Prisoner, or HOSTAGE


Jonathan Pollard is rotting away in a maximum-security United States prison. Wikipedia tells us that he is the only person in US history to receive a life sentence for spying for an ally, and the only American citizen convicted of such a crime to be sentenced to more than 10 years in prison.


Jonathan pleaded guilty to spying for Israel. He had no interest in American secrets. He knew that the United States had agreed to provide intelligence about hostile Arab countries to its ally, Israel. And he saw that America was not living up to its agreement.


So Jonathan Pollard decided to do the work himself. He contacted the Israeli government and shared covert U.S. intelligence on Arab states, Pakistan and the Soviet Union, and especially their weapons systems.


When he was caught, he was offered a plea bargaining agreement. In exchange for admitting  guilt from the start, he would receive a reduced sentence. Yet in the end he was double crossed, and his guilty plea gave him nothing: he was handed a life sentence with no end in sight.


What is going on here? Why is Pollard still in prison, when other spies who caused direct harm to American national security have been let free? Why did the American government go so far as to refuse Jonathan furlough to attend the funeral of his own father?


There is only one answer. And it isn’t pretty.


Jonathan Pollard is not a prisoner. He is a hostage. 


He is no less a hostage than the American servicemen held by the Vietcong. It’s just that in their mercy, the prison authorities don’t blindfold him, and elect to provide him with real food.


And now the American government is doing openly what it has been doing covertly all along. It is using Jonathan Pollard as a bargaining chip. Jonathan is being dangled in front of the eyes of the Israelis to get them to shut up and toe the American line.


Is it not so? Why does America care about Jonathan Pollard? What could he have possibly done to so threaten the security of the land of the free and the home of the brave?


In truth, the American authorities could not care less about Jonathan Pollard as a human being, as a citizen of the United States who in theory is subject to the due process of law. No. If they did, he would have been a free man decades ago.


So why does America care about this nerdy-looking, aging intelligence officer?


They care, because the Jewish State cares. 


They care, because they know that Jews are commanded by God through their Torah to do anything possible to rescue hostages.


They care about Jonathan Pollard because they know that Jews are willing to die to free fellow Jews whose freedom is being denied, because the Jewish People is a single, worldwide soul, connected at its core across time and space.


We Jews care about each other. And America knows this. And the leaders of America are willing to capitalize on such a weakness, such a national disgrace. Israel will go to any lengths to free imprisoned Jews.


After all, we are the nation that recently took the insane step of releasing 1,000 murderers for one innocent boy soldier. That is the unspoken, naked, uncomfortable truth about Israel, about Jonathan Pollard and his eternal people.




But there is a question. Where are the voices of conscience? The great moral minds, who pontificate daily to the American masses? The ones who are close to the authorities, who get the choice morsels information straight from the highest sources? That’s the right – the Jewish media mavens. What are they saying about Pollard?


Silence. Deafening, roaring, earsplitting silence.


Oh yes. The great moral gatekeepers at the forefront of American culture are perfectly comfortable running roughshod over Israel for its alleged crimes against the Arabs. Thomas Friedman does not let more than a month go by without pontificating about Israel and its weaknesses. Richard Cohen, a scion of a priestly Jewish family, spares no language when criticizing Israel for settling in its ancient homeland. Jeffrey Goldberg is perfectly happy to serve as the administration’s mouthpiece, chastising Israel for every possible flaw and error.


These great pundits are perfectly political correct, and are rewarded as such.


But if they are so great, why don’t they speak out against the inhumanity of the treatment of Jonathan Pollard?


This too has an answer. If Jonathan Pollard can be held so brazenly hostage, no Jew in America is safe. So he or she must keep their collective mouths shut, or risk being shoved out of the limelight – or worse.


Well, my holy American brethren journalists: here is your chance to speak up for the welfare of a poor pawn caught between the teeth of a brutal lion who knows only realpolitik. Let’s see your bravado now. Do you have the balls to speak up against the injustice?


As for me: like the biblical David, who would have given his life for his soul mate friend, Jonathan – would it be that I could sit in that dark and sterile cell in his place. All my life I have tasted freedom, but so long as a Jew who has paid his due, a simple Jew like me, languishes behind bars – I am not at peace. And the American administration is privy to my secret: if I could, I would free 10,000 murderer gentiles, were I but to see Jonathan free at last.


And I am not alone.