Free Pollard, Free Vanunu and Reevaluate Allies

Free Pollard, Free Vanunu and Reevaluate Allies
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Free Pollard, Free Vanunu and Reevaluate Allies

By Eileen Fleming

The New York Times reported that Jonathon J. Pollard’s release could be part of a deal that includes “the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, including citizens of Israel, and a partial freeze on construction in West Bank settlements.”

Officials involved in the Israeli-Palestinian “peace talks” said on Tuesday that an agreement was near on extending the “peace talk” negotiations through 2015 and Pollard could be released this month.

Until 1998 Israel publicly denied that Pollard was an Israeli spy, although it granted him citizenship in 1995.

During President Barack Obama’s recent trip to Israel, more than 2,000 gathered outside Israeli President Shimon Peres’ house to call for the release of Pollard, who is serving a life term in a North Carolina prison after pleading guilty to spying for Israel from June 1984 until his arrest in November 1985.

More than 200,000 people signed an online petition for Pollard’s release.

Obama told Israel’s Channel 2 that he is not about to free Jonathan Pollard from prison because he “committed a very serious crime.”

The Arab Daily News

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Pollard, Obama

Pollard pleaded guilty in 1986 to transmitting intelligence to Israel and was given a life sentence. The median sentence for such an offense is 2 to 4 years.

In November 2010, 39 members of Congress sent a letter to Obama asking the President to commute Jonathan Pollard’s sentence.

The letter to the President stated, “Mr. Pollard has been incarcerated now for over twenty six years, and from our perspective this stands as a sufficient time from the standpoint of either punishment or deterrence. There is a great disparity between the amount of time that Mr. Pollard has served and the time that has been served by many others who were found guilty of similar activity on behalf of nations that, like Israel, are our allies” and “commuting Pollard’s sentence would go a long way in demonstrating to Israel that the bond between the United States and Israel is powerful and unwavering.”

In January 2011, Prime Minister Netanyahu became the first Israeli prime minister to formally and publicly request the release of Jonathan Pollard in an official letter to President Obama calling for freedom for Pollard.

In April 2011, President Peres hand-delivered a personal letter from Jonathan Pollard to President Obama, in which Pollard pleaded with the President to release him.

Other calls for clemency come from “prominent government officials, high-ranking individuals in the national intelligence arena, leading professionals in the legal world, and renowned religious and communal leaders.”  

They include:

Former Secretary of State George Shultz, former Senator David Durenberger, who served as Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence at the time of Pollard’s conviction.

Former Congressman Lee Hamilton, who served as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee at the time of Jonathan Pollard’s sentencing.

Former Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb and former National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane, who served under President Ronald Reagan at the time when Pollard was investigated.

Former CIA Director James Woolsey, former Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Senator Dennis DeConcini, former White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum and former Deputy Attorney General and Harvard Law Professor Philip Heymann, who are fully aware of all of the contents of Pollard’s classified file and with the facts and circumstances of this case have joined that chorus.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Vice President Dan Quayle, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Republican Senator John McCain, and Democratic Senator Charles Schumer.

Also, a bi-partisan group of eighteen prominent former United States Senators, including four former Chairmen of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence have called on President Obama to commute Pollard’s sentence.

It should be noted that Pollard entered into a plea agreement and cooperated with the prosecution, but he still received a life sentence with a recommendation that he never be paroled and this is in violation of the plea agreement he had reached with the US government.

Although Pollard insists he was motivated by concern for Israeli security, he was paid (and is still being paid) a handsome salary by the Israeli government. His Israeli handlers also provided gifts and trips to Europe for Pollard and his wife, Anne.

The severity of Pollard’s sentence was based on secret testimony by [then-Defense Secretary] Caspar Weinberger, who is on record as saying that Pollard was lucky–he should have received three life sentences.

Pollard provided Israeli intelligence with more than 1,000 classified U.S. documents, some consisting of hundreds of pages, comprising overall some 360 cubic feet of paper.

According to American investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, Pollard sold information on nuclear targets in the Soviet Union to Israel.

U.S. defense sources suggest that what caused the most bitter anger against Pollard in the Pentagon and throughout the American intelligence community was the fact that the information compromised human agents in the Soviet Union and elsewhere. U.S. intelligence sources have concluded that the Israeli government bartered this information to the Soviet Union. [1]

Whatever information Pollard sold over a quarter of a century ago to Israel has done its damage to US and common sense calls for America to reevaluate allies.

Jonathan Pollard was born in 1954 in Texas. Israel’s Nuclear Whistle Blower, Mordechai Vanunu was born in Marrakesh, Morocco in 1954.

Vanunu exposing details of his kidnapping by Mossad on his way to closed door trial, 1986.

Vanunu exposing details of his kidnapping by Mossad on his way to closed door trial, 1986.

 

In April 1999, thirty-six members of the House of Representatives signed a letter calling for Israeli Nuclear Whistle Blower, Mordechai Vanunu’s release from prison because they believed “we have a duty to stand up for men and women like Mordechai Vanunu who dare to articulate a brighter vision for humanity.”

President Clinton responded with a public statement expressing concern for Vanunu and the need for Israel and other non-parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty to adhere to it and accept IAEA safeguards.

However, ever since the silence from the US Government over Israel’s WMD has been deafening and Vanunu remains captive in east Jerusalem denied the right to leave the ‘only democracy in the Middle East.’   
On May 28, 1993, Ariel Sharon explained:

The terms ‘democracy’ or ‘democratic’ are totally absent from the Declaration of Independence. This is not an accident. The intention of Zionism was not to bring democracy, needless to say. It was solely motivated by the creation in Eretz-Isrel of a Jewish state belonging to all the Jewish people and to the Jewish people alone. This is why any Jew of the Diaspora has the right to immigrate to Israel and to become a citizen of Israel.

 

Professor Jeff Halper, American Israeli and co-founder of Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions explained:

An ethnocracy is the opposite of a democracy, although it might incorporate some elements of democracy such as universal citizenship and elections. It arises when one particular group-the Jews in Israel, the Russians in Russia, the Protestants in pre-1972 Northern Ireland, the whites in apartheid South Africa, the Shi’ite Muslims in Iran, the Malay in Malaysia and, if they had their way, the white Christian fundamentalists in the US-seize control of the government and armed forces in order to enforce a regime of exclusive privilege over other groups in what is in fact a multi-ethnic or multi-religious society.

Ethnocracy, or ethno-nationalism, privileges ethnos over demos, whereby one’s ethnic affiliation, be it defined by race, descent, religion, language or national origin, takes precedence over citizenship in determining to whom a county actually ‘belongs.’ – “An Israeli in Palestine: Resisting Dispossession, Redeeming Israel” page 74.

 

On George Washington’s birth date, his Farewell Address has been read aloud in Congress ever since 1896:

Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all…and passionate attachments for others should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated.

The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave…a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils.

Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former in the quarrels and wars of the latter, without adequate justification.

 

  1. A Tale of Two Spies

 

Eileen Fleming has been to both sides of The Wall 8 times since 2005 and is the founder of WeAreWideAwake.org  Producer of “30 Minutes with Vanunu”  Follow her at TWITTER

Contact her at eileenfleming.org

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