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June 27, 2016 / 21 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan Pollard’

The NY Times’ Moment of ‘Rishus’

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

(JNi.media) Some words really do work best in Yiddish, and “Rishus,” which roughly means nastiness mixed with hate (the Hebrew original is a pale “wickedness”), and the NY Times radiated that special kind of mix in a Nov. 22 editorial titled, “No Exception for Jonathan Pollard.”

Written by the Times editorial board, the piece combats the popular notion that recently released convicted spy Jonathan Pollard was some kind of hero, a “cause célèbre in Israel.” They argue that “the narrative of the selfless spy is unfounded. In the charges against him, Mr. Pollard was portrayed as a flaky operator who tried to peddle secrets to Israel but also to Pakistan, South Africa and other countries for the money, of which Israel paid him a lot. … the known facts do not warrant special consideration.”

But Pollard did receive “special consideration.” On June 4, 1986, Pollard pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to deliver national defense information to a foreign government. The prosecutor, in compliance with the plea agreement, recommended that Pollard receive “only a substantial number of years in prison.” But Judge Aubrey Robinson, Jr., who received a personal note from Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger—without the defense’s knowledge—imposed a life sentence.

It is commonly agreed that what irked Sec. Weinberger so much about Pollard, then and in years to come, when he continued to thwart every presidential attempt to pardon the Israeli spy, was the Wolf Blitzer interview. Three weeks before his sentencing, Pollard gave Wolf Blitzer, the Jerusalem Post Washington correspondent, a jail-cell interview which also ran in The Washington Post (February 15, 1987), crowing him “Israel’s Master Spy.” Pollard told Blitzer about the information he provided Israel: reconnaissance satellite photography of the PLO headquarters in Tunisia; specific capabilities of Libya’s air defenses; and “the pick of US intelligence about Arab and Islamic conventional and unconventional military activity, from Morocco to Pakistan and every country in between. This included both ‘friendly’ and ‘unfriendly’ Arab countries.”

The stated reason for Pollard’s harsh sentence, which ignored his plea bargain was violating his plea agreement, which came down to the Blitzer story, which made the Reagan Administration look bad, for holding back vital information from its ally, Israel, which stung Caspar Weinberger.

One wonders how the NY Times editorial board would have opined this week had Blitzer peddled his interview on 41st Street instead of to the Post.

The other “special treatment” Pollard received was in being kept behind bars for the duration of his sentence, which had never been done to any other spy working for a friendly country. Dennis Ross said in 2004: “Pollard received a harsher sentence than others who committed comparable crimes.” Stephen Fain Williams, a Senior Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit stated: “Jonathan Pollard’s life sentence represents a fundamental miscarriage of justice.” Former US assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb wrote: “We believe that his continued incarceration constitutes a travesty of justice and a stain on the American system of justice.”

What did the NY Times have to say about this “stain on the American system of justice?” There was this April 1, 2014 editorial board piece titled, “Bad Move on Jonathan Pollard,” which opened: “The emergence of the convicted spy Jonathan Pollard as a bargaining chip in Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations is a lamentable sign of America’s desperation to keep both sides talking.”

In other words, when choosing between peace talks and keeping Pollard in — for the Times it’s Pollard all the way down.

On Jan. 14, 2014, in “Don’t Trust This Spy,” by M. E. Bowman, a former deputy general counsel for national security law at the F.B.I. and a former deputy of the US Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive He wrote: “At the time of Mr. Pollard’s sentencing, federal law did not permit the death penalty, and a life sentence meant a maximum of 30 years. As such, Mr. Pollard is close to release, counting time off for good behavior. That release, however, should occur when his sentence expires and not, as four former directors of naval intelligence have put it, as a result of a ‘clever public relations campaign.’”

JNi.Media

Pollard’s First Wife Suing Israel

Sunday, November 22nd, 2015

Anne Pollard, the “forgotten” Pollard who was jailed along with her husband Jonathan but for a shorter time, is suing the Israeli government for millions of dollars for allegedly abandoning her.

Anne Pollard served 3 years and 4 months in prison, out of a five-year term, while her husband’s life sentence in jail was curtailed Friday.

She is arguing in her suit that the Mossad abandoned her and for defamation and Jonathan from the day the Israeli Embassy refused to allow them asylum.

Jonathan Pollard divorced her from his jail cell after she left prison. He then married Esther after Anne moved to Israel. She returned to the United States and then moved back to Israel in 2010.

 

 

Jewish Press News Briefs

Jonathan Pollard’s First Picture as a Free Man

Friday, November 20th, 2015

(JNi.media) Jonathan Pollard and his family posted a notice on the Justice for Pollard website, asking his supporters to refrain from public activities regarding his release (from US parole), saying it may be harmful to his cause.

In keeping with this request, Pollard’s close circle has decided to find a way in which “the dear public who acted, prayed and fought for Jonathan’s release through the years, could send him directly a huge hug which would empower him and Esther to face the complicated challenges that still remain in their path.”

To this end, they established an mail account: Letters4pollard@gmail.com, intended to receive letters (in Hebrew, too), which will be printed in the US by the staff and be personally delivered to Jonathan as soon as possible. “You are welcome to send Jonathan all that’s in your heart, tell him about your activities and your prayers for him over the years, and it is also possible to attach a photo.”

The group has also asked people to pray for his complete recovery using his Hebrew name: Yehonatan ben Malka.

JNi.Media

Pollard Freed from Prison But Not from US

Friday, November 20th, 2015

Jonathan Pollard, 61, was released from prison in the pre-dawn hours Friday morning, 30 years after having been incarcerated for handing over classified Pentagon information on behalf of Israel.

