Pondering Jonathan Pollard’s Release

3 Aug

 

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No more confusing mind games are played by sovereign states than in the context of ‘espionage,’ ‘treason,’ and the work of the professional spy. All important governments seek secret knowledge of what other governments and their leaders are doing and planning, and it matters little whether these governments are allies or adversaries, especially with respect to espionage. Espionage is the unseemly twin of secrecy, and national security is becoming ever more dependent on a country keeping its own secrets while learning those of others. In the amoral world of global espionage there are shockingly surprising cooperative liaisons, and bargains worked out behind closest doors even with the direst of enemies. Treason (and patriotism) are closely related to the ethos of espionage, and exhibit the politically correct subservience of individual conscience to the security policies of the state.

 

Edward Snowden’s massive disclosures were confusing in this respect as he disclosed secrets about what amounted to acts of de facto espionage carried out by the government against American citizens, as well as others. In effect, the surveillance apparatus of the U.S. Government was abolishing the distinction between ‘self’ and ‘other’ or ‘friend’ and ‘enemy’ in world politics. For some, this made Snowden a traitor guilty of treason because he disclosed to the world some premium national security secrets of his own government. For others, Snowden was a hero as he acted benevolently, sacrificing his personal wellbeing, career, and safety to warn the publics of the world, but above all the American public, that the government was abusing its powers in fundamental ways, threatening to privacy and the very fabric of democracy. Snowden acted from the belief that expectations of trust and privacy should be the first principle of a functioning constitutional democracy as the United States purports to be. This does not mean that security claims can never be given precedence, but that their scope should be constrained by strong evidence justifying specific actions, and that meta-data consisting of indiscriminate and totalizing forms of surveillance are fundamental threats to republican commitments to constrain government in state/society relations.

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The latest example of this confusing and contradictory optic that pertains to the work of a spy is illustrated by the controversy swirling around the scheduled release on November 20th of Jonathan Pollard who has been in prison since being convicted of espionage on behalf of Israel 30 years ago. As with Snowden, there are many liberals, and even some on the left, in the intelligence community, and among anti-Israelis who view the decision to release Pollard as setting a horrible precedent. The argument being made is that if Pollard had not been a Jewish-American ardent Zionist with ties to Israel he would have been sentenced to death as a traitor, and such a punishment would be deserved given the secrets he passed to Israel. Others point out that Pollard had become a bargaining chip in relations between Israel and the United States, and that his release was an expression of cynical geopolitics, a way of softening the anger in Tel Aviv associated with the Iran Nuclear Agreement that is viewed by Israel, both its leaders and most of its public as a dangerously imprudent initiative.

 

James North and Philip Weiss question the release from the treason angle. They contend that Pollard’s release is dubious because he provided Israel with information during the Cold War that allegedly was then likely traded to the Soviet Union (reportedly in exchange for allowing Jews to emigrate) that might have disclosed information to Moscow that exposed American agents to death or capture.[“MSM avoids central Pollard question: Did Israel trade secrets with Soviets for emigres?” Mondoweiss, July 30, 2015] For this reason, the crimes of Pollard cannot be excused or mitigated as acts of conscience to protect Israel from threats associated with undisclosed activities in hostile Arab neighbors, and his parole is rendered as problematic. It is never made clear in this line of reasoning whether Pollard was privy to such secondary uses made of his work as a spy in the pay of Israel, and whether that should make any difference in assessing the case for parole. Parole should be granted or withheld based on the behavior of a convicted person during his time in prison and the degree to which his release might produce further harm to society.

