Gilboa Revisited

A poem by Jonathan Pollard

December, 1987

NOTE: This poem was written by Jonathan Pollard in 1987, shortly after he was sentenced, and while he was incarcerated under shocking and harsh conditions at the Federal Medical Facility for the criminally insane at Springfield, Missouri. Pollard's file clearly shows that he was not there for treatment.

November, 1997:

Ten years later, Israel has yet to take any decisive action to secure Jonathan Pollard's immediate release. For more information, see the Israeli Court Case page.

I knew the battle was lost
even as the enemy gathered in the plains below...
my sentence as certain as the hatred behind it.
Yet still I stayed and fought out of loyalty to a mad father
who led me to that desolate mountain
and left me a victim of his arrogance
and misjudgment.

So, there I stood at the day's end...
defiant before my enemies, imploring the fallen King:
Will you not fight?
Will you not arise
and prove the justness of our cause?
Will you not shield this son
whose loyalty you took for granted?

But you said not a word
my old and rotting father.
You just lay there rigid
denying any responsibility as the sentence was passed.
And I fell at your feet
unrecognized by your cold, indifferent eyes.

But it was not your body this time
that hung above the city gate
for ridicule and scorn...
it was mine.

So, tell me father
how long am I to serve as a symbol of Philistine strength
before David is allowed to end this demeaning spectacle
of Hebrew impotence?