Stench of anti-Semitism
Sir, – Congratulations on your excellent editorial “Exposing the charade” (February 16) in support of the growing appeals to free Jonathan Pollard. But for the fact that Jonathan is Jewish, I believe he would have been freed long ago. The stench that emanates from his overlong incarceration is surely anti-Semitic.
Your readers might be interested in comparing Pollard’s sentence with that of Aldrich Ames, an American who also received a life sentence, but for spying for the Soviet Union. Quoting Wikipedia: “In court, Ames admitted that he had compromised ‘virtually all Soviet agents of the CIA and other American and foreign services known to me,’ and had provided the USSR and Russia with a ‘huge quantity of information on United States foreign, defense and security policies....’ It is estimated that information Ames provided to the Soviets compromised at least 100 US intelligence operations [resulting in] the execution at least 10 US agents.”
Nothing that Pollard did compares with the harm Ames inflicted on the US. Ames spied for Russia, America’s greatest enemy; Pollard spied for Israel, a friendly country. Ames was responsible for the deaths of US spies, as if he had killed all of them personally; Pollard was not responsible for the death of any US spy. Ames exposed at least 100 US secret operations; Pollard exposed none. Ames sold information that compromised American foreign, defense and security policies; Pollard sold information to Israel, which compromised Israel’s Islamic enemies exclusively. Ames was given life but no solitary confinement; Pollard was given life plus the first seven years in solitary.
One of the reasons for Pollard’s overlong incarceration is the fact that then-defense secretary Caspar Weinberger presented the judge with a document detailing the dangers facing the US as a direct result of Pollard’s betrayal.
Almost three decades have since elapsed, yet not a single such instance has come to light. Nor should anyone be surprised. The dangers were alleged by one who was overwhelmed by his personal hatred for Pollard’s betrayal. It is also likely that Weinberger’s Jewish ancestry (his father was a Jew) played a part in his vicious attitude.
Surely there has been a travesty of justice in the fact that Pollard has been adjudged worthy of receiving the same life sentence as Ames. Compared to the spying consequences of the latter, Pollard’s crime was little more than an anti-Semitic storm in a teacup.
If Israel is reluctant to carry out The Jerusalem Post’s justified recommendation for Pollard’s presidential pardon, I would suggest that our government humbly but officially ask the US whether it has stopped spying on Israel.
JOCK L. FALKSON
Ra’anana Treasury’s priorities
Sir, – Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett states that Israel will spend an enormous sum each year to bolster the identity of Jews living overseas (“Bennett to ‘Post’: Gov’t to spend NIS1b. a year to keep Diaspora Jews Jewish,” February 14). Those of us who made aliya from English-speaking countries and have close friends and relatives remaining there have some doubts as to the likelihood of meaningful success from this outlay.
In “Negotiations begin on Hadassah recovery plan,” which appears on the same page, you quote Prof. Rafael Beyar, director- general of Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, as saying he does not blame Hadassah’s staff for its near collapse, but rather the Treasury. “The Finance Ministry has for years dried up the health system, which needs an infusion of at least NIS 10 billion,” he says.
There can be little doubt about priorities for the allotment of large sums of money by the Treasury.
MONTY M. ZION
The writer is a retired physician
Sir, – As a member of a breast cancer diagnostic and treatment team, I would like to offer some common sense advice in response to all the international media hysteria surrounding the results of Canadian research (“Israeli experts downplay Canadian study on mammography screening,” February 14).
We are in the business of caring for patients, not populations.
Screening mammography helps detect breast cancer earlier, when the mass is smaller, hence at an early stage that hopefully is more readily treatable for cure.
That is the bottom line!
Jerusalem The writer is a physician and chief medical officer at Machon HALA of the Rachel Nash Comprehensive Breast Center
. Memory’s messages
Sir, – Uri Savir parrots the propaganda of our enemies as the solution to our “Not so splendid isolation” (Savir’s Corner, February 14).
The problem, for Savir, is the “occupation” of a land that he doesn’t believe is ours, and the “persecution” of another people.
A “two-state solution,” he writes, will take us “away from the messianic illusion of a Greater Israel.”
Having been the chief negotiator of the Oslo Accords, his illusion is that “territories for peace” and “withdrawal from the West Bank” will “reinstate us as a respected member of the family of nations, strengthen our strategic alliance with the United States as well as our economic ties with the European Union.” It will also “give us internationally recognized borders.”
My memory tells me that we were much more isolated and boycotted before we possessed a single centimeter of this God-given, historic land. My memory tells me that giving away territory gives us not peace, but terror.
My memory tells me that Abba Eban called the pre-1967 lines “Auschwitz borders.”
What does Savir’s memory tell him? ASHER ISRAEL Jerusalem Spokespeople needed Sir, – Our hasbara (public diplomacy), or lack of it, is becoming increasingly worrisome.
My sister in Australia told me of a shocking program, called “Four Corners,” that recently appeared on national TV. An investigative journalist reported that Israelis were torturing Palestinian children, and for an hour spewed all kinds of lies, with supposed pictures to prove them.
All over the world we are hearing hateful stories, all of them untrue, and many emanate from self-hating Jews, even in Israel.
What are we doing about it? A rebuttal after the fact is usually overlooked; only the original story remains in peoples’ minds.
We need proactive reporting that tells the world the real story of Israel. We need spokespeople in every country who are articulate and fluent in the local language.
They should initiate TV and radio appearances, and write for the papers. We have so much to be proud of, yet it remains a secret.
Israel is the miracle on the Mediterranean, but only the ugly side is promoted to the world while the Arabs spend millions of dollars to sway public opinion about the “poor Palestinians.”
Unless we act decisively and intelligently, we will have no friends left in the world.
Jerusalem Those bank fees
Sir, – Once upon a time, Israelis having only a bank card, and not a credit card, could withdraw a maximum of NIS 500 from an automated teller machine (ATM) for a fee of NIS 1.65 per transaction. Now it has been decreed that for the same fee, a maximum of only NIS 400 can be withdrawn. Yes, less money for the same fee.
Someone is pulling the leg of the lower-middle class. It seems to me that over the years, the more the lower-middle class financially suffers, the rich get richer.
Is this a feeding frenzy? Survival the fittest? Does this seem fair, or am I the only one who notices how much we pay every month in bank fees?