A word of introduction, first.
In my capacity as coordinator of the Knesset Lobby on Behalf of Jonathan Pollard, 1987 – 1996, I have met Jay twice in his prisons. I am familiar with his case. I spent many hours with his late parents and his sister. I maintain contact with central people even unto today as regards his fate. I met Ministers, lawyers, activists. American Jewish establishment leaders, and Senators and Congressmen and their aides, among many others, in furthering his release. I used to be in touch with Elaine/Esther Zeitz/Pollard.
That said, I think this abhorrent:
“Pollard represents the ultimate betrayal,” said Aaron David Miller, one of a circle of American Jewish diplomats who came of age at the time of Mr. Pollard’s arrest. “He is also a poster child for one of the darker tropes in American society: that Jews simply cannot have a single loyalty.”
Let’s be clear: the real question is was America, in the form of the then Naval Intelligence hierarchy and other denizens of the dark recesses of the spy world as well as the political echelon of oversight, loyal to Israel? And was Caspar Weinberger loyal to his job and commitments? Hint:
“…the repeated use of superlatives implied an appeal for the maximum. Weinberger''s reference to treason took the point further. Whereas treason carries the death penalty, 18 U.S.C, §2381, and involves aiding the nation''s enemies, U.S. Const., Art. Ill, § 3, cl. 1, Pollard was charged with espionage, carrying a maximum of life imprisonment and encompassing aid even to friendly nations - here, Israel. Of course the sentencing judge knew the difference, but the government''s barrage expressed a viewpoint that the government had promised not to express. Weinberger''s subtext was that the heaviest possible sentence was the lightest that was just.’
In his, unfortunately, dissenting minority opinion, the two Jewish judges disagreeing, basically on procedural matters, Circuit Court Judge Stephen F. Williams, probably unconcerned with issues of loyalty except to the law and the concerns for justice, wrote this:
97 Pollard''s sentence should be vacated and the case remanded for resentencing. This should occur before a new judge, as Santobello indicates, even though "the fault here rests on the prosecutor, not on the sentencing judge." …99 Though I do not wish to be too critical of the government, and though the analogy is inexact on some points, the case does remind me of Macbeth''s curse against the witches whose promises--and their sophistical interpretations of them--led him to doom:And be these juggling fiends no more believ''d,That palter with us in a double sense;That keep the word of promise to our ear,And break it to our hope. (Macbeth V, vii, 48-51.)…May 28, 1992.
Given the number of pro-release personalities over recent years, and many of them very highly placed, the fact that Miller still provides support for the rumor that there is a not-so-secret society known as the League of the Trembling Israelites (thanks to Malvyn Benjamin for that, c. 1975) is to be almost despairing of the “Mordechais” of American Jewry.
Let’s recall that the scenario we witnessed this past fortnight is a repeat. Here:
Bibi wasn''t going to sign the deal unless he released Pollard. He told him he couldn''t do that and Bibi said he couldn''t do the deal without it. He said he''d made concessions on the prisoners based on the assumption that he would have Pollard and on that basis could sell prisoners, indeed, could sell the whole deal. He couldn''t sell the agreement otherwise and he had been counting on Pollard and that''s why he''d agreed to the things he''d agreed to.
That’s Dennis Ross’ account. He’s the person who told Clinton then:
But if you want my advice, I continued, I would not release him now. "It would be a huge payoff for Bibi; you don''t have many like this in your pocket. I would save it for permanent status. You will need it later, don''t use it now."
One of those tremblers, in addition to Miller and Ross, is a former Australian and now a naturalized American citizen, Martin Indyk. He interests me as regards the latest botching of the case.
For some reasons, some rational and some gut-based, I keep thinking of him in connection with Pollard. I do so mainly because I do not know, and assume even you don’t know, who exactly placed Pollard of the peace negotiations altar? Who raised the issue internally? Was it Kerry? Obama? Miller? Or Indyk? Who pushed Pollard''s release to be a factor?
And as regards the external, why did not one reporter name the source for all the information? In my estimation, and friends of mine have bolstered that and suggest the conclusion, it was Indyk behind all this latest “will the US free Pollard?” ruckus.
His staff includes David Makovsky and Laura Blumenthal. The leaker is somehow staying below the radar which would indicate a very high-level source, one that journalists would be afraid to reveal lest more juicy inside scoops not come their way. That is the reality of journalism; I provide you with knowledge and you provide me with coverage; I provide you with coverage, you provide me with information. And who who leaks does so, if not for personal gain, then, as perhaps in this case, to run a black ops campaign. Maybe the Pals. weren''t in the loop?
There were indications that Indyk promoted Pollard at the Wye Plantation conclave, which Clayton Swisher in his The Truth About Camp David: The Untold Story About the Collapse of the Middle East Peace Process, termed “an embarrassing episode” (p. 8) By the way, that author also noted that Indyk made an effort, it seemed, to escape charges of “dual loyalty” (p. 37).
As Dennis Ross further records
There was a strange development after the dinner. As President Clinton was briefing us on the dinner, he had his arm around Martin Indyk, who had been at our dinner. After the President left, I asked, "What was that about?" Martin [Indyk] explained that out of the blue the President had raised Jonathan Pollard with him - the American who had spied for Israel and had been imprisoned since 1985. I suspected that Bibi must have raised Pollard''s release in the private meeting. Martin had reminded the President that even though Rabin had asked for Pollard''s release, he had not given him to Rabin. The President''s response was that we needed to think not in terms of what was fair, but what would help us to do a deal. Martin interpreted the arm around him as the President''s way of softening the impact of what he had said
Clinton raised the matter then? Or Indyk?
And now, was it Kerry or the same guy who was at Wye? Indyk?
Maybe State will release Indyk from the team, if Obama doesn’t first release Kerry from the whole shebang.
Hmmm. Who is now betraying whom? Or what. Pollard? American Jewry? American system of justice? Israel?