEX: Just to acknowledge this status for him (is to show)that he's a person who is important to us which really -- I mean, it could otherwise be meaningless. But even just a show of some support, anything, the Israeli government can't even do that.
YISHAI: Jeffrey Cohen from Hillside asks what can the Jews of the US do for Jonathan?
MOSHE FEIGLIN: Look, I met a lot of Jews in the United States that feel uncomfortable with the situation of Yehonatan Pollard and that's a very -- we know that behavior of Jews from Jewish history, but every Jew in America and all over the world should know that he is (potentially) the next Jonathan Pollard.
Yehonatan Pollard is over there because he's a Jew; and denying Jonathan Pollard, thinking (that in) this way, it's not going to get to you, that is a big mistake. When you fight for Yehonatan Pollard you are fighting for yourself, and maybe in America even more than in Israel.
YISHAI: There are right now two Jonathan Pollards on the way, Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman from AIPAC. Moshe, I worked with these guys. I was there for a summertime and I got to meet them and I saw their dedication to Israel.
They are being set up again to go to prison for many years for what? For again trying to save Israel, for again trying to save Jews, for doing normal things, and they are being set up by the American government and again they are being denied support by AIPAC and by the Israeli government. It's in the making. We're going to have Pollard II and III soon in jail if we don't do something about it.
MOSHE FEIGLIN: There is no quantity in injustice. There's only quality. And when you are letting it happen with one Yehonatan Pollard, it's going to get to the masses. It's going to get to your doorstep. You can be sure about that. It's going to get to the doorstep of each one of us.
When we deny a Jew, when we betray a Jew who sacrifices himself for us, it means we're losing our dignity, we're losing our honor and we are going to be the next in line.
ISHAI: I wanted to ask you. When you show up there, when he sees your face, does it make him feel good, does it make him feel better? Did that meeting for the two hours that you were there with him, did that give him strength?
MOSHE FEIGLIN: Look --
YISHAI: You got to be in the same room?
MOSHE FEIGLIN: Yes.
YISHAI: That's good. I thought you were probably separated.
MOSHE FEIGLIN: It used to be worse. Now he's in a prison what they call medium. There are two, as far as I understand, there are three kinds of prisons in America. He used to be kept in the worst one, maximum security. Now he's in medium security and in this at least we can hug each other.
YISHAI: Did that give him koach (strength), do you think?
MOSHE FEIGLIN: Look, it was incredible about this man that you do not give him koach. He gives you koach! It's something that everybody says, but about Yehonatan Pollard it's really true.
He spoke, from the two hours and 15 minutes that we sat over there, he spoke maybe two hours. He gave me a lot of chizuk, a lot of new ways to look at the situation.
He's unbelievable, unbelievable. I really -- I'm sure, I know, I got from him much more than he could ever get from me.
YISHAI: And his mental and physical health?
MOSHE FEIGLIN: I don't know about his physical health. I hope it's good.
YISHAI: Does he look good, though?
MOSHE FEIGLIN: He's standing on his feet. He's standing on his feet and talks clearly and looks clearly. I'm not a doctor. I can assure you on his mental point of view, it's better than mine.
YISHAI: All right. Very good. We're glad to hear that he's at least alive and there's much more to do and I recommend to people to check out the Pollard website: jonathanpollard.org and to reach out to Jonathan, to reach out the Esther Pollard to see if they can help and we've got to keep going and the fact that he supports you means there are people out here in Israeli politics that are still very much interested in getting this Jew free.