web analytics
February 1, 2015 / 12 Shevat, 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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The United States condemned Iran for honoring Hezbollah terrorist Imad Mughniyeh but is not so bothered when Abbas honors PA terrorists.
CIA, Mossad Collaborated on Killing Hezbollah No. 2 Leader in Damascus
Latest Indepth Stories
Eli Weiss

Shepherding in the Shomron isn’t your usual kind of shepherding – despite his business-minded beginnings, Eli has discovered that a strong ideological impetus powers the job.

Resnick-013015-Pilot

I said to myself, “This story has got to be told. We’re losing this generation of World War II and if we don’t listen to them now, we’ve lost it.”

Eller-013015

His entire existence was about spreading simcha and glorifying G-d’s name on a daily basis.

IRAN-US-POLITICS-MILITARY

An Israeli strike could theoretically damage Iran’s nuclear program; only US can terminate program

At some point we need to stop simply defending and promoting Israel and start living in Israel

“We Jews are the only people who when we drop a book on the floor pick it up and kiss it.”

Though Zaide was the publisher of The Jewish Press, a big newspaper,I always remember him learning

Speaker Silver has been an extraordinary public servant since his election to the Assembly in 1975 and has been an exemplary leader of that body since 1994.

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

Drawing Congress into the Iran nuclear debate is the last thing the White House wants.

Great leaders like Miriam and like Sarah Schenirer possess the capacity to challenge the status quo that confronts them.

Obama’s foreign policy is viewed by both liberals and conservatives as deeply flawed

Many journalists are covertly blaming the Charlie Hebdo writers themselves through self-censorship.

Why does the Times relay different motivations and narratives for jihadists in Europe and Israel?

More Articles from Editorial Board

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.

Despite the president’s respectable anti-terrorism record, he doubtless has little interest in being identified with anything that might suggest, however tangentially, criticism of Muslims or Islam.

One wonders what connection that rejection has with turning to the ICC, which would allow the Palestinians to bring war-crime charges against individual Israelis and is certainly one more step away from seeking a negotiated settlement.

In the NPR interview, Mr. Obama said Iran could become a “very successful regional power” if it agreed to a long-term nuclear deal.

Thus, despite the increasingly serious problems for the mayor arising out of the current anti-police protests, Mr. de Blasio apparently will be cut no slack by those who seem to be aiming for a significant role in running the city from the streets and who will do whatever they can to prevent their momentum from ebbing.

Despite strong pressure to throw the book at the accused, Mr. Thompson allowed him to plead guilty to assault.

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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: