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Recently, the Anti-Defamation League, along with several other pro-Israel and Zionist organizations, formed a “broad coalition in support of marriage equality.” The ADL, a long time champion of Jewish rights, appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, challenging the constitutionality of the California bill restricting opposite-gender marriages.

This is an example of the misplaced priorities of the Jewish organizations in America and is a major cause for concern. The ADL slogan, “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all,” begs the question, what about Jonathan Pollard – does he not fall under the aforementioned criteria?


In a 2011 interview with Haaretz, ADL Director Abraham Foxman voiced his disappointment with Vice President Joe Biden’s unwavering stance regarding Pollard: “It’s almost inhuman to keep him in prison – he served his time and there is no justification to keep him in prison.” Despite the director’s beliefs, the organization has yet to take an official stance.

Numerous high level American officials have already called for Pollard’s release, namely the former CIA Director James Woolsey and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey. Most recently, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb came out saying that Pollard’s sentence was disproportionate. Yet the ADL still remains silent.

In 1993, Foxman and Chairman Mel Salberg sent personal letters to President Clinton pleading on behalf Pollard – letters lacking ADL letterheads and stressing the disconnection between their personal views and the ADL’s position. In 2011, Foxman opted out of visiting Pollard: “I may have gone quietly and privately, but I am certainly not interested in media hype, which is to little avail.”

Foxman certainly did not mind the media hype caused by his letter – addressed on ADL stationary – to President Clinton on behalf of March Rich, a wealthy Jew indicted on federal charges of tax evasion and illegally making oil deals with Iran, or of the ADL press release commending President Obama’s decision not to deport 800,000 undocumented immigrants. In fact, the ADL usually does not miss an opportunity to decry injustices.

Pollard is the only person in United States history to receive a life sentence for passing classified information to an ally. With the average sentence for such an offense being two to four years, his verdict should have had anti-Semitic, or at the very least, civil rights warnings flashing throughout ADL offices world-wide.

While the ADL has a rich history of Jewish advocacy and commitment, it is transforming into a hypocritical machine with a liberal agenda and double standards. The ADL fights against the defamation of the Jewish people and for justice and fair treatment for all – as long as the two don’t clash.

Whether the case of Pollard is falls into the category of “defamation of the Jewish people,” or “justice and fair treatment to all,” the ADL’s indifference goes against its very own mission. Pollard along with other important Jewish matters (Chuck Hagel’s appointment as Secretary of Defense for one), have taken a backseat to an array of liberal, non-Jewish, issues.

With the systematic rise of anti-Israel sentiment in the liberal world, the ADL and other Jewish organizations must decide if their loyalties lie with the Jewish people or with the fashionable liberal trend (which, more often than not, is against Israel).

President Obama’s visit to Israel presents the ADL and the other Jewish organizations of America with a major opportunity to advocate for Pollard’s release.  Already over 180,000 Israelis have signed a petition calling on Obama to mark his visit by releasing Pollard.

The defamation of the Jewish people must be called out and stopped at all times, not only when it is convenient and politically correct to do so.


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Eyan Meyersdrof is an oleh from the United States. He served in the Golani Brigade in the IDF. He is currently studying political science at Bar-Ilan University and is the campus coordinator of the Im Tirtzu student movement.


  1. Pollard was a traitor to his country. If he had felt strongly enough about his convictions he had the choice to sever his ties with the U.S. Navy and renounce his U.S. citizenship. That’s very different from betraying the country which he was serving and had sworn an oath to defend and protect, WHILE he was still serving them.

  2. You, Yanover, and many like you remind me of the fellow travelers who defended (and still defend) Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, and who called their executions "anti-Semitism."

  3. His project release date is 2015, so he'll be out in two years. Then, he will have served his time. This is a man who sold U.S. military secrets to the highest bidder, which happened to be Israel. He's no hero nor Israeli patriot, as Netanyahu and others have made him out to be. He's a greedy bastard who deserves every minute of the time he's doing.

