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KD MAGAZINE! 
Posted: Friday, March 16, 2007 - ב"ה                    כ"ו באדר, תשס"ז

 
 
 
     
 

Let Jonathan Pollard Go!

Rabbi Shea Hecht
About the Author


 

 

Spring is a time of freedom; there's a feeling of relief with the sun shining and going outdoors after the long cooped up winter in our homes. For many like me, Spring means Passover time - which is a time of freedom.

At this time of the year I think it's only fitting for us to turn our thoughts to someone who is unfairly deprived of his freedom. It is time to raise our voices and say, "Let Jonathan Pollard go."

Let's take a look at the facts.

Jonathan spied for Israel, an American ally.

Jonathan gave Israel information it should have been given anyway.

Unlike Aldrich Ames, who was responsible for the deaths of at least 11 American agents, the information Jonathan gave did not endanger any of our other spies or cause their death.

The median sentence for the offense Pollard committed - one count of passing classified information to an ally - is two to four years; Jonathan received a life sentence.

Jonathan Pollard is the only person in the history of the United States to receive a life sentence for spying for an American ally. 

Steven Lalas, a Greek American compromised the identities of American agents in the Balkans. Although Lalas did not cooperate, the Government still honored his plea agreement and sentenced him to only 14 years. Jonathan Pollard committed a less serious offense and received his life sentence without benefit of trial as a result of a plea bargain which he honored and the U.S. government violated.

Clayton Lonetree sold the floor plans of the American embassies in Moscow and Vienna as well as the identities of American agents to the Soviet Union, a hostile country. Lonetree's 25 year sentence was soon reduced to 20. Lonetree, convicted in 1987, the same year as Pollard, went free in 1996 after serving only nine years; Jonathan is in jail for almost 22 years. Pollard remains in prison in the 21st century with no end in sight.

Worse still is the case of Michael Schwartz, who spied for our American ally, Saudi Arabia. He didn't serve even a single day in prison. Schwartz was treated humanely and generously and given only a slap on the wrist for his offense - dismissal from his Navy job and loss of rank and pension. Compare that to the life sentence Pollard received for spying for a different ally, Israel.

Jonathan Pollard did the wrong thing; Jonathan paid for his crime.

The inequities between the Pollard case and all other similar cases in United States history call out to us. Now at this time of freedom it's time for us to raise our collective voices and say, "An injustice has been done! Free Jonathan Pollard now!"
 

Read more articles by Rabbi Hecht 

Rabbi Hecht's Website:  www.sheahecht.com  

 

 
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