web analytics
March 1, 2015 / 10 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Pollard Redux

We were disappointed to hear from President Obama that he would not break with the precedent set by his predecessors, Presidents Reagan, Bush I, Clinton and Bush II, and release Jonathan Pollard. Though we think Mr. Pollard deserved to be punished for his serious crimes, we believe that twenty-eight years of imprisonment is enough.

While a number of former senior U.S. government officials, among them several with direct responsibility for defense and intelligence matters, have come out for his release, the unanimous position of past presidents and the continued strong opposition by some in the intelligence community made Mr. Obama’s decision not exactly unexpected, if lamentable.

Worthy of note, though, are two recent negative Wall Street Journal opinion columns about Mr. Pollard by Bret Stephens, the Journal’s deputy editorial page editor (and a former Jerusalem Post editor) who generally takes a staunchly pro-Israel position in his writing.

The first article, “Don’t Free Jonathan Pollard,” appeared on the very eve of President Obama’s leaving for Israel where he was expected to be importuned by Prime Minister Netanyahu on Mr. Pollard’s behalf. The second, “A Postscript on Pollard,” appeared a week later and was triggered by what Mr. Stephens characterized as “the blizzard of opprobrium” that “piled into my inbox.”

In the second piece, Mr. Stephens went through the usual litany of the seriousness of Mr. Pollard’s crimes, which reflected their seriousness but added little of substance to what is generally known.

The initial Stephens piece came up with some strange new arguments about why the president should not release Mr. Pollard. But the unanswered question about the article is why Mr. Stephens timed it to coincide with Mr. Obama’s visit to Israel.

Mr. Stephens began the piece by noting that “There are a few things I’d like to hear Barack Obama say on his trip this week to Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan.” He then listed such issues as Israel’s position on Iran, the settlements, the cause of the Israeli/Palestinian dispute, the “right of return” for Palestinian, anti-Israel incitement, Palestinian terrorism, etc., as things he would like to hear the president agreeing with. That took up the bulk of the article.

“But,” he added, “here’s something I don’t want to hear from Mr. Obama, especially not when he’s in Israel: that he has agreed to release former Navy intelligence analyst and convicted spy Jonathan Pollard.”

He conceded the humanitarian case to be made for Mr. Pollard’s release but said that’s just the beginning of the inquiry: “What’s inequitable about Pollard’s sentence isn’t that his is too heavy. It’s that the sentences of spies such as Aldrich Ames, Robert Hanssen and Robert Kim have been too light.”

Remarkable. All the federal judges who handed out those sentences and all the prosecutors who recommended those sentences in consultation with their clients – the responsible federal officials – were wrong. Mr. Stephens is the only one who gets it right. And in Mr. Pollard’s case, the prosecutors who, with the approval of their clients, originally agreed to far less than a life sentence effectively assigned a damage value to his spying.

Mr. Stephens also argued that if Mr. Pollard were to be released, he would be greeted as a national hero in Israel. This spectacle would be bad for Israel’s image and promote anti-Semitism. So, according to Mr. Stephens, keep him in jail for fear of what others will think or do. An interesting theory of justice.

Mr. Stephens also claimed Mr. Pollard hasn’t expressed contrition. Very strange, given the fact that the prosecutors who agreed to the original plea bargain must have been satisfied in this regard. Again, Mr. Stephens knows better.

This is not about defending Jonathan Pollard. He committed serious crimes and deserved and received significant punishment. Rather, it is about Mr. Stephens beating up on a sick guy nearly three decades into a life sentence – and timing it to maximize any negative influence his arguments might have on President Obama.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Pollard Redux”

  1. This is not about defending The Jewish Press but you, the editorial staff for your serious crimes against The Jewish People and you should be punished for saying Jonathan Pollard did a bad thing by helping Israel. Before you write an article get the facts straight. It's the USA that was supposed to inform Israel of the threat against it. That was part of the information sharing treaty between Israel and the USA.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife at Ben Gurion Airport as they depart for the US on March 1, 2015, ahead of Netanyahu's speech on Tuesday, before a joint session of Congress.
Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress – Blocked from U.S. Prime Time, Perfect for Israel
Latest Indepth Stories
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prays at the Western Wall ahead of his speech next week at the US Congress.

Ultimately, Esther, Netanyahu, and we, the Jewish people, must and will rely on the true King, God, for our salvation from this genocidal threat.

Netanyahu carried his message to Americans through the media after meeting with President Obama and castigating Iran at the UN. (September 30, 2013)

Netanyahu addresses a clear, present & lethal threat to the US/Israel/WORLD; NOT political bickering

israel-day-parade-bds

Buried in the tax-returns of the JCF is millions of dollars funneled to NIF in the last few years.

Netanyahu in a previous address to Congress-

Bibi’s speech to Congress will bring respect and honor to the Jewish Nation from the US & the world

Obama & Putin have handwriting/signature clues indicating differences between public & private life

It’s time for a new Jewish policy regarding Ramallah, NOT just because of the yarmulke incident

“GETT’s” being screened for Israeli Rabbinical Court judges at their annual convention.

If Jackson were alive he’d denounce Democratic party’s silence towards virulent anti-Semitism

Victim of Palestinian Arab terrorism, a victor in NY federal court, after years of being ignored by Justice Dept.

March 2013: Arabs hurled stones hitting the Biton’s car; Adele’s mother swerved the car-into a truck

The real issue is that in many respects the president has sought to recalibrate American values and our system of government.

Former Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman, writing in the Washington Post on Sunday, provided one of the clearest and most compelling analyses we’ve seen of the importance of the prime minister’s speech.

A central concept in any discussion about happiness is achieving clarity. “Ain simcha ela k’hataras hasefeikos” – there is no joy as that experienced with the removal of doubt.

More Articles from Editorial Board

The real issue is that in many respects the president has sought to recalibrate American values and our system of government.

Former Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman, writing in the Washington Post on Sunday, provided one of the clearest and most compelling analyses we’ve seen of the importance of the prime minister’s speech.

Gone are the days when an anchorman sitting in a New York studio could, after sharing 22 minutes of carefully selected and edited news items, trumpet in stentorian tones, “And that’s the way it is.” No it wasn’t. It never was.

President Obama has frequently cautioned that Americans should take great care to avoid fomenting anti-Muslim passions in our reaction to the murderous activities regularly being perpetrated by terrorists in the name of Islam. One wonders why, though, he seems to have no concern with the potential for anti-Semitic fallout from his full-court press against Israeli […]

Typical of the administration’s milquetoast approach is the lack of any call for a substantial increase in military resources in order to crush ISIL, only a tepid mention of the need to “ultimately defeat” it.

He spent the first leg of his daylong visit to the French capital at Hyper Cacher.

In this particular case, the issue was whether the Arkansas prison system could prohibit, for security reasons, a devout Muslim’s maintaining a beard of a certain length as a matter of religious practice.

According to Natan Sharansky, director of the Jewish Agency for Israel, France was the largest source of Jewish emigration to Israel last year and he believes as many as 15,000 French Jews may make aliyah in 2015.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/pollard-redux/2013/04/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: