Jonathan Pollard

Commentary by Dr. Gerhard Falk


Jonathan Pollard - the American Dreyfus


   In 1894 the French captain Alfred Dreyfus was convicted of selling French military secrets to Germany. This conviction was based on a series of lies designed to blame the Jew Dreyfus for a crime committed by another man who was not Jewish. The consequences of that wrongful conviction may be read in any history book or on this web site.

   In 1985 Jonathan Pollard, an employee of our American intelligence services, was arrested for giving Israel some military information concerning the chemical, nuclear and bacteriological programs developing in Iraq for the express purpose of destroying Israel.

   Now, the United States is signatory to a Convention of Reciprocity with Israel which obliges each country to deliver to the other any information threatening the security of the other. Despite this convention, our government did not inform Israel of this threat to its very existence. This placed Jonathan Pollard into a terrible bind. He knew of the threat by the Arabs to slaughter millions of Jews – again. He knew that if someone had done anything at all, the Holocaust would not have happened. He felt that he could not sit idly by and let another holocaust descend on the Jewish people. Yet, he knew that giving Israel the information they needed was illegal. Nevertheless, he handed the Israeli embassy the evidence of the Arab build-up and was promptly arrested for doing so.

   There was a precedent for the arrest of Pollard. Two Egyptian-Americans, Mr. and Mrs. Abder Kader Helmy, had participated in a scheme with others to illegally ship American missile technology to Egypt in 1988. That technology was later transferred to Iraq and used by Iraq to increase the range of its Scud B missiles. Helmy was convicted of this crime and served less than four years in prison.

    Yet, Pollard was sent to prison for life because Pollard is a Jew.

    Now there are those who will at once claim that the effort to ascribe Pollard’s sentence to religious bigotry is ridiculous since American Jews are not only not persecuted here but hold important government and civilian jobs, are elected to the House and the Senate, are CEOs of corporations and have an immense amount of education. Surely, we have nothing to fear from our government on grounds of our religion. How, then, can one interpret the barbaric sentence handed to Pollard as anti-Jewish?

   First, it is evident that our status as equal citizens in the economic and political institutions of this country cannot guarantee that everyone willingly accepts Jews as equal citizens. There are some true religious bigots in this country.

   Second, we see every day that the media, and most Democratic politicians, do not like Israel and seek its gradual, “salami tactic” type of destruction. These are the people who call Jews living in Judea “settlers” but never notice that Arabs have moved into Israel. These, like the Danish government, call Jews who defend themselves “war criminals” while finding nothing wrong with the slaughter of millions of innocent Jews by the Nazi killers in World War 2 and the present Arab killers who seek the mass murder of yet another 6 million Jews every day.

   This means that those who are no longer willing to express their religious hatred against Jews, lest they be identified with Nazi activities, substitute the word “Israel” for the word “Jews”. That substitution gives these haters the cover they think they need in assaulting the Jewish people. They use the idiot excuse that they ought not to be called “anti-semites” because they disagree with the political decisions of the government of Israel. Well, we don’t use the Nazi word “anti-semite” any more. We are not semites. We are Jews and those who seek to destroy Israel seek our destruction as well.

   Therefore it is evident that Jonathan Pollard was jailed for life, not because he handed Israel some unimportant papers, but because he and Israel are both Jewish.

   The Helmy conspiracy led to the delivery to Egypt and then Iraq of an extremely sensitive microwave telemetry antenna and a complete package needed to build a tactical missile system. But that’s o.k. The beneficiaries were not Jewish.

   Now we all know from only a cursory knowledge of Jewish history that our worst enemies have always been former Jews and the descendants of ex-Jews. This is understandable since the erstwhile Jews left us in the first place because they wanted to escape the stigma of Jew.  Therefore we are not surprised that the former secretary of Defense, Caspar Weinberger (not a Jew) became anxious to prove to the world that he is not a friend of Israel or the Jews by writing to the judge in the Pollard case that Pollard was guilty of treason. Of course Pollard had not committed treason. Treason consists of selling military secrets to an enemy for personal gain. Aldrich Ames did that, and so did several others. Pollard gained nothing nor did he damage the United States in any way. Ames caused the death of many American agents whose names became known to the Soviet government. Pollard caused no death.

   Further evidence that Pollard has been singled out because he is a Jew can be recognized when we consider that Jonathan Pollard was locked into solitary confinement for 5.5 years in Marion prison, a nightmare prison easily identified with the kind of human rights abuses we complain about when done by others. This camp houses a number of additional political prisoners such as the Indian leader Russell Means, whose “crime” consists of advocating the cause of his people.

   It ought to be recalled that Jonathan Pollard did not stand trial. He plead guilty to the charge of delivering information to a foreign government. He was never accused of treason. The plea bargain was to give Pollard the same chance as the Egyptian, Helmy. Yet, in Pollard’s case the plea bargain was not kept. The judge “threw the book” at Pollard because Pollard is a Jew.

   So now, write to your congressman and to the Senator you elected, the Hon. Hillary Clinton. She may have kissed Mrs. Arafat, but she did get a lot of Jewish support during her campaign.  Maybe she’ll kiss Mrs. Pollard too.

Shalom u’vracha.

Dr. Gerhard Falk is the author of Stigma:  How We Treat Outsiders (Prometheus Books, 2001) and over 60 other publications.


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