Many of America’s media still report that he was a spy even though he never was convicted for espionage.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Friday:

The people of Israel welcome the release of Jonathan Pollard. As someone who raised Jonathan’s case for years with successive American presidents, I had long hoped this day would come.

After three long and difficult decades, Jonathan has been reunited with his family. May this Sabbath bring him much joy and peace that will continue in the years and decades ahead.

His freedom is limited by his having to report to a parole officer. Pollard’s release is conditioned on good behavior. He is not allowed to leave the United States for five years, but lawyers are lobbying federal officials to lift the restrictions. One report is that he might be able to leave the country on condition that he renounces his American citizenship.

Both the Obama and Netanyahu administrations are keeping his release low key. Officials purposely released him in the pre-dawn hours to lower the level of publicity.

Prime Minister Netanyahu told ministers and Knesset Members to keep a low profile over Pollard’s release and not to meet him as he left prison, probably in order to hurt his chances of winning a cancellation of conditions on his release.

He will undergo medical examinations, and an investment firm reportedly has promised him a job as an analyst.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Obama Won’t Make It Easier for Pollard to Go Home

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

(JNi.media) Under the terms of Jonathan Pollard’s release, due this Nov. 20, he must remain in US territory for five years, under supervision, which would preclude any plans of making aliyah—he already received his Israeli citizenship some 20 years ago. According to the Washington Post, Pollard’s supporters have asked Prime Minister Netanyahu to ask President Obama at their Monday meeting—which was reportedly better than expected and lasted 45 minutes longer than scheduled—to use his executive power to waive the parole condition and allow the released spy to go to his new home.

Last week, Obama’s deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters he “wouldn’t be surprised” if Netanyahu raised the Pollard issue with Obama, but Netanyahu would not confirm or deny when reporters asked him after the meeting about Pollard.

Pollard’s attorney said last week that his client was going to live in New York, where he had a job and a home waiting for him, but, if he could, he would have preferred to join his wife, Esther, in Israel. “He wants to make a contribution, he has lots of significant ideas,” the attorney said.

But, judging by Netanyahu’s silence, the official White House line and the absence of leaks to the contrary from the White House, it appears President Obama will not intervene to let Jonathan Pollard skip his parole period and go home. Pollard is 61, which means that, after serving out his 5 halfway years, he could start collecting Israeli social security. He did contribute quite a bit to Israeli security, after all.

Meanwhile, Gail Berman’s The Jackal Group is developing a feature film about the Pollard’s case, based on Martin Blank’s play “The Law Of Return,” about Pollard’s work for the US Navy, and the process of his becoming a spy. Blank will write the script, Berman and SVP Film Development’s Rory Koslow are producing for Jackal Group. Perhaps the released Pollard could be hired as consultant.

JNi.Media

Jews Return to City of David Complex after 77 Years

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Jewish families and yeshiva students moved into a large complex in the old Yemenite community in the Silwan Valley in the pre-dawn hours Thursday morning, reclining another Jewish-owned property that was abandoned when the British expelled Jews in the 1930s.

The move, backed by the court that ordered eviction notices to Arab squatters, was made during the middle of the night in order not provoke friction with Arab neighbors.

The building, near the City of David across the street from the Western Wall plaza and located near other structures that have been bought by Jews in the old Yemenite Village, now is called Beit Rachel. It is a few minutes by foot from the recently redeemed sections of the original Yemenite Beit Knesset- Ohel Shlomo-Heichal Yonatan, named for Jonathan Pollard.

The original synagogue is one of the few buildings that remains in its entirety. It was one of the first buildings established in the Village by Yemenite Jews in 1885, who arrived in Jerusalem three years earlier before nay Arabs were living in the Silwan neighborhood.

Following Arab pogroms of 1936-37, the synagogue was defiled, desecrated and many holy books were burnt despite British promises to protect the holy Jewish site.

Arabs squatted in the old synagogue and in other buildings, including privately owned Yemenite homes.

In August 1938, the British Authorities removed the last remaining 35-40 Yemenite Jewish families who had managed to survive many years of attacks by Arabs in riots and pogroms.

The British High Commissioner on behalf of the British Government gave written assurances that the Jews would be able to return “shortly” to their homes but by the early 1940s,  Arabs had literally taken apart buildings and had stolen floor tiles, roof tiles, taps, building stones, window and door frames.

 

 

 

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Jewish Press Staff

US Won’t Let Pollard Out of Country for Five Years

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

Jonathan Pollard will be a free man in November, but not totally free.

His supporters were happy to hear this week that parole will be granted in November, but hopes that he would move to Israel were squelched by the Obama administration.

The White House said that Pollard had committed “very serious crimes” and Alistair Baskey, a spokesman for the White House’s National Security Council added:

The president has no intention of altering the terms of Mr. Pollard’s parole.

Parolees are not allowed to leave the United States for five years without permission

Pollard was convicted for providing Israel with sensitive classified information. but spy charges were dropped. Nevertheless, prosecutors equated his crime with those of some of America’s most notorious spies.

Obama administration officials deny that Pollard’s pending release is tied to the nuclear deal with Iran, which Israel vociferously tried to prevent. The American government previously has tried to use Pollard as a wild card to tempt Israel into serious concessions to the Palestinian Authority.

In November, Pollard will have served 30 years in jail, making him automatically eligible for parole and switching the burden of proof from those appealing for an early release to prosecutors to provide evidence why he should not be freed.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-wont-let-pollard-out-of-country-for-five-years/2015/07/29/

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