121. Shame on Pollard

The campaign for the release of Jonathan Pollard, who had spied for Israel and was sentenced to life imprisonment is under way. John Ethan Baer of the American Jewish Congress, wrote a letter (Nov. 22 [120]) to tell us why President Clinton should accede to the request of Prime Minister Rabin.

This campaign, however, started a long time ago. Before the presidential election, Elie Wiesel said that the candidates should be told: "If you want us to hear you, now is the time to hear us." It seems that payday has arrived. As the Jewish weekly Forward put it, "some in the Jewish community are hoping that President Clinton in a gesture of gratitude to the Jews who supported him during the campaign, will commute Pollard's sentence."

What the proponents of the release of Pollard are trying to do is to misinform the public. Mr. Baer's letter is a case in point. He said that "No American has received a jail sentence of more than 10 years when spying for a nation friendly to the United States." In 1945, when the Soviet Union and the United States were allies, the Rosenbergs were spying for the Soviet Union. They were not sentenced to life imprisonment but to death.

As for being an American, it is worth pondering the disgraceful comparison Pollard made after he was arrested. He compared himself to an "Israeli pilot shot down behind enemy lines." Furthermore, he considered Israel his "home," according to the interview he gave to Wolf Blitzer. Such statements clearly indicates that his loyalty to Israel surpasses his loyalty to the United States. His ex-wife and accomplice left to Israel after her release. She is now an active Likud member. One of the revealing things she said is: "I consider myself an Israeli, first and foremost, with the blessing of an American upbringing." Shame on both!

December 8, 1993