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National Insecurity: The Case for Jonathan Pollard

American Jews haven’t stood up for Jonathan Pollard. That might finally be changing.

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Jonathan Pollard. (Photoillustration: Tablet Magazine; photo: Wikimedia Commons)

This piece was published November 16, 2010. For all of Tablet Magazine’s coverage of the politics surrounding Jonathan Pollard, whose release was reportedly discussed yesterday, click here.

Jonathan Pollard, who is now marking his 24th year in prison, has earned the dubious record of serving the longest prison term in American history for spying for an ally. Convicted of espionage in 1987, Pollard was the suburban American Jewish dream turned nightmare: a good, middle-class, high-achieving boy turned traitor. The son of a college professor, smart enough to graduate from Stanford, patriotic enough to be hired to work in naval intelligence, he made a criminal decision to betray his country to help Israel.

And yet new petitions on his behalf have recently begun to circulate, and gain momentum, both in the U.S. Congress and the Israeli Knesset. This is, in large measure, because Pollard’s situation rests on a contradiction: He was guilty of a reprehensible crime, and yet he has been treated abominably. One of the most infamous Jewish criminals in modern times, he is also the victim of the worst act of official American anti-Semitism in our lifetimes. With his round face and shoulder-length hair, Pollard today still looks more like a perpetual grad student than an arch criminal, but he has suffered severely. He has served hard time, mostly in maximum-security prisons, spending years in lockdown 23 hours a day. Websites pleading his case detail his medical ailments, noting that he has “developed diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pre-glaucoma, and arthritis while in prison.”

From the moment he was sentenced, there were people in the Jewish community—and beyond—who believed Pollard had been unjustly punished and who fought for his release. But they were few and far between, and they often made the wrong case for him. This newest round of argument on Pollard’s behalf is different. For starters, many of his champions have been careful not to lionize him. Rather, they focus on correcting what Judge Stephen Williams, who filed a dissent in one of Pollard’s failed appeals, deemed “a fundamental miscarriage of justice.” Most surprisingly, on September 27, 2010, a former assistant secretary of Defense confirmed many people’s decades-long fears that, at some point, the case had turned personal—and poisonous. Without explaining what prompted him to break his silence, Lawrence Korb, who served in the Pentagon in Reagan’s first term, wrote President Barack Obama: “Based on my first-hand knowledge, I can say with confidence that the severity of Pollard’s sentence is a result of an almost visceral dislike of Israel and the special place it occupies in our foreign policy on the part of my boss at the time, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger.”

Decades into this tragic and pathetic tale, American Jewry’s continuing allergy to defending Pollard says more about our communal fears and the price we are willing to pay for social and political acceptance than it does about Pollard and his crimes.


On November 21, 1985, FBI agents arrested Pollard, 31 at the time, just outside Israel’s embassy in Washington. Since June 1984, Pollard had been routinely removing sensitive documents from the Naval Intelligence Support Center on Friday afternoons, passing them to his Israeli handlers for Xeroxing, and blithely returning them on Monday mornings. When first interrogated by the FBI, Pollard called his wife. After he worked the word “cactus” into the conversation, their designated SOS code word, Anne Henderson-Pollard scurried about their house—with a neighbor’s help—sanitizing it. The neighbor subsequently gave the FBI a 70-pound suitcase filled with secret documents, reflecting the volume of Pollard’s activities and sloppiness.

Despite transferring thousands of documents to his Israeli handlers, Pollard failed to gain asylum at the embassy on that day in 1985. Backpedaling furiously, Israel first labeled Pollard a rogue agent, as his handlers worked out of a shadowy organization called Lekem, the Defense Ministry’s Bureau for Scientific Relations. The department, headed by the legendary Mossad man Rafi Eitan, was disbanded shortly after Pollard’s arrest. Israel granted Pollard citizenship in 1995—long after such a move could have done him any good. And it wasn’t until 1998 that Israel finally acknowledged what everyone knew: Pollard had been an authorized agent spying for Israel.

An American Jew’s arrest as an Israeli spy was upsetting enough for American Jews. But Pollard’s defense made the affair excruciating. Minimizing the thousands of dollars he earned, the diamond-and-sapphire ring the Israelis gave him, and his efforts to shop American secrets to South Africa and possibly Pakistan, too, Pollard portrayed himself as a Zionist idealist. Anti-Semites bullied him as a child, he recalled. He claimed that the documents he smuggled out, so crucial to Israeli security, should have been shared freely. And, using a most obnoxious and threatening term, he said a “racial obligation” compelled him, as a Jew, to defend the Jewish state.

Suddenly, amid Ronald Reagan’s resurgence of hard-bodied patriotic machismo, in the age of Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo and Clint Eastwood’s tough-guy “make my day” taunt, a balding, mustachioed, jowly-faced American Jewish nerd in glasses was betraying the red, white, and blue for the blue and white. Pollard’s crimes epitomized Zionism-run-amok, with the ideological implications of Jewish tribal solidarity pushed to its extreme.

“I feel my husband and I did what we were expected to do, and what our moral obligation was as Jews, what our moral obligation was as human beings, and I have no regrets about that,” Anne Pollard said defiantly on 60 Minutes shortly before being sentenced, one of many arrogant, self-destructive moves the couple made back then. While stirring up the terrifying “dual loyalty” charge—far more terrifying to Jews than to Irish-Americans and other hyphenated Americans—the Pollards defined every Jew’s ultimate loyalty as being to the Jewish state. Desperately repudiating the charge, the prominent academic Jacob Neusner would declare America to be the true “promised land.”

This American Jewish skittishness regarding Pollard was particularly surprising because by the 1980s American Jews were thriving in America’s suburban meritocracy. Some American Jewish superstars were accented immigrants like former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and the winner of the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize, Elie Wiesel. But most American Jewish success stories were 100 percent American. Speaking unaccented English, they were supposed to be unscarred psychologically, unapologetically American.


American Jews had been here before. Three decades before Pollard made headlines, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg’s arrest, trial, and conviction as Soviet spies for stealing atomic secrets rendered the American Jews’ nightmare scenario in pinkish hues. But in the 1950s, American Jews were greener, more marginal. Julius Rosenberg represented the intellectual, foreign-born, New York Jew as Communist, at a time when Communism was disproportionately popular among Jews.

With the Rosenbergs—as with the Pollards—the rightness of finding them guilty was often confused with the wrongness of their punishment. The zeal with which they were prosecuted, the way Judge Irving Kaufman presided over their trial, and Ethel Rosenberg’s unjust execution along with her husband, all suggested something deeper in both the American Jewish psyche and the larger American political culture. The American legal establishment particularly enjoyed prosecuting these treasonous Jews, while many American Jews leapt to prove their own loyalty—at the Rosenbergs’ expense.

Just as in the Rosenberg case, the judge presiding over Pollard’s sentencing was swayed to render too harsh a punishment—a decision that kicked up new waves of suspicion and anxiety.

In an effort to keep his wife out of prison, Pollard pleaded guilty to one count of espionage. His wife, Anne, then 26, pleaded guilty to the milder charge of illegally possessing classified documents. In return, the prosecutor asked the judge to punish Pollard with a “substantial number of years in prison.” During the sentencing phase, one voice proved damningly influential. In a secret 46-page-pre-sentencing “damage-assessment memorandum” sent to the judge—and an additional four-page memo that was recently declassified—Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger made a fierce argument. “It is difficult … to conceive of a greater harm to national security than that caused by the defendant in view of the breadth, the critical importance to the U.S., and the high sensitivity of the information he sold to Israel,” wrote Weinberger, before adding—malevolently and unnecessarily—that Pollard’s “loyalty to Israel transcends his loyalty to the United States.”

Judge Aubrey Robinson Jr., of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, sentenced Jonathan Pollard to life in prison and his wife to five years. (After Anne Henderson-Pollard served three-and-a-half years, she was paroled. Jonathan Pollard divorced her so she could rebuild her life without him.) The sentence was surprisingly harsh. By comparison, in 1987 Sgt. Clayton Lonetree, who’d been seduced by a Soviet agent, became the first Marine ever convicted of espionage. His crimes compromised agents and the American embassy in Moscow. Yet a military court—under Weinberger’s direct authority—sentenced Lonetree to 30 years in prison, and he eventually served nine years. Richard Miller, an FBI agent who spied for the Soviets in the 1980s, served 13 years. Spies for other allies, like Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Egypt, and the Philippines, served anywhere from two to four years, with maximum sentences of 10 years. Pollard’s extreme sentence—along with the continuing refusal to free him–has raised questions about official American anti-Semitism and whether Pollard is enduring harsher punishment for the crime of being an American Jew spying for Israel.

