For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
Morris Pollard/David Kirshenbaum JPost 22 November 09
(Excellent presentation of the facts surrounding this case. Even for those who automatically reject his position out of hand, this article should raise many questions.)
Yesterday, Jonathan Pollard began the twenty-fifth year of his life sentence for passing to Israel during the 1980s classified US data concerning various Arab states, including evidence of Saddam Hussein's development of chemical weapons. This distressing anniversary is an appropriate moment to take stock of the bona fides of Jonathan's unprecedented punishment and the continued obsession of many in the US government with insuring, in the words of Jonathan's lead prosecutor, that Jonathan "never see the light of day."
One of the cornerstones of Barack Obama's presidency has been an expressed intent to make a clear break with a purported American policy of acting like a bully to the world. We would do well then to consider just who the United States was bullying and which countries it was coddling when the Pollard affair broke and whether US behavior is any different today under President Obama.
PRIOR TO the Khomeini revolution in 1979, US Middle East policy was anchored in the "Twin Pillars" of Iran and Saudi Arabia. With the overthrow of the Shah, the US sought a replacement for one of its now fallen pillars. It turned to Iraq's Saddam Hussein, the brutal dictator of a country that was on America's list of state sponsors of terror.
This US policy shift was the genesis to the Pollard. Throughout the 1980s, continuing until one week before Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in the summer of 1990, the US government pursued a policy of craven appeasement of Iraq. America turned a blind eye to Saddam Hussein's use of chemical weapons, it allowed the transfer of billions of dollars of US taxpayer backed credits to Iraq via the Atlanta branch of an Italian bank to secretly finance Hussein's purchase of both agricultural goods and weaponry, and cooperated in the sale to Iraq by third parties of a wide variety of military equipment, including US military rocket cluster bombs, chemical weapons technology and missile technology.
Every sane government in the world today looks with grave concern at the nuclear weapons capability that Iran is on the threshold of acquiring. And they shudder at the thought of what might have been if Iraq had a nuclear weapon when it invaded Kuwait in 1990. That power was denied Saddam Hussein when Israel destroyed Iraq's Osiraq nuclear reactor in June 1981. But at the time, Israel was not thanked, but rather was subjected to near-universal condemnation, including from the United States.
In the Reagan White House, there was a consensus among vice president George Bush, defense secretary Caspar Weinberger and chief of staff James Baker that Israel needed to be punished. Weinberger persuaded Reagan to delay delivery of F-16 fighter jets to Israel and the similarly incensed Deputy CIA Director Bobby Ray Inman ordered withholding from Israel all satellite photography and other similar materials involving areas more than 250 miles from Israel's borders. This ban was then formally approved by Weinberger and converted what was until then a routine intelligence transfer into a criminal violation.
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"