Twitter Facebook Print PDF   |   ... more



A Matter of Priority - The Jonathan Pollard Case

[Hamodia]

Summary ... US Jewish leaders blew it recently when what was a rare opportunity to ask the US president face-to-face to release Jonathan Pollard, they didn't even consider the matter as being a priority.

When President Obama held back-to-back meetings with leaders of major Jewish organizations and Jewish supporters — including major political contributors — it would have been the perfect opportunity for them to plead with the president about something that ought to have been at the very top of the list of priorities.

Tragically, it wasn't.

After the meetings, it became apparent that not a single one of the more than 30 Jewish individuals present at the meetings rose to the occasion. The president had invited them to the White House in order to try to alleviate the deeply rooted concerns within the Jewish community about the deal with Iran, and to convince them that he values his relationship with American Jewry and shares their concerns about the safety of Israel and the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran.

We can only imagine what would have occurred had these organizational leaders and advocates decided to use the rare opportunity of a face-to-face meeting with the president to actually do something important and meaningful.

We can only imagine the enormous unity that would have occurred had they responded by saying: "Mr. President, since you are seeking to assure us all that you are sensitive to our concerns and truly dedicated to having a strong and productive relationship with both American Jewry and the people of Israel, we ask you to make a concrete gesture to this effect.

"Mr. President, the best assurance that Israel and the American Jewish community are indeed protected and favorably considered by your administration is the dispensation of equal justice. Don't just tell us you care. Please, show us. End the travesty of justice perpetrated on an Israeli agent who has been sitting in an American prison for a grossly disproportionate 30 years, with no respite. Release Jonathan Pollard and send him home to Israel. That will reassure us more than all the fine words and expressions of solidarity that we are hearing now. Thank you, Mr. President."

We will never know what the president's response would have been, since, sadly, that request wasn't made. What we do know is that a perfect opportunity for a significant act of hishtadlus for pidyon shevuyim was missed.

Jonathan Pollard
Jonathan Pollard
For the past few years, the Bureau of Prisons had indicated a "30-year mandatory release date" of November 2015 for Pollard. However, in a recent written communication, the Parole Commission blatantly indicated to Jonathan that this date isn't automatic, and there is every likelihood that they will insist he serve 45 years to natural life, Rachmana litzlan.

In the coming months, the U.S. government will lay down its final position on whether it will finally relent and grant him parole. Therefore, the next weeks and months are vital in the effort to obtain his release.

As readers of Hamodia are well aware, it is now clear to every intelligent observer that the reason Jonathan is still in prison isn't because of what he did three decades ago. No one else who did what he did has served anything near the term that Jonathan already has. [Klaus Fuchs, who sold valuable, important atomic bomb secrets to the Russians, — allowing them to finally create their own bombs — was only given a 14 year sentence, which was later reduced to nine years. He is considered by many to be one of the most dangerous spies in world history—ed] He [Jonathan] is still in jail because of who he is and whom he tried to help.

In every generation, it was our willingness to be moser nefesh on behalf of our brethren that earned us the respect of governments the world over. It seems almost inconceivable that a people — which on numerous occasions, through the strength of unity and determination rescued Jews from the claws of vicious dictatorships — should lose its courage and remain silent when it comes to ending a travesty being perpetrated by a malchus shel chessed.

We are privileged to live in a democracy, where we are expected to speak up against acts of injustice, especially one of such magnitude. Those who prefer to sweep the tragic saga of Jonathan Pollard under the political rug are essentially making a mockery of the Jewish people in the eyes of the nations.

With the exception of the handful of individuals who have worked tirelessly on Jonathan's behalf for many years, all of us are at fault for what happened last week in the White House. For far too long, we as a community have largely remained silent while this sacred mitzvah of pidyon shevuyim has been relegated to the back burner for the sake of political correctness.

The day will come that each and every one of us will be asked: A Jew named Yehonoson ben Malka sat in an American prison because he was a Jew. What did you do to help him see the light of freedom?

At that moment of truth, no excuses will be accepted.

As Jews, we are cognizant of the fact that ultimately we will be judged not by our successes but by how hard we tried. It is imperative that all of us do our part to end this terrible injustice and obtain freedom for one of our own. We must not only extensively lobby every elected official who can possibly sway the president, but must also place pressure on the leadership of Jewish organizations and make it clear that the sacred obligation of pidyon shevuyim for Jonathan Pollard must be at the very top of their priority list.

[Emphasis and image added] [You can write to Jonathan Pollard at: Jonathan Pollard, #09185-016, c/o FCI Butner, P.O. Box 1000, Butner, NC 27509-1000; You can also visit the website set-up for him, which includes the facts of the case and other important materials.—ed]

[ Published: April 22, 2015 ]



Keep current with these articles

Sign up to receive free e-mail alerts.

  

Need to find additional information?



In Depth Analysis

The Real Goal of the 'Palestinian' Intifada

PA/PLO leader Abbas seems intentionally to ignore that he and his PA/PLO are responsible for the violence, as a result of their daily incitement against Israel. A recent poll found that approximately half of 'Palestinians' believe the "Intifada" should lead to the destruction of Israel.

The Hidden Hand Behind the Palestinian Terror Wave

What is really going on behind the scenes of the current terrorist attacks? It's actually a lot more than what is seen on a daily basis. Hamas is fighting to take control of the PA/PLO while Fatah is doing its best to stay in power and get Gaza back under its control.

'Ancient Arab Susiya' - The Town That Never Was

The Palestinian Authority is a master at inventing history. Arabs claim they have been in Susiya long before Jews although evidence proves the contrary. The tactic is conquering the southern Hevron Hills.

Emet Blog

The "Spontaneous" Intifada Is Orchestrated by the Palestinian Leadership

The Arab leadership is attempting to portray the current Intifada as a kind of popular, spontaneous struggle that expresses the population's despair over the political situation. In reality, it is an Intifada supported and directed by the Arab leadership of the PA/PLO-Fatah and Hamas.

Uncomfortable Questions for Comfortable Jews: The Temple Mount

Rabbi Meir Kahane points out that, contrary to popular belief, the Temple Mount is in Arab hands, the cunning Arab foxes. And the words of Motta Gur ring hollowly — and it is the Jews who are to blame. They took a miracle and disdained it. They, who took holiness and profaned it. They who were given a Zion, a Jerusalem, Temple Mount — gave it over to the jackal-foxes.

Marie Harf and the Washington Post Lied About Israeli Support for Iran Deal

Some of you may have seen the tweet by former State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf, and the underlying article from the Washington Post, last week. There's one small problem: Harf and the Washington Post lied.

Views/Commentary

A Matter of Priority - The Jonathan Pollard Case

US Jewish leaders blew it recently when what was a rare opportunity to ask the US president face-to-face to release Jonathan Pollard, they didn't even consider the matter as being a priority.

Obama Declares War on Israel

Obama needs to wake up. The real enemy is not Netanyahu. The real enemy is Iran, Hizb'Allah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Islamic State, and the establishment of a terrorist state in the midst of Israel.

Could Barak Obama Swing the Upcoming Israeli Election?

It's no state secret that US President Barack Obama is not a huge fan of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. His distain for the Jewish leader is well-known throughout the world; he's never tried to hide it. But now that Israel is having new elections in March does it mean Obama could, either directly or indirectly, influence the elections in Israel in order to obtain a defeat for Netanyahu?