 

There is a question underlying this debate about the relationship between conscience and national identity. Is obedience to the laws of the state of residence and nationality the highest claim on behavior? I believe that a principled and reasonable disregard for national law could morally and politically justify acts of espionage of the sort that Pollard was alleged to have committed, including a genuine dedication to the promotion of the opportunity for Soviet Jews to emigrate to Israel. Apparently, conscience was not the main motivator for Pollard, and for this reason alone, he does pose a threat to society more serious than being one among thousands of rogue espionage entrepreneurs that pass secrets back and forth around the world as a matter of profession or for the sake of adventure and material gain. As such, whether Pollard is released or not is more a matter of public empathy than a question of whether or not his crime was such as to make his release either overdue or unacceptable.

 

Those who endorse Pollard’s release most enthusiastically are mainly drawn from the ranks of those who identify unconditionally with Israel, contending that he has already suffered too much, considering that he was acting on the basis of his Zionist conscience to provide Israel with highly classified intelligence information that it was supposedly, in any event entitled to receive from the U.S. Government according to a memorandum of understanding between the two governments. Beyond this, the claim being made by supporters is that Pollard has served already a disproportionately long prison sentence considering that his acts of espionage were on behalf of a government that was a friend and ally of the United States, and besides, that he has serious health issues that make his release justifiable on humanitarian grounds alone, especially given his age and harmlessness. Whatever knowledge Pollard may have had about U.S. secrets is 30 years old, and presumably worthless, making it purely vindictive to continue his imprisonment or impose strong conditions on his release. For Israel, Pollard became over the years a high profile symbolic hero (second only to the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit) whose release was avidly sought on a priority basis by a string of prominent leaders including Yitzhak Shamir, Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, and Benjamin Netanyahu. It seems that the Israeli government wanted to show the depth of its commitment to someone whose liberty was lost because he acted to uphold Israeli security interests.

 

As a matter of public relations, Pollard’s release is being portrayed as an act of good will by the U.S. Government and as a routine exercise of discretion by parole authorities in a context where no convincing rationale exists for extending Pollard’s time in jail. Such a stance is opposed by some former top-ranked security officials, including Donald Rumsfeld, who contend that Pollard still has information that could damage U.S. security interests. In this regard, such right-wing critics of Pollard’s release claim that he possesses ‘a photographic memory,’ and thus continues to pose a threat to American security interests, surely vindictiveness disguised as paranoid patriotism.

 

Behind this argument about espionage, treason, loyalty, and parole is the strange person of Jonathan Pollard whose life as a master spy remains an enigma of multiple dimensions. Pollard would be a good model for an inverted 20th century version of Dostoyeski’s ‘underground man,’ living a lavish life style by reliance on dark and devious undertakings. It seems a no-brainer that Pollard should never have been hired as an intelligence analyst. His application for employment had been rejected by the CIA, apparently because of the numerous instabilities uncovered in his private life. Yet he was later inexplicably hired by U.S. Naval Intelligence despite the organization having reliable information that Pollard was a drug-using loose cannon whose multiple lies distorting his past were detected by a polygraph test. Although the facts are contested, it is well established that Pollard was a Zionist true believer drawn to the Israeli experience since his childhood. As a young adult he became a mercenary and mercurial spy in Israel’s pay. He actively sought, in collaboration with his first wife, to sell secret information to South Africa and even Pakistan as well as to Israel, partly to deal with private financial troubles that included heavy indebtedness. His behavior while serving as a U.S. Government employee seemed altogether bizarre, including his undisguised and careless seizure for private use of large quantities of highly classified materials outside his area of responsibility. He even had trouble convincing Israel, at first, that he could be trusted to provide useful information without detection, but after finally succeeding in gaining Tel Aviv’s confidence, was paid significant sums during his rather short career as a spy.

Nevertheless, in 1985 when Pollard was on the verge of being apprehended in the United States on spying allegations, he sought refuge in Israel’s Embassy in Washington. Israel embassy guards turned Pollard away, evidently not wanting Israel to be tarnished by their association with him. After leaving the embassy he was immediately arrested by U.S. enforcement officers waiting on the periphery. In keeping with this posture, Israel at first denied any involvement with Pollard, then in 1987 issued an apology to the U.S. Government for receiving information from Pollard. Israel only conceded the professional espionage relationship with Pollard in 1998. Perhaps, this earlier failure to protect someone on their payroll as a spy, explains Israel’s later full court press to gain Pollard’s release.

