Pollard must be freed

Pollard must be freed

The Jewish Standard’s December 21 cover story, “What the CIA Said,” presents very little new information that a Pollard analyst would think contributes toward a more transparent and fuller account to the continuing saga of an American Jew serving his 28th year of an unjustified prison sentence in the land that we call the “the home of the free.”

Even the reference to Mr. Pollard’s lawyer saying that he would not talk to the Standard speaks volumes about why we may never know all that we wish to know. It’s because people who are close to the story are afraid to contribute to the greater body of knowledge.

The lawyer joins a long list of influential Jewish icons in both the United States and Israel who have failed to act, or to say the appropriate thing at the time of need.

With no deep inherent selfless convictions of their own, absent any real depth of individual or collective consciousness of guilt or humility, American Jewry has betrayed Mr. Pollard and has traded his continued existence and physical deterioration in federal prison for what they would prefer to define as more urgent matters, such as can be generalized under the “greater” banner of “the security of Israel.”

The failure to see that Mr. Pollard represents the litmus test of Israeli-American relations is the reason why we do not act out of conviction, doctrine, and ethics.

At this point, it will not matter what “new” CIA document may reveal, or whether any declassified information may shed new light on already analyzed and considered evidence. And it certainly wasn’t a Wolf Blitzer interview in prison many years ago that is material, or substantive to Pollard’s continued incarceration.

A full assessment of the extent of what damages Pollard caused the United States will never be made because the estimate always has been exaggerated. The sole card to Pollard’s continued incarceration always will be that if the information ever is revealed it will inevitably indict more fully, or exacerbate already existing claims by the prosecution.

Certain people who want Pollard to die in jail never will reveal that card, despite the likelihood that there is no card!

Claims that American Jews act out of double loyalty will be leveled by those who are especially cynically and compulsively sure of their own loyalties, not necessarily in line with a greater popular America, but of more of fringe and extremist agendas and interests. But American Jews have themselves to blame for Mr. Pollard’s continuous incarceration. Growing up, maturing, and building the greatest Torah centers in the history of the Jewish world, we are confronted with the greatest tests of all: ahavat Yisroel and pidyon she’vu’yim.

American Jews are in a more secure world because of the information that Mr. Pollard provided that enhanced the security of the State of Israel. This, as we know today, did not come at the expense of American security. Despite the attempts to assassinate his character and depict him as a self-serving and egocentric spy, nevertheless it must be understood that upon seeing vital information being willfully withheld, Mr. Pollard felt it was his duty to act.

If there are those in the State Department or the intelligence agencies that are particularly adamant about an early commutation to Mr. Pollard’s release, then we should meet with them. Under no circumstance should any member of the Jewish community or the Christian pro-Israel camp meet with the president without being knowledgeable and vehement about an early commutation of Mr. Pollard’s sentence. Iran’s nuclear threat, the peace process, Hezbollah and Hamas should always be secondary, with Mr. Pollard’s plight being number 1. Lighting Chanukah candles on the White house lawn and eating kosher meals in the White House actually are lost opportunities to procure his release. Such decision and efforts will always work and we must act now.

There is more information at www.jonathanpollard.org, and a letter to him always will be appreciated.