There is no better example of “taking the key and throwing it away” than the way we deserted Jonathan Pollard. Most all of us at least. Pollard admitted pying for Israel. He has been in top security American prison since 1986.
Three months ago, following a long sting operation by the FBI, ten Russians were charged spying for Russia in the United States. They were quickly ushered out of the country in some secret handshake with Russia. Their days in prison is few to none.
Was it Russia’s strength (“do not mess with us”) or something the United States wanted in return the reason to close both eyes?
Jonathan Pollard was not lucky. He managed to anger silent powers most likely in the State Department that vowed revenge that lasts a lifetime.
Is spy versus spy not a good old boys’ club after all? Should the punishment not fit the crime? Can one equate Israel, a friend of the United States with Wikileaks or Russia, still the United State’s greatest unacknowledged enemy?
Something about Jonathan Pollard and Israel made many angry in Washington. So angry in fact that the mere idea of a gesture of good will is taboo. It is disallowed even to be raised in discussion in the appropriate circles. This environment has not changed for the past 25 years.
Thus, it was political suicide for four members of the House of Representatives to circulate a letter, just three weeks before the mid-term elections, calling for other members to join them by signing a letter to President Obama urging him to LET POLLARD GO.
The President has often been compared to the Pharaoh who arose and did not know Joseph. Modern-era Pharaoh has done everything to appease the Muslims,at home and abroad. Israelis have felt the wrath of a President who has little patience with Israel’s stubbornness and continued will to exist.
Why would the President, from the lofty elevation of the White House, even consider a call by members of Congress?
They singlehandedly managed to galvanize the Jews behind their call. A chorus of discarded, disjointed and opposing voices is suddenly signing in unison sounding like a united front.
The group of four set the pace for powerhouses Howard Berman and Brad Sherman, both from California, and for Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, California Senators, to follow suit. But the latter four are seasoned politicians who care more about their own self and political survivability under President Obama than Israel. They are after all, the “old guard.” Jewish “money” still entices and directs their actions.
Who will join Frank, Pascrell Jr., Towns and Weiner? Should anyone join them? The four are not disputing that Pollard has betrayed the United States. They ask for clemency since Lady Justice is blind and applies her rules even handedly. Why Russia and China and not Israel. Is the sin more egregious when committed by a friend?
The true miracle is that four members of Congress have managed singlehandedly to achieve what even an Act of Congress cannot do which unite the Jews behind a single cause.
Jonathan Pollard rotting in an American jail is America’s insistence on making punishing him an example. Examples do not work well in politics, only in real life. In politics everything is fluid, up for sale – for the right price.
Somebody at the State Department confused the inability of the U.S. to fight Al Qaeda, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan and terrorism at large with Jonathan Pollard.
Impotence can be camouflaged by hatred, anger, outwardly weird behavior, but alas, the real reason may be treatable.
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(c) “Postcards from Israel-Postcards from America,” October, 2010