This was first posted on my blog Shiloh Musings as Jonathan Jay Pollard -- A Greek Tragedy, http://shilohmusings.blogspot.co.il/2015/11/jonathan-jay-pollard-greek-tragedy.html .

I see the Jonathan Jay Pollard story as a classic Greek Tragedy not yet complete.
A drama or literary work in which the main character is brought to ruin or suffers extreme sorrow, especially as a consequence of a tragic flaw, moral weakness, or inability to cope with unfavorable circumstances. (The Free Dictionary)

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I studied "World Drama" as my English requirement in my senior year of high school. I really enjoyed it, especially some of the Greek Drama. My favorite was Antigone. I loved the idea that she was fighting for an important religious principle, the ritual burial of her brother. Considering that at the same time, I was struggling to find ways to be a Torah observant Jew, while living in a very non-observant world, Antigone's struggles and principles seemed very easy to identify with. I wonder if Jonathan Jay Pollard considered his attempts to help the State of Israel as Antigone-like, too.


There are five acts in Greek Tragedy.

The Jewish Journal's Jonathan Pollard timeline very eerily fits the bill:
1979 Pollard is hired as a naval intelligence analyst.
1984 Pollard meets an Israeli intelligence officer and soon begins to sell him information.
1985 After attempting to gain asylum through the Israeli embassy in
Washington, D.C., Pollard is arrested.
1987 Pollard pleads guilty to spying and is sentenced to life in prison. and
1998 Israel admits Pollard acted as an agent on its behalf.
2015 A federal panel grants Pollard parole.

I see the timeline, especially as Greek Tragedy a bit differently. What do you think?
Act I Prologue: Jonathan Jay Pollard, idealistic Jewish American Zionist gets sensitive job as naval intelligence analyst for the United States Government.
Act II Conflict: Pollard sees data he is convinced should be transferred to the Israeli Government. He contacts the Israeli Government and is paid for his services.
Act III Rising Action-Climax: The Americans are aware of Pollard's actions; Pollard and his wife Anne flee to Israeli Embassy. Israel allows the Americans to arrest them. The Pollards are both convicted.
Act IV Falling Action: Jonathan Jay Pollard is given an unprecedentedly long and difficult jail term for such a crime. He divorces Anne, who after serving her sentence moves to Israel. A woman named Esther aka Elaine Zeitz makes contact with Pollard and convinces him that only she and not his family and original supporters can be relied on. According to her, they are married by Jewish Law. Since then, she has taken control of his case.
Act V Denouement: After thirty years in prison, Pollard is paroled under severe restrictions.

Pollard is basically in what can be called a glorified house arrest. Just like serial pedophiles, the prison authorities have set him up with tracking devices and he cannot go far from the home that was found for him. He is also forbidden to give interviews etc. Now, to be perfectly honest, I don't know who's more afraid of him, the Americans or the Israelis. Any sensitive security information he may remember from his work has no real value today. So I can't see what the Americans are so afraid of. And considering how the Israeli authorities rather immorally left him to the dogs, I'd say that the Prime Minister at the time, Shimon Peres and his handler Rafi Eitan, are the ones who prefer him to be muzzled.

This is a sad and tragic story, which is not yet over.


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