Given that neither Weinberger nor Robinson ever explained their actions, the Pollard case remained shrouded in this noxious mystery. Years later, Weinberger would skip over the case in his memoirs and, when asked about the omission, would dismiss the Pollard case as a “very minor matter.” But it’s clear that his accusation that Pollard committed “treason”—and harmed the nation—had a devastating impact.

In his recent letter, Lawrence Korb suggested that Weinberger, his former boss, had exaggerated the damage Pollard caused and that an anti-Semitic bias distorted the case. From the start, some speculated that Weinberger, who had Jewish grandparents but was a devout Episcopalian, sacrificed Pollard to exorcise his own ancestral demons. There was something about this pudgy, sloppy, unapologetic Jewish spy for Israel that repulsed Weinberger. Weinberger was also one of the Reagan Administration’s leading Israel skeptics. Caught in a power struggle with the pro-Israel Secretary of State George Shultz, Weinberger usually viewed the Jewish state as more albatross than asset.

More benign observers guessed that the secrets Pollard spilled did more damage to U.S. interests than Pollard or the Israelis suggested. Perhaps, some argued, Russian spies secured key codes thanks to Israeli-based KGB agents. Others assumed Pollard received instructions from a higher-level mole who remains unexposed. After Aldrich Ames’ arrest for spying in 1994, some speculated that Weinberger and others may have blamed Pollard for the damage Ames had actually caused, including the deaths of as many as 10 CIA assets. The author John Loftus and others theorized that Ames, who was a top CIA counter-intelligence official, probably pinned his own crimes on Pollard. In 1995, Moment magazine editor Hershel Shanks would quote Loftus quoting naval intelligence “sources” who admitted that “90 percent of the things we accused [Pollard] of stealing, he didn’t even have access to.”


After Pollard’s sentencing, New York Times columnist William Safire warned that Pollard encouraged “anti-Semites who charge that Jews everywhere are at best afflicted with dual loyalty and at worst are agents of a vast fifth column.” Issuing a personal declaration of independence from Israel, Safire proclaimed: “American supporters of Israel cannot support wrongdoing here or there. In matters of religion and culture, many of those supporters are American Jews, but in matters affecting national interest and ultimate loyalty, the stonewalling leaders of Israel will learn to think of us as Jewish Americans.”

But one keen observer of American Jewry, the political scientist Daniel Elazar, noticed that it was American Jews—and not their non-Jewish neighbors—who were actually raising the dual-loyalty specter, “apparently in the hope of preventing the issue from surfacing by raising the charge in order to deny it. Even more frequently, it was raised by Jews in the media, most of whom were highly assimilated but still apparently needed to demonstrate their ‘bona fides’ as Americans.” Elazar concluded: “The level of American Jewish insecurity is astounding.”

American Jews still viewed themselves and their community as on probation in the United States, with their ultimate acceptance conditional on good behavior. This pathology would be stated clearly, if unconsciously, years later, by one of the highest-ranking Jews in American history, who served his country nobly as director of naval intelligence from 1978 to 1982 and yanked Pollard’s security clearance—temporarily—years before the spying began. Rear Admiral Sumner Shapiro sounded like a scared yid when discussing Pollard. Annoyed at fringe American Jewish groups that defended Pollard, Shapiro told the Washington Post in 1998: “We work so hard to establish ourselves and to get where we are, and to have somebody screw it up … and then to have Jewish organizations line up behind this guy and try to make him out a hero of the Jewish people, it bothers the hell out of me.”

All minorities want to celebrate their tribal successes as reflecting the best of their people without being tarred when one of their own acts poorly. And given the torturous history of anti-Semitism, American Jews feel this intensely. We circulate lists of Jewish Nobel prize winners, delighting in each American Jewish success, using Jewish achievements to validate our rich but complex Jewish baggage. And while we reserve the right to cringe when a Bernard Madoff becomes the modern face of the greedy Jew or a Jonathan Pollard becomes the modern face of the traitorous Jew, we also reserve the right to object when our neighbors make similar leaps from the one bad apple to the whole bunch.

Nearly two years after Pollard’s arrest, with the sentencing returning the case to the headlines, the Israeli academic Shlomo Avineri zeroed in on this American Jewish insecurity—and inconsistency. Writing in the Jerusalem Post, first condemning Pollard as a traitor and his own government as clumsy, Avineri mocked the “nervousness, insecurity, and even cringing” of American Jews. Playing the role of the abrasive Israeli—or biblical prophet—Avineri wrote: “Today, American Jewish leaders by their protestations of over-zealous loyalty to the United States at a moment when no one is really questioning it, are saying that America in the long run is no different from France and Germany. When you have to over-identify, there is no other proof needed that you think that your non-Jewish neighbors are looking askance at your Americanism. You are condemned by your own protestations of loyalty and flag-waving.” At a time when Israel’s actions made it unpopular with many American Jews, Avineri’s aggressively Zionist analysis only exacerbated tensions.


The controversy–and speculation–peaked during the Wye River negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians in October 1998. Benjamin Netanyahu, in his first round as Israel’s prime minister, lobbied hard for Pollard’s release. President Bill Clinton seemed set to free him as a sweetener to Israel until the CIA director, George Tenet, threatened to resign. Such power politicking against a spy who had been imprisoned for over a decade reinforced both camps’ speculation. Those who fear anti-Semitism say this irrational move reflects a deep aversion in the WASP-iest bastions of the American government. Those who believe Pollard did more damage than we know insist that the usually mild-mannered Tenet had a good reason to be so rigid.

To Israeli settlers, Pollard’s case symbolizes the anti-Semitism of even benign non-Jewish polities such as the United States and the weak-kneed appeasement policies of successive Israeli governments, which have failed to free Pollard. The most popular pro-Pollard bumper sticker in Israel simply appeals for Pollard to come home “haBaytah,” but a few years ago one poster challenged: “BUSH: FREE YOUR CAPTIVE.” This poster not only targeted a good friend of Israel’s, George W. Bush, but it pictured Pollard with the young Israeli Hamas is holding, Gilad Shalit. The implicit comparisons, between the innocent Shalit and the guilty Pollard, as well as between the democratic United States and the terrorist-state Hamas, were offensive. While the right’s support has sustained Pollard emotionally, it may have made his get-out-of-jail card even harder to get. The Israeli right is unpopular with both the American Jewish community and the American political establishment, making Pollard even more unappealing.


However unappealing he may be, the time has come to free Jonathan Pollard—not as some sop to Israelis but as a matter of justice. Holding an individual hostage to the vagaries of the never-ending Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic process is cruel and unusual punishment. The Pollard case has become a question of justice, American-style, unrelated to American-Israeli relations. And justice when applied too zealously becomes unjust. For decades, the American Civil Liberties Union and other civil-rights organizations have taught that we take up certain criminals’ cases not because we like the criminals or excuse their crimes but because, at a certain point, it becomes the right thing to do.

Imagine another case in which an accused man served a disproportionately long sentence after being tried in a court where direct pressure was applied by the secretary of Defense for reasons that may well have been mistaken or personally motivated. If there was another such case, one imagines that it would attract lots of attention from the ACLU and other groups concerned with the civil liberties of Americans. So why are they silent? More to the point, why are we silent?

If the Pollard case represents the worst of American anti-Semitism, then, by historic standards, anti-Semitism American style is mild indeed. Still, that American Jews, despite their long record of defending the underdog, still hestitate to champion Pollard’s release now, suggests that we—like Jonathan Pollard—remain victims of the “astounding” insecurity Elazar witnessed two decades ago.


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Daniel Steinmetz says:

I am in almost complete agreement with your argument that Pollard should be freed because he has been punished enough. You did omit a critical point; Pollard fails to exercise his option of requesting probation.

I would also add, that Pollard has pleaded guilty but he does not seem to have ever invalidated the dual loyalty argument. To the best of my knowledge his still insists that he was right to override his US obligations for the sake of Israel’s interests. So, dual loyalty in his case is not a canard. In fact, Pollard himself privileges his loyalty to Israel over his loyalty to the US.

Pollard himself is his own worst enemy. If he were to ask for probation and to say, his loyalty should have been to the US first he would make it easier for ACLU and American Jewish centrists to advocate on his behalf.

Frankly, if he is released and goes to Israel (as seems likely), he will probably unleash a series of pronouncements that will probably embarrass his centrist supporters.

I still feel he should be freed, but I feel like your article glossed over some of the other real reasons he is not being freed.

