Thursday, October 19, 2006



Today as Marallyn and I were having brunch - yes, we sometimes have brunch on days other than Fridays - we spoke about many things, as is our wont. While we love to gossip and talk shtuyot (silliness) - we also very often talk politics and world events.

And today - I can't remember just what it was that set me off - we discussed the Jonathan Pollard case. This evening, when I checked the TV section of the paper to see if there was anything worth watching - I noticed that there was a documentary on Channel 8 - my absolutely favorite channel because it is all documentaries - about Jonathan Pollard. Synchronicity? Coincidence? In any event I watched the program.

Now I am really angry. I have been angry for years about the way Pollard was railroaded - and have signed many petitions to that effect. All to no avail. And now, after watching the program I am convinced that he is in jail today only because he is a Jew and was spying for Israel. As Alan Dershowitz said - if he were an Egyptian spying for Egypt or a Pole spying for Poland he would not be in jail today.

Does anyone today even remember the Walker family spy case? The Walkers were an American Navy family. Several years ago they sold America's secrets to Russia - an enemy state - and got off with no more than the proverbial slap on the wrist.

Pollard wasn't selling secrets to an enemy state. He was providing Israel with information that the United States had promised to give to Israel - and didn't. Was he wrong to act as a spy? Of course. But did his "crime" call for life imprisionment? Of course not. A life sentence calls for a parole hearing after ten years. He was denied that. And was incarcerated under the harshest conditions imaginable.

According to the film, his spy-handler, Colonel Aviem Sella, left Anne Pollard sitting in a restaurant and got on the first plane out to Europe that night. Today Colonel Sella is personata-non-grata in the United States, as I understand it. Rafi Eitan, his spy-master? Got away scot-free.

But to my mind, the most culpable individual was Casper Weinberger. Just before Pollard's sentencing Weinberger wrote a memo to the presiding judge accusing Pollard of treason. Pollard was never accused of treason. That didn't even enter into the equation. I believe - and have always believed - that Casper Weinberger was a self-hating Jew and was getting back at all the Jews through Pollard. I also believe that it wasn't even Pollard he was angry with but someone else involved in the case whom he was getting back at. No proof - it's just a feeling and a belief.

However - more than being angry I am deeply ashamed. I am an American citizen - and am ashamed of America for allowing this travesty of justice to go on for more than twenty years. And I am an Israeli citizen - and ashamed of Israel for doing absolutely nothing to free Jonathan Pollard. Israel made Pollard an Israeli citizen and gave him an Israeli passport. Whooppe! Now what?

Israel has had many chances to bargain for Pollards release. He is still in prison. America has had many chances to right this wrong - after all, Weinberger has been dead for many years - let it go.

What else can be done? What else can we do?

Stay Safe.


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