 

In my view, releasing Pollard is the proper course of action, not because of Israeli pressures, but despite them. President Obama tried to portray the release as a law enforcement issue, nothing more, nothing less. Because of the suspicious timing given the tensions associated with the Iran diplomacy and the resulting inflamed domestic political context, this effort to downplay the release did not gain traction. Pollard served long enough for the crimes that he committed, poses no credible threat to the security of any country, and behaved well as a prisoner. To deny parole for another 15 years would be unconscionable given these conditions, or even to condition its grant on forcing Pollard to remain in the United States appears vindicative.

 

In my view, espionage has long been one way clever people make a living, assuming the risks of detection and hypocrisies associated with criminalization of the activity. It is certainly within the prerogatives of the sovereign state to criminalize the improper use of the knowledge acquired in the course of public employment in an espionage capacity. What Pollard did was surely a breach of contract and trust that breaks national criminal law. Yet espionage may be morally and politically justified (and may be even imperative) in exceptional circumstances where truth-telling and whistle blowing serves as a safety valve against abusive forms of state secrecy and a variety of political dangers posed by government policies.

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In this regard, it is illuminating to contrast Israel’s belated solidarity with Pollard to its determined hostility to Mordechai Vanunu, the Israeli employee at the Dimona nuclear facility who confirmed for the world that Israel had secretly developed nuclear weapons. Vanunu was made by Israel to pay a high price for his public service (compounded by his conversion to Christianity), spending 18 years in prison (11 in solitary confinement), and then upon release being put under a series of punitive constraints that have included several instance of brief reimprisonment for violating conditions of his release. In my view, Vanunu belongs on the same honor roll as Edward Snowden and Daniel Ellsberg who revealed state secrets that served the cause of national wellbeing and were also of benefit to humanity as a whole. Ellsberg has called Vanunu “the preeminent hero of the nuclear era.”

 

Pollard does not belong in this company. He seems more like an unstable and rogue opportunist than a self-sacrificing idealist even if his behavior is evaluated from an Israeli Zionist perspective. Perhaps, Pollard will partially redeem himself, and his legacy, by writing an honest memoir that unravels his mixed motives, tangled pre-prison life, and search for redemption. He seems to harbor no resentment against Israel for their refusal to give him sanctuary within their embassy back in 1985. On the contrary, while in prison he married an Israeli woman associated with the far right, seeks to be repatriated to Israel where he was awarded citizenship, and has expressed gratitude for those in the Israeli government who struggled for his release. Given Pollard’s past, it would not be surprising if he tells his story wrapped in an Israeli flag.

 

Those who criticize Pollard’s release on patriotic grounds, contending that his information helped an enemy (Soviet Union) or hurt the United States, are prioritizing loyalty to the state over competing considerations that could motivate such behavior. The ethos of treason as a high crime is the apotheosis of statist absolutism, overriding the exposure of the most extreme state crimes, for example, disclosing plans of a contemplated war of aggression initiated by a first strike with nuclear weapons. Calling Snowden or Vanunu ‘traitors’ is a perversion of moral principle, condemning those whose public acts deserve praise and protection given their nature. Not all disclosures of state secrets should be treated as expressions of civic virtue. Disclosures that violate the law to be justifiable must be deemed as sincere acts of public conscience that appear reasonable based on surrounding circumstances.

 

Loyalty to the state continues to be the north star of conventional patriotism. For the citizen pilgrim solidarity with an emergent eco-humanist insurgency is the keystone of 21st century political community and ethical responsibility deserving precedence when in conflict with nationalist and tribal affinities.