Isabella Overingotn says:

You need to do one of those click and send to Senator/Rep things.
I agree it’s been far too long. If one is an American citizen, once has to be loyal to America, but I hope he’s released soon. My Dad would have said, he’s only crime was being caught. Israel is our ally.
Isabella Overington.

Avrum Fine says:

I am an American and have absolutely no sympathy for this guy. He betrayed MY COUNTRY!

Free him. Enough is enough!

Arnold Bloch says:

Pollard was convicted as a traitor to the US. It doesn’t matter if he was spying for Israel or Egypt. He knew what he was doing, as well as the risks and benefits invovled. Why should I care one bit about whether Casper Weinberger had anti-semetic beliefs or not? I am sorry that Mr. Pollard is unwell and I don’t know how parole boards figure in ill-health in their decisions, but I cannot see the reason why I as a Jew should either petition for his release or care about his continuing imprisonment or potential freedom. Jews are guilty of crimes like Gentiles are. Harsh sentences occur. Does this one seem more harsh or lenient than others? The author cites other examples of lighter sentences or early paroles, but does not explain in any detail how the cases may be similar or different, other than to imply that since these criminals were not Jewish their sentences were more lenient.

Bringing up the Rosenbergs is a slap in the face of the sentencing judges. You might as well bring up Dreyfus, also irrelevent in this case.

I am not insecure and try not to be inconsitent. Show me the facts about Pollard relative to other convicted traitors and perhaps I will change my mind.

Bennett Muraskin says:

Julius Rosenberg also spied for an ally. That is not an excuse.

Considering how much military, economic and diplomatic assistance the US has provided to Israel over the years, for Israel to spy on the US took collosal chutzpah.

Pollard is paying the price.

By the way, I do think he should be freed, but for purely humanitarian reasons.

It is a shame that Pollard has been in prison for such a long time, but the facts are the facts. He did spy for Israel. which is a foreign country. He spied for money, making his actions mercenary and not idealogical, and most importantly, he has had an arrogant attitude from the beginning of his incarceration to the present time.

Certainly there is anti-semitism at play here. Yet we are still dealing with a traitor. Whether Weinberger came from a Jewish background or not is immaterial to this case. If memory serves me right, did not Pollard opt for a trial rather than take a plea bargain?

Netanyahu is basically weak when it comes to dealing with the Americans. He caved in to Clinton, as he is caving into Obama. As such, I think we can look to see Pollard die in prison, a victim of his own stupidity.

Aaron Finestone says:

Caspar Weinberger’s alleged anti-Semitism does not make Pollard innocent. The only positive thing that can be said about Pollard is that after 24 years, commutation of his sentence would be reasonable. However, first Pollard should apologize to the USA. None of his advocates ever said that he apologized. Pollard should be deported to Israel as a sweetener for Israeli concessions with the Palestinian Authority.

Marty Janner says:

Mr.Pollard was guilty of an act that might be high treason. However the so called information was passed to a country whom by all accounts was a friendly nation. was the recipient nation using this this as a tool to undermine the security of the United States?

This is the issue! If we concede, and treat this action of the perpetrator as doing just that, the penalty would be justified! However this appears to not be the case. Now is the time re-think the severity of the sentence, and permit Pollard to be released.

I, can fully understand the sensitivity of American Jews to the issue of having one of it’s own with dual allegiance, does this reflect on them personally, to me, we know that this America is the greatest entity in the world, and our loyalty remains with it! This is one of the anomallys that occurs, but fairness is the question!

It is time that this is over. I cannot believe the the USS Liberty incident does not figure in here somehow with the people that are so adament that Mr. Pollard stays in the dock.

That USS Liberty disaster is a real burr in the ointment. It is time for the truth to come out on both these events and put an end to them.

Rabbi Asher Lopatin says:

Great article. Spying for a friendly country – Israel! – is not legally treason, nor was Pollard convicted for “treason”. It is unfortunate when Jews, even pro-Israel Jews, are afraid to distinguish between passing information to Israel and to enemies of our country. Jonathan Pollard violated American law, but it is highly questionable if he endangered our country – he may well have help the US. In any case, I agree that the appeal should be done on the minimal grounds that his sentence is clearly far more than his crime calls for. If Rev Hagee and Gary Bauer can advocate for Pollard’s release, so should we Jews!

Very encouraging to see such a great article, with a great message in Tablet magazine. Hooray for the next generation of Jews!

Rabbi Asher Lopatin
(b. 1964)

The dumb S.O.B spied, got caught…and we should cry.

Boo Hoo ! O.K.? American Jews should be ashamed.

David Zohar says:

As an Israeli who values the friendship and support of the USA I think that using Pollard as a spy was an act of sheer idiocy on the part of my government and he has earned his punishment.

Hyman Rosen says:

Let Pollard’s lawyers fight for his release. To ask the Jewish community to fight for him is to imply that his freedom ought to be of particular interest to us, and that in turn implies that we should condone his actions. It’s not much different than the haredi community organizing to support Rubashkin. Surely there are better causes to rally around than supporting convicted criminals in their bid for freedom? Those of us who dislike Pollard don’t fear that the Goyim will charge us with dual loyalty, we are annoyed by Jews who think that we should have it.

mackie mccleod says:

for more information about our conferences dealing with crimes committed by FBI agents to see a partial list of crimes committed by FBI agents over 1500 pages long
forums.signonsandiego. com/showthread.php?t=59139

to view a partial list of FBI agents arrested for pedophilia see
campusactivism. org/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=29

also see

I am still trying to find out what exact damage to the USA security he had made if presiding over the case judge, after hearing “damage-assessment memorandum” from the secretary of state, overturned the prosecutor request to sentence Polard to just few years in prison and instead imposed on him the “life sentence”? What are those mysterious horrendous damages if the government still has to keep them in secret and refuses to make public? What possibly Polard could supply to a friendly country that are comparable to the damages inflicted on USA by spies like Aldrich Ames (who received the same as Polard sentence)
(To those who don’t know what Ames did, here: He was working for CIA and spied for the Soviet Union. Besides other things he gave soviets the names of 8 CIA top agents, who were working at that time in KGB and other branches of the USSR intelligence. All 8 were executed).
If Polard received the same sentence as Ames did – their crimes against USA must be comparable. So, what actually Polard did? Or, in other words, – how his actions actually affected USA security? Does anybody know or does anybody care?

BB Melman says:

Pollard pleaded guilty under pressure to avoid having the US reveal at a trial the details and extent of the alleged damage. In return for his pleading guilty and avoiding a trial option, he was to receive a reduced sentence. At the last minute before sentencing Weinberger gave the judge a secret memo.

On the basis of that memo he was given a life sentence,thus betraying Pollard and violating the terms of the plea bargain. On this basis investigating the psychology and self-hatred of Weinberger to his Jewish roots as a severe pathology is highly relevant.

His life sentence is a miscarriage of justice. Without exception, every spy for a friendly country received a sentence of between 2 and 4 years. Pollard is the only exception.

Most of the information Pollard provided Israel was supposed to be given freely to Israel, as part of the MOU, Memorandum of Understanding, to which Weinberger was a co-signer. The fact that Weinberger violated his own memorandum and betrayed Israel is also relevant.

He broke the law. And he served more than an appropriate time in prison. It is a shameful miscarriage of American justice to hold him prisoner any longer. He should be freed posthaste and forthwith – immediately.

He committed treason. The penalty for such a crime is typically death.

It doesn’t matter if he highly supports Israel or not, or even how damaging the documents were, he is an American citizen who stole classified documents of the US gov’t and provided the information found therein to a state that is *not* the US.

He will receive no sympathy from me.

Maybe I missed something but how is being “guilty of a reprehensible crime” and “being treated abominably” a contradiction? Can someone please explain this?

Michael W. says:

As an early supporter,it is painful to see that after all these years,there is practicaly no movement that will bring about the release of Jonathan Pollard.And indeed, where is the Jewish voice?

Moshe Olive says:

I almost fell out of my chair that a university professor would stoop to write such drivel filled with innuendo and leaving out major facts of the case. I hope this guy’s students see him as the empty suit that he must be.
Those of you who drink the kool-aide: what difference could it possibly make that Pollard’s traitorous actions were on behalf of a putative ally. First: if Israel was a true ally, why would she accept an American traitor?
Second, nowhere in the article does the author cite the unassailable fact that Pollard illegally stole and sold to Israel more than one million pages of highly classified documents. Pollard says he stole and sold Israel only those documents which she was supposed to have under a secret treaty which of course existed only in the traitor’s mind. Third, the author makes passing reference to another fact: Pollard tried to sell the same documents to South Africa, Australia, Pakistan and Iraq. Some loyal Zionist, huh?
Look closely at the specious agrument made by the professor: Comments like “some suggested” and “probably pinned” are strewn throughout the article as if they were facts. Comparing Pollard to Lonetree is the best indicator that the author is totally out of touch with reality. Lonetree was a security guard with no access to classified intelligence documents. He served twelve years for his mistakes. He could not pass documents to which he had no access as a guard.
One can legitimately make the argument that 25 years is enough but when people like the professor who are clueless champion the cause, you lose all sense of proportion. Argue with the facts and let the debate begin. The author did Pollard a disfavor for writing such drivel. He should be ashamed.

