Jun 28, 2010

Pollard the Scumbag instead of Pollard the Hero

Eitan Haber in Ynetnews has an interesting analysis as to why Jonathan Pollard is still sitting in an American jail, and why it is likely that he will continue to do so until he dies.

He suggests that the reason is because we have made him into a hero and as a national icon who committed such a serious crime, they cannot release him.

And what do Israelis do? Our governments (mostly rightist governments, and rightist Israelis) turned Pollard into a national hero; a brother and savior, the greatest Jew of all. They granted him Israeli citizenship, created a lobby in parliament, and spoke about him at the Knesset and in the cabinet. Prime ministers and ministers (mostly from the Right) spoke wonders about Pollard, making him a national hero in Israel.

Well, the Americans entrusted with the Pollard issue are telling themselves, and also telling some Israelis: A despicable spy who harmed us and exposed our secrets is a national hero in your view? The Jewish God’s deputy? Okay, we’ll show you how it works! Your national hero (they don’t say it out loud, merely hint) will get out of here only on a stretcher, covered by a sheet.

“You’re unfair,” Israeli rightists tell the Americans. “Much more dangerous spies have already been released.”

“Indeed,” reply the Americans. “Yet they weren’t and will not be national heroes.”

The right path in the past 26 years should have been to present Pollard as small fry, a smalltime criminal, and a man who didn’t do anything significant. We should have explained the affair was “a mishap that will not be repeated.” Then, his fate would be the same as that of tens of thousands of criminals, including spies, who were released from prison in the last generation. We could have postponed the celebrations.

What do you think?


  1. I think Eitan Haber is is a s... (by the way, how do you use such language?) and a two-faced self-serving opportunist. By all accounts Pollard was run by Israelis who just left him out in the cold. Those Israelis have and had no compunctions about welcoming the fruits of the 'serious crime' when they got it from Pollard. That's what espionage is about. You don't arrest people who come upon information legitimately. Small fry or not, the government of Israel (and especially the Mapai-Labour establishment who Haber represents and loves) is responsible for the fate of Pollard. But of course Haber (נגמר לי המדינה) is really good at thinking everyone else is out of step and believing it as well.

  2. I've thought the same thing for a while. There is no way that the US Government can release a convicted spy and hours later see him get a heroes welcome and carried on the sholders of jubilant supporters.

    Similarly, every time that Gilad Shalit's picture is on the front page of the Israeli press and there is a demonstration in support of him, it prooves to Hamas that this guy is super important to the Israelis and the price goes up.

    The problem is that the alternative, to act as if Polard of Gilad are of little importance to us would be immoral and could also backfire.

    Damned if you do and damned if you don't

  3. this is what someone recently told me:

    Jonathan Pollard had gone to his superiors to ask why certain classified documents were not made available to Israel as per a recent agreement signed between the two countries.

    When he was told to 'shut up', he decided to contact Israel on his own.

    Jonathan Pollard handed over info to Israel that they were SUPPOSED to receive but were not granted access to.

  4. This is a very old opinion. Some of the biggest Pollard advocates have said this - and gotten subsequently slandered for it. But it isn't "Pollard the scumbag" or "Pollard isn't important" - rather "Pollard is sorry" and "Pollard's actions weren't justifiable (fingers crossed behind back)"

    The fact that the more vocal Pollard camp - which includes his second wife who married him while already in prison, yet excludes his blood relatives - leads the demonstrations shouting that he is a hero, has made quieter negotiations of contrition impossible for many, many years.

  5. Earn money from home...June 29, 2010 11:47 AM

    Thank you arm chair quarterbacks for speaking. All of the arguments, plus the silly missive from Haber, are meaningless. There is a clear injustice in the case where the mean sentence is 2-4 years--and not life. He should be out of jail, today. Period.


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