26 Responses to “Pondering Jonathan Pollard’s Release”

  1. rehmat1 August 3, 2015 at 9:22 am #

    Not to give some Israeli propagandist a chance to call me a “Jew hater” – I will simply quote Justin Raimondo: Keep Pollard in Jail and throw away the keys.

    YNet Op-Ed on December 10, 2014: “Pollard remains in prison and the Americans learned that Netanyahu is made of elastic material which one cannot rely on. He can be bent, but he quickly folds back to the opposite direction.”

    http://rehmat1.com/2015/07/28/netanyahu-pollard-and-the-deal/

    • Richard Falk August 3, 2015 at 9:57 am #

      Kata:

      These comments are not relevant to the discussion appropriate for the post under consideration.
      The fact that you have these thoughts is fine, but they need to find a different outlet.

      • Kata Fisher August 3, 2015 at 10:06 am #

        Different world-view?

        Ok – good luck!

      • Richard Falk August 3, 2015 at 10:19 am #

        It is not a different worldview, although maybe that too, but making connections
        clear enough that a normal reader can tell why you are submitting such a comment
        in the context of this blog.

      • Kata Fisher August 3, 2015 at 10:49 am #

        But I already did that. I made a note to the post, and I made another note that was revenant to the context of the first note.

        I simply made a note because I had nothing primarily and direct to say to the post but secondary direct to the post.

        I pulled my conclusions from previous learning (within the note that I made conclusions) and I also just brainstorming and wrote on that part.

        But that is fine. I think it is better that is off because I feel is a bit too much revealing even to me.

        After I had written I was thinking on it because it I was almost like a difficult doctrine, even for me.

      • Kata Fisher August 4, 2015 at 9:50 am #

        Also, this article is good for the note that is off (the first one and just a specific part of the note).

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-zuesse/jimmy-carter-is-correct-t_b_7922788.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592

      • LOLGAL September 1, 2015 at 3:19 pm #

        How dare you, he is suffering from cruel and unusual punishment, but you use him as a proxy for your Israel hatred. Since you’re not in the United Nations anymore, and you can’t make Israel suffer anymore, you try to make Jonathan Pollard, who spied for Israel out of moral conviction, suffer. Besides you hate Israel, why can’t you use Israel’s cruel and callous abandonment of him to your advantage and portray Israel as an ungrateful nation, terrible at even the art of being grateful, and wronging even their helpers. Jonathan Pollard did not commit treason, since Israel is the U.S’s ally. Nobody should believe you-or me for that matter-as an unbiased source, since you’re anti Israel, and I’m pro Israel! One of the FEW things we have in common, is that we both hate Shimon Peres, and that’s for different reasons! Jonathan Pollard never even had a trial, his plea bargain was violated. If you were in his place, say you spied for Saudi Arabia, and they gave you life, would you want us to ignore your plight just because we like Israel? No you wouldn’t. Is torture not torture when the prisoner is a jew?

      • Richard Falk September 2, 2015 at 7:03 am #

        If you read to the end you would have seen that I supported Pollard’s release, and
        to accuse of ‘hatred’ of Israel is again to misread me. I am critical of Israel’s
        behavior toward the Palestinians, but have no hostile feelings toward the state as such.

      • Kata Fisher September 2, 2015 at 7:31 pm #

        Dear Professor Falk,

        I know that you will write some poetry because you told me that you will do it.

        You should also enjoy some chilled fruit smoothies while the Summer is going on.

      • Kata Fisher September 2, 2015 at 7:30 pm #

        I do not know why bother to responding to the sorcery of laypeople’s nonsense. It’s just exhausting! (Laughter)

        Lolgirl enjoys herself in outrageous sorcery – otherwise she is blind to her condition.

        one can lack girl-diversity ” ‘he, he, he'”

        “Devil is great manipulator and deceiver – he has nothing that belongs to him, he only twists that what belongs to God. He twists everything upside down. He has his communion, as well, – and all his goods are in the theft” a priest told me that.

        Just hearing that I felt Spirit of God crushing me like a Stone – and I was about to faint! But it was no of “lord’t-god”

        Now, now – don’t you go crazy-girl about that.

  2. eileenflemingbooks August 3, 2015 at 10:25 am #

    Pollard’s spying resulted in the loss of lives of U.S. intelligence agents.

    Snowden made some of the most important revelations in modern history about the covert operations conducted by USA intelligence agencies. Because he was charged under the Espionage Act of 1917, Snowden might not even be able to defend his case if he returned to the USA.

    Before Mossad clubbed, drugged, gagged, bound and transported Vanunu from Rome to Israel by boat [in 1986] Nuclear Physicist Frank Barnaby, interviewed him for three days and testified at Vanunu’s closed-door trial:

    “I found Vanunu very straightforward about his motives for violating Israel’s secrecy laws he explained to me that he believed that both the Israeli and the world public had the right to know about the information he passed on. He seemed to me to be acting ideologically.

    “Israel’s political leaders have, he said, consistently lied about Israel’s nuclear-weapons programme and he found this unacceptable in a democracy. The knowledge that Vanunu had about Israel’s nuclear weapons, about the operations at Dimona, and about security at Dimona could not be of any use to anyone today. He left Dimona in October 1985.”

    In 2005, I was just an American writer in Jerusalem when I met Vanunu and became a reporter because he told me:

    “Did you know President Kennedy tried to stop Israel from building atomic weapons? In 1963, he forced Prime Minister Ben Guirion to admit the Dimona was not a textile plant, as the sign outside proclaimed, but a nuclear plant. The Prime Minister said, ‘The nuclear reactor is only for peace.’

    “Kennedy insisted on an open internal inspection. He wrote letters demanding that Ben-Gurion open up the Dimona for inspection.

    “When Johnson became president, he made an agreement with Israel that two senators would come every year to inspect. Before the senators would visit, the Israelis would build a wall to block the underground elevators and stairways. From 1963 to ’69, the senators came, but they never knew about the wall that hid the rest of the Dimona from them.

    “Nixon stopped the inspections and agreed to ignore the situation. As a result, Israel increased production. In 1986, there were over two hundred bombs. Today, they may have enough plutonium for ten bombs a year.”

    Eileen Fleming, Senior Non-Arab Correspondent for USA’s TheArabDailyNews

    • Richard Falk August 3, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

      Thanks for very valuable comment, especially on the Vanunu role. I had been asked to be an expert witness on his behalf, but when
      arriving in Jerusalem at the military trial, was told that my testimony would not be permitted. I was to testify that in a situation
      of this sort Vanunu had a right, and possibly an obligation, to disclose what he reasonably believed to be a violation of international
      law (what I called ‘the Nuremberg Obligation’); I met Vanunu in the courtroom, and we talked briefly.
      On Pollard, you are right to point out the possibility that American lives were put at risk, but there is no evidence, as far as I know,
      that Pollard was aware of this, or should have been. It would seem that this use of materials obtained from Pollard was primarily the
      responsibility of Israel, and if lives were endangered or lost, then the USG should have expressed strong objections at the very least.
      This would be totally unacceptable behavior by an ally.

    • Laurie Knightly August 3, 2015 at 6:32 pm #

      Something happened, however, after Kennedy initially got tough with Israel concerning their nuclear bomb and devoted French partner. Kennedy ended the weapons embargo that both Truman and Eisenhower had placed on Israel. Subsequently, Kennedy created a strong unending US/Israel military alliance, praised by AIPAC, and proceeded to give some of those smarmy speeches of praise and devotion/loyalty to Israel. Rumors abound as to the threat against him by Israel but probably never proven. Then Cuba/Russia crisis followed by his assassination.

  3. dickerson3870 August 3, 2015 at 3:04 pm #

    RE: “To deny parole for another 15 years would be unconscionable given these conditions, or even to condition its grant on forcing Pollard to remain in the United States appears vindictive.” ~ Falk

    MY COMMENT: Call me vindictive, but I believe Pollard should be forced to remain in the US as long as Vanunu is forced to remain in Israel!

    • Richard Falk August 3, 2015 at 9:56 pm #

      I understand your point, and it has a certain appeal, but do we really want to support this
      kind of imitation of Israel’s outrageous treatment of Vanunu by making Pollard suffer? I suppose
      you could argue that if Israel wants Pollard’s release badly enough then they would free Vanunu..

      • dickerson3870 August 4, 2015 at 11:32 pm #

        RE: “but do we really want to support this kind of imitation of Israel’s outrageous treatment of Vanunu” ~ Falk

        MY REPLY: That’s a valid point. It’s sort of a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation.

      • Richard Falk August 5, 2015 at 2:01 am #

        I see your point. It is possible to argue validly from either the angle that Pollard should not suffer
        due to Israel’s unacceptable treatment of Vanunu or that Pollard can be made into a bargaining chip with
        respect to Vanunu because Pollard identified so closely with the state interests of Israel. I think that I
        would conclude by saying that given the outrageous abuse of Vanunu then the US should have conditioned P’s
        release on V’s right to leave Israel. Of course, this is beyond the bounds of reasonable speculation as the USG
        undoubtedly approves of Israel’s treatment of Vanunu.

  4. rehmat1 August 4, 2015 at 6:07 am #

    In 1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed as TRAITORS for passing US nuclear secrets to Soviet Russia – not for money but for communist ideology. Pollard didn’t receive a similar treatment because he is a Zionist Jew and an Israeli agent – you know America’s most trusted ally in the world and the “only democracy in the Middle East”.

    Here is a ‘million dollars question” – Why both John Kerry and Pope Francis got released Alan Gross from Cuban jail, who was convicted for anti-Castro regime activities on behalf of CIA?

    The answer came from R.M. Schneiderman, editor Newsweek: “The single biggest reason Barack Obama cannot make peace with Cuba – is Alan Gross.”

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/12/18/jew-spy-opens-door-to-us-cuba-friendship/

  5. Laurie Knightly August 4, 2015 at 9:27 am #

    The Pollard issue is another example of when we have egregious gaps in information without realizing it. Learning more about Pollard the man, and more about the case itself, has altered my perceptions considerably. It appears that most of the evidence was/is secret, which compounds the dilemma. No trial but a plea deal by request of both the US and Israel? It appears that I’m now in a position of neutrality on the matter – 30 years is a very long time so he has been punished. Reading some of the counter arguments for a life sentence also proved convincing. There evolved, moreover, in this study even more reasons to separate Snowden, Vanunu et al from admissible comparison to this case.

    The best part is that I’m once more motivated to better inform myself concerning a matter of vital interest. The points that I will raise in discussion and the questions I ask of other discussants will be favorably affected once again. Keep it coming, professor.

  6. Karin Brothers August 4, 2015 at 8:55 pm #

    Dear Professor Falk (I hope this reaches you!); We met some years ago when you visited first Ottawa (Group of 78) followed by Toronto for the James Graff Memorial talk (I was an organizer and you stayed very briefly at our house.) I have been very grateful for the leadership role you have taken on Israel/Palestine and now on this Pollard case. Your taking an initiative on BDS was terrific and it was so useful being able to quote you are the UN Special Rapporteur. I appreciate the position you are taking on Alison Weir (one has to wonder if “JVP” hasn’t been infiltrated, for the division this is causing in the solidarity movement); and you have changed my mind on the Pollard case.

