Is the US on the same moral level as Hamas?

Jonathan Pollard, in better days

Jonathan Pollard, in better days

If this report is true, then the behavior of my government is worse than despicable:

Following reports that Israel and the U.S. are engaged in advanced negotiations over the release of convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, the Shas ultra-Orthodox newspaper Yom l’Yom [Day to Day] reported Thursday morning that disputes have arisen between the two sides over the details of the deal.

According to the Shas newspaper, the U.S. said it will agree to release Pollard only under condition that he continue to be imprisoned in Israel. The Israelis, however, demand Pollard’s full and permanent release. The report said that despite their disagreements the two sides are trying to come to a compromise.

Last week, a local Jerusalem newspaper reported that Pollard, who is serving a life sentence for espionage in a North Carolina prison, could be released in exchange for Israel agreeing to a settlement freeze.

I have discussed the Pollard case in numerous posts. Here’s some of what I said the last time:

Pollard’s hugely disproportionate sentence — Pollard is the only American who has been given a life sentence for spying for an ally — the government’s reneging on his plea bargain, his treatment in prison, far worse than that of Soviet spy Aldrich Ames, for whose crimes Pollard may have been blamed, and the continued lack of an acceptable rationale from the government, tell us that there is something ‘special’ about this case.

One thing that is special, in my opinion, is that Pollard knows something that would be embarrassing to some US officials. This explains the demand that he continue to be imprisoned in Israel. Certainly there would be a secret protocol that he would not be able to speak publicly. The evil that is being done to this man, who has more than paid for his crime, is remarkable.

But I wonder what moral cretin in the administration came up with the idea of trading him for a settlement freeze. It probably went something like this:

The Jews will do anything to get one of their people back. Look what they paid for Shalit! This yid is just costing us to feed him in Butner [Federal Prison], so why let him die and go to waste? Let’s see what we can get for him.

Maybe it isn’t true. I hope not. That is, I want to see Pollard released as much as anyone, and I hope he will be freed to live his last days in Israel with his wife, who has dedicated herself to saving him.

What I can’t face is that my government may be on the same moral level as Hamas.

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3 Responses to “Is the US on the same moral level as Hamas?”

  1. Robman says:

    Well, not exactly the same level, as Pollard had in fact committed a crime, whereas Shalit’s only “crime’ was that he was an IDF soldier in the wrong place at the wrong time (which, i suppose to some, constitutes a “crime”).

    Also, Israel has not rounded up all the people the U.S. has spying for them in Israel, such as the people I’ve heard reportedly watching every Israeli piece of construction equipment in J&S, monitoring every little bit of activity. I’m sure there are other U.S. spies on the ground monitoring Israeli military movements, and rumors of impending activity of any sort.

    So, there couldn’t be a “prisoner swap”.

    Maybe if Israel rounded up the people listed above, then Israel could get Pollard back WITHOUT being pressured about “settlements”. Bibi, are you listening?

    No, the U.S. government is not at the same level as Hamas. But they are arguably worse, at least in terms of hypocrisy – Hamas admits to being Israel’s adversary, but the U.S. claims to be Israel’s “friend” – and also insofar as a free, first-world liberal secular democracy, whose leaders presumably are aware of history, ought to know better than they apparently do.

  2. Shalom Freedman says:

    In spite of its having gone on for years and so much written about it I still do not understand the Pollard case. I thought that it was Caspar Weinberger who was responsible for the especially severe punishment given Pollard. But Weinberger has long been gone. At another point I heard that Pollard was being singled out as an example to the American Jewish community to deter them from showing greater loyalty to Israel than to the U.S. Then I thought U.S. Presidents were not letting Pollard go because they feared being accused of being ‘tools’ of Israel. But this seems to me unlikely.
    So I do not know why he is being singled out and punished beyond the norm. I just don’t get it.

  3. Vic Rosenthal says:

    Robman: the point is that the US is asking Israel to pay a ransom to get the prisoner back. And although Pollard did commit a crime, he has more than paid for it. Check the links in the post to see how excessive the penalty was compared to other spies, even some who spied for the Soviets!

    Shalom: the ONLY explanation that makes sense any more is that the US does not want to Pollard to speak out. About what, who knows? Perhaps the US relationship with Saddam, something to do with Iran… one can only guess.

    I do think that to some extent the government wanted to send a message to Jews, but that doesn’t explain why they want him to be imprisoned in Israel. The message has clearly been sent several times over.