Revealing secret documents to a friend is not a treason, unless the “friend” is not a friend. I wonder if Polard would receive the same punishment if he’d give the same kind of information to, let say, Canada.

Sol Rubin says:

Gene – You sound like the idiot professor. “Revealing secret documents to a friend in not treason?” To quote McEnroe: “You cannot be serious.” The material is classified and cannot be “revealed” to anyone not authorized to have access to classified documents. Think if the situation were to be reversed and that an Israeli wanted to sell documents to the US and made this move unilaterally with no authorization that he would not be sent away for life? Recall Vuunu the former insider who revealed to a British newspaper secrets about the Israeli nuclear program. He was kidnapped, tried and sentenced to a harsh and long prison term to include 11 years in solitary. Think the government of Israel was right to do this? Or should he have been given a light term because he informed the British press about an Israeli secret? You Pollard supporters have been duped.

in his position within Naval Intelligence, was precisely positioned to see what was being provided Israel and what was not. He discovered that information regarding PLO terrorism, arms shipments, Syrian troop deployments, etc., were being withheld in violation of that agreement. He apparently complained to superiors but achieved nothing. So, Pollard the Zionist, took matters into his own hands.

I wont go into detail regarding the circus of Weinberger racing to the courtroom at the time of Pollard’s sentencing to present the judge the “secret memorandum,” that convincing Judge Robinson to set aside the plea agreement by the Justice Department; that Weinberger, himself a lawyer, then theatrically announced to the reporters gathered outside the courthouse that Pollard was a “traitor” and deserved the death penalty. A lawyer, yet unaware that the term “traitor” is limited as above defined?

Of course all of this is circumstantial. But the chain of events is certainly compelling. The question it raises for me is not, was Pollard guilty of the crime for which he was sentenced but, was the United States guilty of the crime of entrapment? Was Pollard set up to then set up Israel? Certainly there exists within the US bureaucracy today, as in the years of the Holocaust, a large number of self-selecting persons who are either strongly pro-Arab or simply antisemites, who would like to see Israel, and the American Jewish community supporting the Jewish state, on the defensive. The Pollard Operation would certainly have fit the bill, then, and into the future.

Pollard is guilty. And so is Israel. But most of all, so is the United States government.

Jonathan Pollard never hid his passion for Israel, he proclaimed it. His application first was not to Naval Intelligence, where he found employment, but to the CIA which refused even to consider him based on his overt politics. And how explain that Naval Intelligence, the Navy, reputedly the most antisemitic of US armed services, would somehow fail to discover Pollard’s Zionism? How explain that that same intelligence agency would, having been warned by co-workers and an admiral of Pollard’s politics, promote him to higher and higher clearance and responsibility, eventually including him in the intelligence team that meets with their Israeli counterparts to exchange classified information according to standing intelligence sharing agreements between the two countries? How explain that Pollard, over a two year period, somehow was able to every Friday smuggle briefcases full of classified documents out of one of the most secure buildings in Washington, then return the following Mondays through the same security barriers?

We are here talking about the presidency of Ronald Reagan, the years of that bungled and illegal administration operation called Irangate or Iran-Contra. This is the same administration that, once the scheme went awry, became public, attempted to push the blame off on Israel. In fact Reagan had recruited Israel and the Gulf Arabs to front the operation. No administration luminary blamed the Arabs. And certainly nobody accepted responsibility for the botched operation for the administration. As in the Bush failure of Iraq, Israel was the designated fall guy.

Casper Weinberger was Secretary of Defense. Embarrassed by his Jewish heritage (his father, I believe, converted out) he was widely known for his antisemitism. As SecDef, Weinberger was also in charge of the Department of Navy.

The United States and Israel had an intelligence-sharing agreement. Pollard,

I mistakenly reversed the submissions. I begin with the second part.

S. Michael says:

Pollard did this for lucre, not love of Zion. He shopped his wares to other countries, including, as the article mentions, Pakistan. If he has expressed remorse for these actions, for his acceptance of bribes to betray his country, is escaped me. There is no crime in him being an example of what could happen to anyone else who betrays this country for cash and trinkets.

Both Israel and the US. are to blame for his spending so long behind bars.

Bottom line- it’s high time that Pollard was set free.

Just let him go.

Free him now and shame on American Jews for not demanding his release. The amount of actual damage done to US national security was not large and he is being unfairly punished.
If you want to talk traitors look at all the ex-elected and government officials who are now working as lobbyists for various Arab countries (Such as Collin Powell). These same countries who support terrorists who attack the US.

Dorothy Wachsstock says:

Many of us remember the story of a deal made with Weinberger that if Pollard would plead guilty, he would get off easy or probation. It is 24 years now and British spies against the United States were given 5 years in jail and then released.

The unfortunatel thing for Pollard was that he was Jewish. Weinberger, for some unknown remembered reason went behind the scenes and told the Black Judge something against Pollard and Black people or Africa. I cannot rememember which but we remember that it was lies and so they dumped Pollard in jail for more years than any other spy in history.

To be Jewish and do anything wrong..means you are guilty before the trial.

I remember an Arab terrorist killing Rabbi Kahane and nobody wanted it known that he was a terrorist. Thus, he was only tried for having a gun illegally.

Watch the replies of non-Jews and you can see that when the economy is bad, it is always the fault of Jews. Didn’t Obama pick on Wall St. only because it was associated with Jews?

Pres. Roosevelt knew of the tracks to Auschwitz but didn’t bomb them and could have saved thousands of people. But, they were Jewish and he was not at war to save Jewish people.

Would somebody tell me, as I am Jewish, why the Jews in those days loved Roosevelt even though he turned back the St. Louis and all those people went back to Europe to die?

American Jews are the only people considered GUESTS in this country. No Black, Hispanic, Pole, Hungarian or any other group is ever going to be forced to leave other than the Jew. All their billionaires and contributions to America are meaningless when they are so weak and divided. Pollard never should have been sentenced to life imprisonment just as Bernie Madoff should not have gotten 150 year sentence. Only because they are Jews. I don’t want a Emil Zola to fight for Pollard’s release;I want Jews to stand up and stop being such cowards. I witnessed Jim Cramer of Mad Money villify Jews on erev Yom Kippur by calling them “flagellators and self-haters” and I was the only one to complain and nothing happened. Even the ADL dismissed it. If Jews were only like the blacks where they would be afraid of us then things would be different. Pollard spent 24 years too long in prison because a self-hating Episcpalian like ex-Jew Weinberger hated Jews. If one hundred thousand Jews had demonstrated for Pollard’s release instead of hiding under their beds then thing would be different. One of the commentors stated that Pollard deserved what he got. Would he say the same thing if it was a black? No. You know Jews take care of blacks more than they take care of their own. I don’t want to share the 21st century version of a cattle car with people who hate themselves. I’m not ashamed to be a Jew. I love being a Jew not from the Holocaust but from thousands of years of history. We knew God, Abraham, Moses, Davic, Cesear, Cleopatra, the Pharoah. We were kings and queens and the most intelligent people in the world. The Romans hated us because of all their subjugated people only the Jews didn’t worship their gods.

Jews be strong. Fight for Pollard’s release. Alan Nunn, an English scientist, who did exactly what the Rosenberg’s did for Russia was sentenced to 9 years in jail. The Rosenberg’s were killed because they were Jews. Stop being so afraid.

Bill Levy

Mountainjew says:

Pollard had access to information that may continue to be relevant today, particularly relating to relationships between various actors in the Middle East, funding sources, and weapons conduits. In addition, he had access to information about technical assets that may or may not still be in use (in addition to plans to revamp physical security of US military and diplomatic facilities around the world). Controlling access to Pollard still strikes me as a reasonable step to isolate the damage he caused to US foreign policy.

Consider the context in which Pollock was arrested: the Marine Corps had just suffered their largest single day casualties since the storming of Iwo Jima (at the hands of Hezbollah, with the backing of Syria and Iran); the US was ramping up its policy of freaking out the Soviet Union through long-term development of “Star Wars” technologies and by covertly funding mujahaddeen fighters in Afghanistan (through Saudi Arabia). Many of these operations were coordinated through DC, and the particular intelligence installation where Pollard was stationed houses more than just naval intelligence staff. Pollard was in the middle of it all, and actively shopping very sensitive information to bad actors for money.

When I compare his sentence to the possible sentence for possession of 2.2lbs of marijuana in Rhode Island (50 years); or mandatory life sentences for repeatedly selling small amounts of crack cocaine; I conclude that Pollard’s sentence was reasonable. Far more Jews in this country are affected by our unreasonably draconian drug laws than the (just) sentence of a misguided mercenary.

Arnold Bloch says:

I am a Jew and an American. As such, I cannot see why Mr. Pollard should be released from jail, unless there is judicial precedent for releasing prisoners who have been convicted of treason, served time, and have medical reasons that might argue for release. I don not know how long a sentence was appropriate and I don’t know the particulars of varius deals that may have been — deals which seem to be part of nearly all legal outcomes in this country, especially ones as serious as treason.

This is not a Jewish issue. This is an issue of selling secrets to another country, being convicted of this crime, and serving the sentence.

Sol wrote: “The material is classified and cannot be “revealed” to anyone not authorized to have access to classified documents”. True. But besides law there has to be a “common sense” as well. You said – to anyone? Suppose Polard would show those documents to a a child or to a group of people suffering from the Alzheimer desease or even to a plumber who came to his house to fix pipes. Would he still get “life imprisonment” for his action? According to the law – he should: anyone means anyone. But no, he would not. This means that he received his harsh sentence not because he revealed the secret information but because he revealed it to Israel, supposedly a “good friend” of USA. So, how (and more importantly – why) Israel would harm USA interests (when both countries have an agreement of exchanging intelligence information) more than a plumber in Polard’s house? Apparently someone sees every American Jew as new Dreifus, ready to betray his or her country, while Jews themselves say either nothing about it or actually support these anti-Semites by agreeing with them that Polard’s acted with the intention to harm USA interests and therefore deserve his punishment.

Dorothy, you stated: “Watch the replies of non-Jews and you can see that when the economy is bad, it is always the fault of Jews.”

This is deeply insulting since you make a hasty generalization about everyone who isn’t a Jew. I have never once blamed Jews for problems in society; I blame specific people. Stop feeling so victimized and blinding yourself to the real legal issue here.

And Bill, you’re in the same boat as Dorothy: you also feel victimized, and I really don’t understand why. Jews as a whole are experiencing the least amount of persecution than they have in the last several hundred years. There are no Inquisitions, no expulsions, no Crusades. Every single minority feels the sting of some level of stereotyping, so stop acting like Jews are the only one; they are not.

The persistent statements here trying to create a common Jewish identity behind the guise of a common enemy is straying away from the real legal discussion that should be taking place: Pollard gave secret gov’t intelligence to another government. He broke the law. He suffers the consequences. That is what we are discussing.

Devin, other than your lack of empathy for a people persecuted by others in the name of your religion, you sound like a reasonable person. If we are a bit paranoid, Devin, it is precisely because of the historical precedents you referred to, the Crusades, Inquisition, expulsions and countless other atrocities you failed to mention. If we are cautious regarding security following the Holocaust well, perhaps the most systematic effort to eradicate Jewish existence might be understandable? For you it is a thing of the past. For us it is the most recent such occurrence. And, if history holds, not the last. And, taking into account the far more efficient computers available today to track and locate each and every one of us, given the technological advances in efficiently ending life and disposing carcasses, well, perhaps a little paranoia is in order?

mavrikos says:

I am in favor of releasing Pollard- into the tender mercies of the Palestinian Authority. Now that would send a signal to any American Jew – and there are many, in the Orthodox community- who regards Pollard as hero.
Better yet: hand him over to HAMAS, in exchange for Gilad Shalit.

lenny and barbi goodman says:

has the traitor done tshiva for his actions? No. So he should stay in jail.

lenny and barbi goodman says:

make that tshUva !

Miriam says:

RIght Devin, tis about criminality!
I’m a US Veteran ( & Jew) writing in support of heroic US Navy Vets after the brutal (IAF) Israeli Air Force & Isr. Naval 2 hour sustain’d attack on USS Liberty – June 1967 in International waters (wrongly tagged “mistaken” identity) despite: Jane’s listing, US Navy # & giant US flag on ship’s mast during attack in broad daylight in sunny weather-34 US sailors brutally killed- 172 others mangled ) but the history lies falsified & buried. It is with their sacrifices in mind that I write today.

Traitorous criminal actions of Pollard while an “employee” of US Navy. He stole tens of THOUSANDS of T.S. classified US Navy docs for Israel, which (to this day) puts US in jeopardy. To reduce Pollard’s crime to a case of misattributed ‘anti Semitism” of Cap Weinberger is an obscenity & completely inappropriate.
Israel-firsters refuse to acknowledge the vaunted position of American Zionist power & influence in US Congress & politics.
The criminality & immorality of POLLARD is DISregarded by those who demand his release.
[ As if being a Jew should exempt him??!].
Conversely IGNORING iconic hero, Mordechai Vanunu, who remains an Israeli HOSTAGE, punished & humiliated by the Israeli system despite prison term for warning the world about Israel’s (secret) large nuclear WMD arsenal – 50 years WITHOUT an IAEA inspection.

VANUNU a humble honorable man, deserves release from his ‘hostage’ status by Israel. He’s an ‘example’ of how Israel’s only whistleblower is treated. Consider (Jewish) Daniel Ellsberg, ex-Marine Officer & exRand employee calls Vanunu “BROTHER” – never punished for using Govt docs to end Vietnam quagmire. DE served Americans by exposing govt lies of Vietnam polcies -NOT for $$$ gain.
POLLARD BETRAYED AMERICA for financial gain. Pollard deserves punishment for treachery.
(TZEDEHK) Justice for the Just.
Heroes Vanunu & Ellsberg remain shining examples of MORAL COURAGE.
Pollard is where he belon

This author of this article hasn’t a clue as to what Pollard actually did. The fact that he pleaded guilty relieved the government of the burden of producing evidence, but if it had gone to trial the facts would have shocked anyone loyal to this nation. I’m waiting for clearance to publish a rebuttal to the current arguments for clemency.

Excerpted from the letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defence Minister Ehud Barak and Interior Minister Eli Yishai seeking Israel allow him the right to leave the state and be in Berlin 12.12.10 to receive the Carl‐von‐Ossietzky‐Medal:

We cannot think of any other case in a democratic State where after the complete serving of a sentence – with 18 years being a particularly high assessed imprisonment ‐ judicial requirements have been imposed that result in such a far‐reaching curtailment of fundamental rights that – in fact – these constraints equal a progressive prolongation of sentence.

We deem it indispensable that in a democratic constitutional state a complete served imprisonment must lead on to the reinstatement of all civil and political rights of the convict. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights codifies in Art. 12 the fundamental right to be free in leaving and entering any country, including the own. Art. 14 paragraph 7 states furthermore: “No one shall be liable to be tried or punished again for an offence which he has already been finally convicted or acquitted in accordance with the law and penal procedure of each country”.

We, the Signatories, appeal urgently to you to generously consider our request and to meet our desire to permit Mordechai Vanunu the right to leave Israel. Please grant Mordechai Vanunu the opportunity to accept the invitation of the International League for Human Rights to be her guest from 10th until 17th December 2010 in Berlin, in order to personally attend the ceremonial act for the bestowal of the Carlvon‐Ossietzky‐Medal in 2010…

ops! Excerpted from the letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defence Minister Ehud Barak and Interior Minister Eli Yishai seeking Israel allow MORDECHAI VANUNU the right to leave the state and be in Berlin 12.12.10 to receive the Carl‐von‐Ossietzky‐Medal

BUT on 11 October 2010, Israel denied Vanunu’s appeal to rescind the restrictions that have kept him under 24/7 surveillance since 21 April 2005 when he emerged from 18 years in a tomb sized windowless cell for telling THE TRUTH that Israel had manufactured upwards of 200 nuclear warheads by 1985!

Eileen Fleming,
Producer “30 Minutes with Vanunu” and “13 Minutes with Vanunu”
Author of “BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu’s FREEDOM of SPEECH Trial and My Life as a Muckraker: 2005-2010″ etc,
Founder of
Staff Member of
A Feature Correspondent for

M.E., I have no clue what Polard did. If you know please reveal it; tell us what government still keeps in secret. I want to know: what kind of information Polard gave to Israel and how Israel USED it to harm USA.

Miriam says:

Um…Eileen, Mordechai Vanunu was “released from Mossad prison ” in the belief that he was no longer a prisoner…in 2004, not 2005….

Gene…..since you have no clue what extreme damage Pollard did then I strongly recommend you read the case that the FBI made…see: CAPTURING JONATHAN POLLARD: How one of the most Notorious Spies in American History was brought to Justice> by Ronald Olive…printed by the US Naval Institute. 2006. About time Americans all understood how much was compromised by his selling of THOUSANDS of CLASSIFIED US Navy documents…Remembering he did not even have clearance for low level classified documentation!

David, please do not mistake my statements as a lack of empathy; I fully understand the effect of such attacks on Jews around the world and throughout history. I merely wished to contend that although Jews are unique in the sheer number of persecutions of attacks with which they have had to endure throughout the last couple thousand years, this does not mean that they are the *only* minority that has had to deal with violence associated with their ancestry.

I didn’t mention all of the atrocities against the Jews because, quite honestly, this text box is only allocated so much room. “Expulsions” covers a great deal of events, Inquisition covers several hundred years, and Crusades is just many more examples. I am well aware of what most of the Jewish population has experienced.

While I can understand some level of paranoia considering the history of world Jewry, this does not mean that it will happen again. Despite the rallying cry of “Never Again!”, there have been far different changes that have made such persecutions far less likely to happen and, if they do, far less damaging. First and foremost, the Catholic Church apologized for the persecutions against the Jews and, while they may not necessarily make up for everything, it does provide a safeguard against probably the Jewish population’s historically biggest opponent. Secondly, it is precisely because of technology that Jews have far less to worry about; throughout history, groups have tried to utilize exile to create a diaspora hoping that Jews would disappear if split apart, but they survived. In this current age, it’s far easier for Jews to connect with each other from across the world and maintain the community that is so central to the faith.

Thirdly, and most importantly in terms of relevance, whatever Jews may feel as some sort of attack on them, Pollard committed a treasonous act and deserves the punishment for it. Anyone else who didn’t get his fate or worse was treated too lightly, in my opinion.

From the sound of it, M.E. it is you who are either clueless, or is it just plain pompous? Since you present yourself as having a legal background explain, please, how it is that the government can legally withhold that infamous and classified Weinberger Memo from Pollard’s legal team when the lawyers representing him are, and have from the beginning, had security clearance at least to the level of that memo? How, in fact, can our much vaunted justice system withhold evidence from the accused necessary for his defense to begin with?
Point of fact to all those critical both of Jonathan Pollard and of those, such as myself, who believe the treatment of this Jew is not only excessive for the crimes to which he confessed, but reeks of something left only to genteel whispers in exclusive country clubs. Antisemitism is, even shrouded in legalese, still antisemitism. And many of the comments above carry just that odor.
Ex CIA director James Woolsley called for Pollard’s release, holding that he cannot possibly possess information that today could harm in any way American security, that his sentence is excessive. Numerous congressmen and senators, several serving on intelligence and defense committees have likewise called for his release. Caspar Weinberger himself, before his death said that the incident was overblown at the time, and that Pollard should be released. But our amateur lawyers, like the anonymous M.E. and other closet antisemites above would, shrouded is an abundance of “patriotism,” have the prisoner spend the rest of his life in prison. Assuming that most of the cheerleaders of justice miscarried are themselves Jewish, does this make you feel more secure, make you more American than all the celebrity non-Jews who would see him freed? Does make you feel more secure?

I don’t really understand why Jews can’t see through Pollard. The man is a complete sociopath who SOLD documents for money. He tried to sell the same documents to several other countries BEFORE he sold them to Israel. His love for Israel is as deep as his jail sentence. The man is a delusional James Bond want-to-be. Absolutely read Ron Olive’s book Capturing Jonathan Pollard as recommended by earlier commentators.

All this is irrelevant however as the man was convicted of espionage. The author of the article, the deficiencies of which have been clearly stated by previous comments, fails to acknowledge the fact that spies like Hanssen and Walker will never be getting out of jail. Ever. These types of sentences are not uncommon in espionage. John Walker’s brother, who stole THREE classified documents was sentenced to four consecutive life sentences. I don’t see anyone championing his cause. Maybe they would if he started pretending to be a Zionist…

Devin, again I can see that you are a person of conscience and compassion. I do not mean to sound critical and, in fact, my intended audience are fellow Jews who, in my judgement, believe as do you, that the Holocaust is an event in history, and the lessons learned from that horrendous event have made another such less likely. Whether we choose to view the glass half empty or full, the fact is that that horrendous history you describe is actually a process of development. The Holocaust was merely a more modern and efficient application of the lessons of the past, facilitated by the technological advances of the early 20th century: primitive IBM computers to identify and locate the victims; Ford’s assembly-line to streamline the process of murder and elimination of the corpses; bureaucracy to remove the onus of guilt from the individuals engaged in the process of transport and mass murder.

What I described above was a vast improvement in all of these modern social developments, from computers to devices of mass extermination. For a non-Jew it is safe to have faith that we living in the west have “learned the lessons of the Holocaust,” that Nostre Aetate, the Vatican “lifting of blame” from the Jews for the supposed murder of Jesus is a game-changer. In point of fact Nostre Aetate was merely a set of directives suggesting the gospel accusations against the Jews not be read as applying to present Jews )although Matthew is very clear that, “His blood be upon ourselves and our children” means future generations are likewise guilty. The Vatican did not, and could not remove the accusation since the gospels are the inerrant word of God, and that would undermine Christian faith. In fact there was a statistical upsurge in antisemitism over the years following Nostre Aetate.

History may not repeat, but it is a process. And process means not only learning the lessons of the horror, but of the success. Where 20th

Jake Terpstra says:

Be sure to hold Pollard at least until Vanunu is given full freedom.

century technology nearly succeeded in solving the West’s Jewish Problem with primitive IBM computers to identify and locate Europe’s Jews; where Henry Ford’s assembly line streamlined the murder and reduction of corpses to ash; where modern bureaucracy made it possible to carry out mass murder without the hands-on guilt of face-to-face responsibility. Today’s computers have us identified and located from birth to death; we possess weapons of mass destruction capable of eliminating life and remains in a single act. And, in case you and our other responders have not noticed, since the Great Recession antisemitism has once again risen, to a level, according to the leader of European Jewry, not seen since the years of Shoah.

For yourself, Devin, one whom I suspect is a supporter of Jewish issues and survival, the reality is simply not the same as seen by a Jew aware of history, of the tenacity of Jewish survival. We Jews alive today and, yes, we living in this country of our birth, regardless how convinced we are that the Holocaust was a unique, or a mysterious event in history unlikely to recur are still more aware of the risks, even if pushed into our sub-conscious. And for those among us who believe that assimilation, intermarriage and conversion are the ticket to security I suggest we keep in mind the 1932 German law that defines a Jew as a person with a single Jewish grandparent. And while we may shrug and say, “yes, well, that was Germany then, and we live here now,” I suggest we recall that the reason Jews were unable to find refuge from the Holocaust in the United States was that the discriminatory laws limiting their entrance were born of antisemitism described as equal in intensity here as there at that time.

Chaim Olivarsky says:

I have just read all the comments posted relative to the Pollard issue. Just absolutely amazing as to how many apparently intelligent people are sucked in by this sociopath. He stole highly classified documents – the facts of the case was that there were over one million documents stolen by this nut case and then sold those same documents to a foreign power. To justify his actions, he wrapped himself in the Israeli flag and said he did it because of a unilateral action by Weinberger abrogating an alleged treaty (of course the treaty is a figment of Pollard’s imagination but that does not stop a whole bunch of dim wits to believe that the treaty actually existed.) Others of single digit IQs then call the former Secretary of Defense a self hating Jew. Where is the evidence for this? Another statement by Pollard who of course who never knew Weinberger. The single digit morons again jump on the Pollard band wagon and think this is a fact. Comparisons of other espionage cases are specious as well. The only other cases one should compare the Pollard case with are Walker, Hanssen and Ames. None of them Jewish and all serving life sentences as they should be. Do we hear atheists or Christians calling on the release from jail for these cretins?
Of course not. Good thing some of the Pollard supporters were not in Jonestown a decade ago or they would have stepped up to the vat with the other easily led people with limited intelligence.
I just do not understand why the Pollard supporters do not acknowledge that he stole more than a million pages of highly classified documents, sold them to Israel because Pollard wanted to live a lifestyle which was beyond his means at the time. After putting the real facts on the table, argue that 25 years served is punishment enough. Maybe then we can dialogue about what is justice in this case.
Just astonishing that there are so many people who are so blindly ignorant of the facts of the case. Get real folks!

Lev Levin says:

I’m with the rest of you re the embarrassing article written by the Canadian professor. Amazing that a school would hire someone who plays so loose with the facts of the case. The writer must be getting fat paycheck from the FreePollard nutclub.

Pollard was quite lucky not to swing from the end of a rope, and Americans would do well to draw an object lesson from Pollard, namely that betraying American secrets to Israel will be treated harshly.

Is it too late to put him in front of a firing squad?

Actually, if they’re not standing up for the guy — and if you say they aren’t, it must be so — then maybe that’s because they are ‘American’.

After all, he’s in jail for spying. He was a spy for another country. Some might call that treason. Some might say he’s a traitor.

Jim Jones says:

A jew spies on America, America jails him. ANTI-SEMITISM!!!!

The author is just another run of the mill jewish bigot. Anti-semitism used to mean someone who disliked jews, now it’s someone whom jews dislike. Dual loyalty nothing, the author (and Pollard, for that matter) has a single loyalty, to Israel. Pollard is very lucky he wasn’t executed.

He did not get a sentence commensurate with his crime. This is another Dryfuss Affair.

Dear Paguir, or whatever that pseudonym stands for. Why be polite and pull punches when your statement is so forceful otherwise. When you refer to us “Americans” doing well to draw the lessons of Pollard, what you really mean is us “Jews.” So be brave: an antisemite is no less an antisemite for calling a Jew a Jew than calling him an “american.”

Pangur says:

David Turner:

Because I meant “Americans” not “Jews.” Had I meant “Jews” I would have written “Jews.” I didn’t because I believe Pollard is a lesson for Americans, not just Jews. Your statements about what I didn’t write tell me a great deal about your assumptions, however. Most notably, that you have a persecution complex. I’m sure that’s unrelated to the fact that you’re a Jew, or a member of that most useless of fields, psychotherapy. Also, that you have a strong and reflexive reaction to the slightest criticism of the Tribe.

Pangur says:

David Turner:

p.s. How condescending of you to tell me what I meant and to “be brave.” Being a psychologist, perhaps you’re familiar with the concept of projection. Why not be honest and explicitly say that you’re of loyal to Israeli/Jewish interests over those of America? Why not be brave and say it for all to hear? Could the fact that you’re both dishonest and a coward be holding you back?

Dear Pangur, I can’t say that I disagree with anything you have written. A bullseye on almost all counts! But it is not I who choose to hide behind a pseudonym. And I appreciate you “letting it all hang out.” I think I can work with you.

Sounds to me like the gist of this article is that Americas gentiles need to step in to save America Jewery from the vicious anti-Semitism of ….. other American Jews!

By the way, I enjoyed observing all this wailing about the concept of “dual loyalty” coming from a person who lives in Canada but is the author of “Why I Am A Zionist”!

jacobo says:

Israel may be an ally of the U.S government but by no means is it an ally of the American people. The reason for this is that, as David Petreaus, Boe Biden, among others recently stated, Israel’s intransigence vis a vis a Mideast peace agreement endangers U.S. troops in Afghanistan as well as national security. So the more we embrace and support the settler-state the worse the blowback to us here in the homeland. If we truly had a government that cared about the American people, rather than controlling the world, it would cut off all aid to settler-state israel until it agreed to a peace agreement that guaranteed justice for the Palestinian people. As for Jonathon Pollard, he’s a traitor and should be made to complete his term.

In case anyone wants to get the rest of the story go to Read the extensive report of John Loftus, former prosecutor, U.S. Justice Department. He had top secret clearance and reveals that it was Aldridge Ames (CIA) and Robert Hansen (FBI) who committed the treason that Pollard was accused of. Pollard warned Israel about Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons when U.S. intelligence refused. Dr. Lawrence Korb, former Reagan official, writes that visceral hatred of Israel affected Pollard’s sentence. His letter is at The Israel haters will be upset.

Sorry for my typo above. The Loftus report is at:

Shomel says:

I think they should have executed Mr. Pollard as they executed Ethel and Julius Rosenberg.

Then the sentence would have been fair, equal, and just.

Now all Americans have to hope for is that Jonathan Pollard will contract terminal cancer.

For this I pray.

Amelia Aremia says:

Pollard WAS a spy against America, anti-semitism has nothing to do with it..if anything- he is anti-Americanism….In war-time he would have been put to death…
Israel is supposedly “our friend” and is freely given techonolgy…plus millions of dollars in aid and free military weapons and equipment that no other country gets…Yes I would agree, Israel is an albatross–demanding more and more while having secret agents spying on the United States.
Time to stop all foreign aid in money which America can put to use at home.
And time to stop Israel from wanting the U.S. to bomb Iran, a country more at peace in the Middle East.Israel has WMD, other nations there should have the same right to protect themselves while Israel is destroying the Palestinians as the world looks on..

I took acception with much of Gil Troy’s article, not the least of which was Gills last statement about Jews historically supporting the underdog. It’s a bit self-serving, no doubt and I certainly know that the Semitic Palestinians whom are abused daily by the Zionist Regime would also take acception to this erroneous claim – and there are no bigger underdogs than the Semitic Palestinians – Does Professor Gil Troy not think the Palestinians are underdogs? Does he think that Jews supposrt them as such? I know they don’t, but for the few acceptions. “P.E.P.” comes to mind, the acronym for “Progressive except Palestine” which denotes a hidden hypocrasy. Also, his having accused Weibburger of malevolence for saying Pollard’s loyalty was to Israel 1st was out of line – i know it was, as is Perle’s, Luti’s, Wolfowitz’s, Blitzer’s, Frum’s, Rabbi Dov Zakheim’s etc, all these are a small sampling of Jewish Americans who’m no doubt, love Israel more than they do America. Americans are waking up to this. Bless the Internet. Peter

Lester Goldstein says:

I stopped reading this at ” he has “developed diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pre-glaucoma, and arthritis while in prison.” since I managed a similar list of ailments without benefit of conviction or imprisonment.

Yaakov Hillel says:

Mr Pangur knows it all, he also knows nothing. He is nothing. Israel Espionage is world known and has saved both America as well as other countries from terrible fate in very many instances when American security was at stake. These are things which never are published and never made public. It is also well known that the American state department is as antisemitic as MrPangur, Causing Israel much stress and pain. One of Israel’s worse enemies are Jewish sectors like J-street who are worse than antizionists. The materials passed to Israel via Pollard were materials important for Israels continuation of existence. I am sure that this is what bothers Mr Pangur. Accordimg to common decency it was American obligation to pass over to Israel maps containing the Iraqi nuclear plant. It was the State department that refused to pass on this information. Pollard did and this is the only reason Mr pangur that he is rotting in your back yard. We keep getting the short end of the stick from the USA and it is about time Israel pass its allegence to governments less antisemitic like China.Ever since Obama/clinton administration has come into being America has done everything to destroy Israel. Giving The Arabs The Mountainous area in the center of Israel is really “Goodby Israel”.

Yaakov Hillel says:

Dear Peter. There is no such thing as a Palestinian people or a Palestian Nation and there never was. Yasser Arafat created something that did not exist in 1967, check it out. Nobody was ever called or recieved the name Palestinians except for an entirely Jewish foot ball team that played in cairo in the 1940’s. In the territories that are under Israel there are various groups of peoples of the Muslim relgion who came here because the British gave them jobs. half of them have shown up after 1940 whe everybody was allowed into Israel except Jews, in order not to anger the Emir Faisel and a few other Antisemites. This helped the Nazi final solution. Jews during this period were not allowed into any country in the world in those years. In Israel one group of Arabs does not under stand the arabic spoken by another group. Their customs are different. if some came from Russia others from Iraq and others from morrocco how are they suppose to understand one another. You do not believe come and see. In Israel Jews are the second class citizens. When their Arab couterpaerts finish University Jews are only then admitted because they had to do three years in the Army. Jews pay 95% of the taxes even though 18% of the country are Arabs. Arabs build any where they want without licenses and they are not bothered where as if A jew will add a 2 meter porch to his house with out all the different licenses it is promptly torn down. In Jerusalem they have built A whole neighbohood of new and extremely modern housing for Arabs where the Israeli want to take down a slum and make a national park. The Media is full of lies of Jews throwing Arabs out of their houses to build a park. The Media has always been against Israel, because that is news. To be against Arabs that kill hundreds daily is not news so it is not printed. and people like Peter believe this crap. Personally I think that Peter should take Pollards place.

Yaakov Hillel says:

Shalom Jacobo, Joe Biden says that Israel has planted spy communications in the brains of all the American squirrels, their next plan is to do someting to the pigions that fly around the whitehouse. Tell me man how dumb can you be? Try reading over that article and see if it makes any sense. This is equal to the Nazi Propaganda against the Jews in the 1930’s. Try to understand Putz, how Israels actions over a thousnd miles away have any effect what so ever of what is happening somewhere else on the globe. For Homework check out Joe Biden before the last Elections. Where vever there was any vote favoring Israel He was against. if it was against israel he supported. the man was always an antisemite so he could blow gas from now on, your nose will be there to enjoy the scent.

Yaakov Hillel says:

Amelia shalom, Israel is not (yet) an enemy country that wants to do harm to the USA. Pollard passed classified information that the American state department who is known to be anti Israeli was suppose to pass on to Israel for israels continued protection.We are talking about Arab atomic energy plants to produce atomic bombs.Pollard was screwed because he is a Jew. In all of American history it has not happened that a person passing classified information to a friendly country recieved a sentence of maximum 7 years and rearly sat half of that. You too are an antisemite or a complete ignoramus. you can decide which you prefer, Love Yaakov

Yaakov Hillel says:

Mr Shomel, I pray the same for, you and everybody dear to you.

Yaakov Hillel says:

Jim Jones is another antisemite, he just likes using other words. He knows that Italian Amereicans feel something for Italy , The Same with the Irish, french, German Especially Muslim. If Pollard would have done something that would have harmed the USA in any way I could find reason to agree with him. The information Pollard passed on was for Israeli Defense alone, for this he is rotting the best years 25 already in Jim Jones back Yard, because Jim Jones is an anti semite. and a genocidal creep being if he hates Jews that much he probably wants to get rid of them.

Yaakov Hillel says:

Chaim Olivarsky youto are a self hating Jew, Is it possible that the man read one million highly clasified article. Where are your stupid brains. How many articles mare you capable to read in a day in a week in a month. according to yor thinking Pollard has been working near this copy machine before the Americans took their Independence from England. Secondly highly classified if this were true is still not secret documents that have any effect on American security. Meaning he sent to Israel Maps of Arab countries secret Atomic installations. for this reason he has to recieve a life sentence? If his allegiance was to Israel alone he would have recieved the clearance he had to come close to these document? If his allegiance is to israel alone which is not yet an enmy of /America he has to recieve a life sentence. do you sit on your brain?

Yaakov Hillel says:

Avrum Fine, I hope not to ever see you in Israel because this is not and never will be your country.

Yaakov Hillel says:

Bennet Muraskin truly where did you come from? The rosenbergs spyed for an ally? They spied for America’s number one enemy. How can you make such a comparison. secondly every country in the world (wake up fool)tries to get materials from where ever they can to ensure their life as a country. America does it as well. Why was an American spy plane shot down over Russia?(As you claim Russia was an American ally)America should have forwarded this classifed information that had nothing to do with American security. I know your mind will not be changed because once an anti semite always an antisemite. your hatred for Jews and israel has no real value I guess you have just missed a good mickey mouse movie.

Yaakov Hillel says:

Obama and Mrs. clinton and Joe Biden have done far more damage to America than pollard. I would switch their places if it was possible. Pollard has not been the cause of so many flag drapped coffins coming in from Iraq and Afganistan.Nor has Pollard screwed up the American Economy like the guy with the big ears who was possibly born in Kenya.He did not lie to the American public about who is going to foot the bill for the Medicare. Mrs Clinton knows very well that the day Israel gives up half of its midsection to make another #3 palestinian state to a nobody nation, Israel will cease to exist. What you did to south Africa you want to do to Israel. My dear lady save your dreams for some one else. Joe Biden is a venomous snake, what he said about Israel affecting the war in the far east, is the type of antisemitism which was common in the 1930’s Holding on to Pollard will bring more calamities to the American public because it is sin full. If obama really believed in God he would have freed him the day he was sworn into office.

Hester says:

” wrote Weinberger, before adding—malevolently and unnecessarily—that Pollard’s “loyalty to Israel transcends his loyalty to the United States.”

Malevolently and unnecessarily? Is this supposed to be a joke, professor?

This type of articles attract racists and anti-semites.
The question is not if Pollard was justly punished. The question is: does his crime justify the punishment he received? And the answer is “no”.

Gene, Pollards crime did indeed justify the punishment. He snuck around, deceived the Nation of America which paid his weekly wage, money taken from American taxpayers and with his cunning served a very foreign Nation (Israel). That by any measure is called treason, and if you think otherwise then you expose yourself and your allegiance to that foreign Nation and make it easy for people to label jews as traitors. Whay say you to this? Peter

Pangur says:

David Turner: We certainly can work together. I suggest our first task to be stringing up Mr. Pollard, and any other traitor who passes state secrets to any other country.

Lol at the outraged use of the Holocaust to justify anything that helps this traitor. David Turner: a Jew who can go zero to Holocaust in under 6 seconds. How . . . typical.

Yaakov Hillel: if your loyalty is so strong to Israel, maybe it’s time to emigrate, no? I’m sure that Israel — being a great country — offers just as much opportunity as America (unless you’re Sephardim, of course).

Pangur says:

Many of the Jewish complaints here amount to this: “Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Don’t wake the goyim!”

Anyone wanting to understand Israel’s true attitude towards the US should certainly review the USS Liberty Incident:

Pangur, the best documentary about the well-hidden attack by Israel against the American Ship, the USS Liberty was made by the BBC called “Dead in the Water”. I have shown this to many Americans who have wept at the trason of our supposed leaders who bent over backwards to protect Israel at our expense. USS Liberty attack was only a precurser to 9/11 though – for truth, go to Rediscover9/ Peter

David, it looks like your comment got cut off at the end, unfortunately.

I agree that history is a process, which is why I believe that Jews will, more than likely, not have to face such horrors again, but that’s based on the assumption of the extreme speed of communications.

Anyway, I think this is starting to spiral away from the article, which isn’t a problem for me, but I don’t want to get off topic. ^_^

I probably won’t come back to this site, but it was good discussing with you.

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Bernard Henderson says:

As noted in my 1986 book “Pollard:The Spy’s Story, my daughter and son-in-law could not have been convicted of any crime without the evidence furnished by Israel, i.e. the documents with Jay’s and Anne’s fingerprints on them. Israel not only turned it’s back on them but aided their prosecution and punishment. The documents were by US law supposed to be given to Israel in any event. Thus the whole affair is nothing but anti-Semitism, abetted by a Dryfuss characteristic of world Jewry. Neither Jay nor Anne were guilty of any crime. But of course, neither ever had a trial, only a sentence. A trial would have brought all this out.

marc cepeci says:


Atty. John J. Loftus
4488 Elkcam Blvd St.
Petersburg, FL 33705

Dear President Obama,

I am a former federal prosecutor with Q/Cosmic/code word clearances. I
have personally visited Jonathan Pollard in prison several times and am
intimately familiar with his case, including the classified issues. I
am convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that he is truly remorseful for
what he has done, and deserves to be pardoned, or in the alternative,
to have his sentence commuted to time served.

No comparable prisoner in American history has received a sentence of
this magnitude. Quite frankly, Pollard was a handy receptacle for
shifting blame from the intelligence community. As I discovered, Pollard
could not possible have leaked our Soviet Humint assets as he lacked
the necessary blue stripe security clearance to even gain access to
their identities.

Finally, the first damage assessment on Pollard showed that our
national security suffered minimal, if any, damage from Pollard’s
disclosure to Israel. The second damage assessment, prepared with the
assistance of Soviet spy Aldridge Ames, intentionally sought to shift
blame towards Pollard and away from Ames. The “blame Pollard” mantra did
substantial damage to our national security as it allowed Ames and his
co-spy at the FBI to continue funneling our secrets to the Soviets for
several more years.

It is not necessary to assign blame to one agency or another for the
Pollard sentencing debacle. It is necessary and just to do the right


John J. Loftus
Formerly GS-13 Supervisory

Trial Attorney Office of Special Investigations,

Criminal Division Headquarters,
US Department of Justice, Washington DC

Bill Robbins says:

The United States of America is a Western country, established upon the principles of Judeo-Christian society. Israel is the cradle of Judeo-Christian society. No two countries in the free world have a greater similarity of interests than the U.S. and Israel.

Enough is enough. Jonathan Pollard has served his time. Let Jonathan Pollard go.

BuckDePublick says:

Pollard is a HERO whose persecution was, and remains, a direct result of hatred against Jews in certain sectors of the U.S. government. Two of the worst bastards were self-hater Weinberger and shvartze Robinson!


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