    I do have a self-serving question of you, because I recently wrote an article on the Bookkeeper of Auschwitz verdict, in which my conclusion was pulled from the published article on globalresearch.org. I took the German guilty verdict to be based on a principle that membership in state institutions could be criminalized if the institutions were involved largely in crimes against humanity. While the case was about a bookkeeper at Auschwitz who was employed by the SS, it seems to me that such a principle might be applied in the future to the IDF — or at the very least, elite units. But I would think, given that IDF veteran Oren Medicks once claimed that c.95% of the IDF is directly or indirectly involved in war crimes, that at some future point in the distant future, membership in the IDF should be criminalized if the verdict stands on appeal and is more broadly accepted.

    Thanks for your positions, such as this Pollard article. I would not have changed my opinion for anyone else but you.

    Karin Brothers

    Donate to the ACT Appeal for Gaza and the West Bank and receive charitable tax receipts from the United Church of Canada: https://www.gifttool.com/donations/Donate?ID=1955&AID=2274&PID=4380

  7. Laurie Knightly August 5, 2015 at 3:15 pm #

    On my own further pondering regarding Pollard, I am changing my position from neutral to release. I reviewed the cases of espionage against Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen and they are more likely candidates for a connection to the list of American spys having been given/sold to Russia and causing the US deaths – or so claimed. If there is any doubt, and there is considerable, then Pollard’s case is changed significantly.

    And a reminder of the prisoners being held without charges by the US at Guantanamo and sites elsewhere. Israel favors this practice as well. To be held indefinitely without charge, and refused release because you might become a terrorist is – well, ah………

    • Robyn October 11, 2015 at 5:18 pm #

      As a pro Israel reader, I am shocked by this article, the last time I criticized, I didn’t really read the article, and I was assuming things, and jumping to conclusion! It is more balanced then I expected! Please tell me more about Vanneu, I hear from what I normally read that he is a traitor, what is your perspective, Mr. Falk! The U.N watch site calls you an anti Semite and unbalanced! Everyone is unbalanced in some way, you and I are unbalanced too! What do you think about their criticism! The Pollard case is one where I am outraged at both Israel and America! Israel betrayed Pollard, and gave the files to prosecute him, they gave him a lawyer, who defended this case terribly, and they rejected his plea for being a Prisoner of Zion! Note that I am also a liberal, who is hoping that Shaker Aamar is actually being released, and that it isn’t just a cruel joke! Pollard has pretty much been treated like garbage by Israel! They really give no effort, if they did, he would be free by now! When they made an effort for Marc Rich, he was freed! I am trying, now to learn both sides of the Israel debate!

      • Robyn October 11, 2015 at 5:23 pm #

        Sorry for what I said last time. It’s just that my sources say that you despise the Jewish state! Then again, most of the time, I read pro Israel sources!

      • Richard Falk October 11, 2015 at 9:53 pm #

        What you say about the Pollard case is reasonable, although there is considerable controversy surrounding
        his motivations that bears on whether, and to what extent, he deserves sympathy. Israel did not try hard for
        many years because unlike other cases it did not want to expose its complicity. It was easier to ignore Pollard.

        As to my views, I favor a just and fair peace for both peoples, but do not believe that Israel has pursued such
        a goal, at least not since the assassination of Rabin. The expansion of settlements on occupied Palestine was a
        clear expression of an Israeli intention to encroach upon the 22% of the territory of historic Palestine that was
        still available for a Palestinian state, corresponding to what the PLO said in 1988 would be acceptable as the basis
        of peace. The wall, roads, and the changes promoted in East Jerusalem complete this picture of Israel’s approach, which
        is to impose a unilateral solution of its own devising.

        Of course, I am not an anti-Semite. This is UN Watch way of smearing any serious critic of Israel, and it has the unfortunate
        effect of confusing people as to the real nature of anti-Semitism, which is hatred of Jews.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pondering Jonathan Pollard’s release – Mondoweiss - August 3, 2015

    […] This post first appeared on Richard Falk’s website.  […]

  2. TRANSCEND MEDIA SERVICE » Pondering Jonathan Pollard’s Release - August 10, 2015

    […] Go to Original – richardfalk.wordpress.com […]

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