Having spent the past two months in sunny, easygoing Los Angeles, I return to Israel with rusty Hebrew and even rustier tolerance for aggression and rudeness. It did not take long for Israel to remind me just how different the concept of “politeness” is over here. In the two weeks that I have been back I have been scolded by a restaurant hostess for trying to pay the bill, shoved through an archway at Mearat HaMachpela for no apparent reason, had my car window smacked by a crazy screaming man in a parking lot because I refused to roll down my window for him (would you?), and was turned away from a restaurant because we were six people and they only had tables for eight. I am beginning to think Alice Cooper may have spent some time in Israel, his classic “No More Mr. Nice Guy”, becoming the theme song now constantly blasting in my head as I walk the streets. Then, after watching the Gilad Shalit saga unfold, I came to the realization that Alice Cooper may just be the solution to a very serious problem; securing the release of Jonathan Pollard. It appears to me that “niceties” are killing Jonathan Pollard, and it is time to get rude if we want to save him.

Every time I have attempted to write or speak about Jonathan Pollard with Americans, including American Jews, I have been told to tread carefully because mixed allegiances make Pollard a sensitive issue. American Jews are terrified to speak on behalf of Pollard because they don’t want to be seen as seditious Americans. I have always tried my best to be sensitive to these concerns, but ever since the Shalit trade I believe it’s time to more than just politely ask for his release. Fear of being considered “Israel first”, and therefore, somehow traitorous to a host country, just doesn’t cut it anymore.

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Forget that US Vice President Joe Biden came out viciously opposed to releasing Pollard last week. That was merely a political ploy to help President Obama curry favor with his dwindling Jewish constituency. Set aside, as well, the large number of people who were originally involved in Pollard’s conviction recanting and declaring that there is no justification for his continued imprisonment. My argument lies solely in the fact that Israel has just made a painful and dangerous deal with Hamas, a group hell-bent on its destruction, but somehow the United States cannot find a way to reconcile the injustice they are carrying out every day that Pollard is not free, upon one of its greatest allies.

Israel gave Hamas a tremendous amount for Gilad Shalit, but has Israel not done innumerably more for the United States over the past 26 years in which Pollard has been locked away? Israel has been a stable democratic home-base in a region rife with dictatorships and anti-Western hotspots. Israel has participated in a plethora of joint military operations with the US Army. Israel security officials have even been brought over to Logan International Airport in Boston to improve security protocols. If Israel can come to an agreement with the murderous savages of Hamas, but not their greatest of friends in the geopolitcal structure, what does that say about the Israel-America relationship at its core?

It is time for all people, Jew and non-Jew alike, to channel their inner-Alice, and declare unequivocally “No More Mr. Nice Guy”! The Pollard issue IS a sensitive one because it is emblematic of the petty treatment the United States has been serving the Israelis for the past 26 years. It is time to get rude before it is too late. Jonathan Pollard’s health is deteriorating and with it so will US-Israel relations unless some good old fashion “chutzpah” wins the day. It is time to feed our inner Frankensteins and demand that Jonathan Pollard be returned home now.
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