Pollard’s 10,000 days

By Jock L. Falkson

On April 13, 2013 the Jerusalem Post published a strong call for the release of Jonathan Pollard headlined under the heart wrenching title of “Pollard’s 10,000 days”. The Post’s editor urged Israel to demand Pollard’s freedom in return for further cooperation with the US.

Mincing no words, the editor wrote: “Before any American request, suggestion or recommendation geared to restart talks with the Palestinians is addressed, Pollard must be home. Nothing moves until Pollard is released. No gestures. No concessions. No deals.” This is nothing short of excellent and I hope our Prime Minister has been apprised and approves of it.

That the US has been monstrously unfair to Pollard is perhaps best understood when compared to the same sentence received by Aldrich Ames, an American, who was also charged with spying for the Soviet Union.

I quote from Wikipedia: “Ames could have faced the death penalty because his betrayal had resulted in the deaths of a number of CIA agents. He pleaded guilty and received a sentence of life imprisonment.”

“In court, Ames admitted that he had compromised ‘virtually all Soviet agents of the CIA and other American and foreign services known to me’ and had provided the USSR and Russia with a ‘huge quantity of information on United States foreign, defense and security policies’.”

“It is estimated that information Ames provided to the Soviets compromised at least 100 US intelligence operations, and to the execution at least ten U.S. agents.”

Nothing Pollard did compares with the harm which Aldrich inflicted on the US:

• Aldrich spied for Russia, America’s worst enemy. Pollard spied for Israel, a friendly country.

• Aldrich was responsible for the deaths of at least 10 US spies. Pollard was not responsible for the death of any US spies.

• Aldrich sold information which compromised American foreign, defense, and security policies. Pollard sold information to Israel which compromised Israel’s Islamic enemies exclusively. (He believed the US had agreed to share such information with Israel and was not doing so.)

• Aldrich exposed at least 100 US secret operations. Pollard exposed none.

• Aldrich was given life but no solitary confinement. Pollard was given life plus 7 years in solitary confinement.

Following his trial, Israel was pressured to publicly state it would never again spy on the US. However, the US has not agreed to stop spying on Israel. It employs scores of intelligence officers in its multi-storied office building in Tel Aviv – far more than the number needed for the simple clerical tasks of dealing with passport, visa and green card applications.

If Israel is reluctant to carry out the Post’s editor’s excellent recommendation to exert pressure for a Presidential pardon to gain Pollard’s freedom, shouldn’t we humbly – but publicly – ask the US to publicly state whether she has stopped spying on Israel?

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