    How come Presidents Clinton and both Bushes, all of whom were great friends of Israel, didn't pardon him? After all, Clinton pardoned Marc Rich (which he shouldn't have done) largely at the behest of prominent American Jews.

  4. If he had Israel at heart, then why did he SELL US secrets to Israel? I'm a zionist/Christian that supports both Israel and Jews but from all that I ever heard or read about this man, he is a traitor to the US and is NOT a patriot to Israel. Too many people are responding to his call for release without looking at it logically.

  5. Col Pat Lang makes the following proposal:
    (Col. Lang was the “Defense Intelligence Officer for the Middle East, South Asia and Terrorism,” and later the first Director of the Defense Humint Service.”).

    OK. How about this deal?

    1- The US frees Pollard and in the announcement reiterates the simple fact that he is a traitor to the United States who spied for Israel.

    2 -At the same time Israel publicly admits that it betrayed its friendship with the United States in the Pollard affair.

    3- POTUS orders the Secretary of the Navy to convene a full scale investigation with regard to the attack on the USS Liberty by the IDF in 1967. The previous naval investigation of the incident conducted by Admiral Kidd in 1967 was a farce and completely inadequate. Jim Webb should be asked to conduct the investigation.

  6. Re-open the case of the USS Liberty in which the Israeli air force and navy combined to murder 34 US sailors and wound 171 more? That would be the day when the American people would begin to wake up and see their supposed "ally" in the clear light of day.

    That attack during which LBJ committed what should have been the impeachable act of calling back US fighters sent to defend the Liberty because, "I don't want to embarrass an ally," was the defining event in US relations with Israel because it sent a message to Israel that if it can get away with murdering American servicemen on the high seas, it can get away with anything and so it has, not the least of which has been the capture of the US Congress.

    One correction, the naval officer who conducted the phony inquiry which included no interviews with or questioning of any of the Israelis who were involved in the attack was Adm. John McCain Jr., father of the US senator who refuses to talk about it.

  7. It was anti-Semitism. No way they would have received the death penalty had they not been Jewish Communists.

    This despite the fact that the spying was for an ally, a fact that this author conveniently ignores. By that standard Pollard got off easy.

  8. Some people, mostly those who hate Jews, love to bring up the 45 year old Liberty tragedy. They can't accept that it was officaly ruled a case of mistaken identity. Just like the incident back in the 80's when the US Navy shot down a civian Iranian airliner, killing hundreds of civilians. The Navy claimed it thought the plane was an enemy fighter. Mistakes happen.
    But when Israel makes one, it becomes a field day for the knuckjle dragging anti-Semites.

  9. Pollard has not "served his time." He was given a life sentence. He could have been sentenced to death. In addition to Israel, he sold (or tried to sell) our secrets to Pakistan, South Africa, and China. He is free to apply for parole, yet he refuses to do so. Simply granting him clemency would be a mistake.

  10. Pollard has not "served his time." He was given a life sentence. He could have been sentenced to death. In addition to Israel, he sold (or tried to sell) our secrets to Pakistan, South Africa, and China. He is free to apply for parole, yet he refuses to do so. Simply granting him clemency would be a mistake.

  11. Pollard has not "served his time." He was given a life sentence. He could have been sentenced to death. In addition to Israel, he sold (or tried to sell) our secrets to Pakistan, South Africa, and China. He is free to apply for parole, yet he refuses to do so. Simply granting him clemency would be a mistake.

  12. From 2 to 4 years average PER COUNT. He was also SELLING the information so please don't think he was doing it for patriotism or his beliefs. He was doing it for cash. That being said, I have seen some politicians that got caught stealing classified information and were simply not prosecuted. In that light, I would think until we fix that issue we seem to be heavy handed in Pollard's case and too light handed in others. This pefhaps needs another look.

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