Barouch LevyThe writer is an American immigrant who lives in the beautiful Shomron (Samaria) and raises strawberries.
Obama knows little about Jonathan Pollard, or any other real Jews for that matter. For them, the Torah of Israel, the Land anof Israel, and the Jewish people are holy and demand sacrifice.
As is well known, or should be well known by now, Jonathan Pollard, working more than 30 yeas ago as a U. S. Navy civilian intelligence analyst, became privy to information which indicated that some state or states in the Arab world had obtained or were developing weapons capabilities which were or would have been at the level of posing grave dangers to the citizenry of Israel, if not an existential threat.
This information was denied to Israel by the then U.S government's violation of an existent American Israeli security agreement. Acting without authorization, i.e., illegally, Pollard warned Israel of the dangers.
Most noteable in these disclosures were the Iraqi chemical weapons and the accompanying delivery systems, not unlike those chemical weapons of Syria that the Obama administration stridently warned the world about how dangerous there were, or are, only a few short months ago.
Disclosure or passage of information from Pollard to Israel became revealed and Jonathan Pollard was arrested and imprisoned, at times - particularly now - in ways that are cruel and unusual. He has been denigrated by every U.S. administration since then as criminal if not traitorous.
Some years ago I attended a lecture on the plight of Jonathan Pollard in one of the communities in Samaria. The activist who gave the lecture, quoted Jonathan Pollard as he revealed his thoughts as an intelligence analyst at the time he became aware of the dangers to Israel and at the point he decided to take the action he did. "I would rather sit in jail the whole rest of my life than sit (shiva) for thousands of Israelis as a result of my cowardice". That statement , more than anything else, reveals the motivations, the nature of his activity and information disclosures, and the courage, integrity and the faith of Jonathan Pollard as a man and as a Jew.
Again, over thirty years later, in a state of health which was described by Jonathan Pollard himself, by way of his wife, Esther, as "wretched", Jonathan Pollard displays the same qualities of character strength to foil another plot to endanger Israel and its people. The media were abuzz about the potential to release Pollard as some kind of Obama-Kerry Mideast package. In a move conjuring up images of Samson in Philistine captivity.
Jonathan Pollard, who should have been powerless with both hands tied behind his back in a Butner, North Carolina prison, seems to have brought down the roof on this current intrigue, with its architects, Obama and Kerry, significantly bruised in the rubble.
Victims of their own hubris and their own misconceptions, not only is the Obama-Kerry plan going astray, but Pollard and Israel, in this affair, are appearing to be the opposite of how the Obama administration perceived them and had hoped them to be portrayed..
Most people, after years of ordeals in prison and the failing health engendered by them, would jump at the chance to escape by answering a few formalities at a parole board hearing. However, it was reported that a member of the U.S. parole commission said that Pollard waived the hearing.
Apparently, Pollard, aware that his release would bring pressure on the Israeli Prime Minister to approve of a deal that would obligate Israel to release scores of terrorists and revive the Obama Kerry plan - which is a great danger in itself to Israel - in exchange for his freedom, wanted none of it.
In fact last summer in a published article, Pollard decried the release of terrorists by Israel and warned that to do so would, "dishonor its dead", "betray its bereaved" and "disgrace its citizenry" by the "release of unrepentant murders". He called such a move an "affront to human decency" for "political expediency". Thus not only is the nobility of Pollard's character demonstrated by his adherence to Jewish and human values, but the motivations for the original deed that he has punished for unjustly, have been reiterated.
Obama has been quoted as saying that "I know more about Jews than any other previous President." He seems believe this is so. Actually he knows very little about them. He certainly doesn't know Jonathan Pollard. He thought that by now, with no second thought, Pollard would jettison everything Jews believe is dear, in return for a Boeing to Israel, the best Jewish doctors, a five star hotel in Jerusalem and this year's Passover soup as a free man.
He couldn't be more wrong. He knows little about Jonathan Pollard, or any other real Jews for that matter. For them, the Torah of Israel, the Land anof Israel, and the Jewish people are holy and demand sacrifice.
While the Obama administration tries to use Jonathan Pollard as a conveniently available bargaining chip in order to obtain a new Middle Eastern political reality, conducive to it own self-serving agenda and world view, Pollard's selfless refusal to be manipulated by the ploy, puts a new focus on the Obama administration's values, or lack of them, at this late date in this sad saga of the Pollard affair.
He quite correctly is seen as ready to give all for what he believes in. In contrast, Obama appears to be wheeling and dealing in this "great security liability", as the detractors of Pollard characterize him. Israel gets Pollard in exchange for release of terrorists.The end goal of this move is rather transparent. The Obama Administration hopes that by the releasing of terrorists in such a stunt, world stability and security will be promoted. He is willing to pander to elements in the Arab Islamic world, that are basically similar in outlook, if not identical in their view of the West, to those who destroyed the World Trade Center .
Surrender of a dedicated Israeli agent, or a criminal guilty of serious security infractions, depending on the view, for release of terrorists, will not be seen by anyone, as strengthening the security of the U.S., Israel, or any one else. But it is consistent with the Obama doctrine of achieving stability through confrontation avoidance and appeasement, most vividly demonstrated in the Benghazi stand-down fiasco, which resulted in the murder of the U.S. ambassador there.
To be sure, one should address the allegation that Jonathan Pollard greatly compromised American security vis a vis the U.S.'s Cold War adversaries. Many people have said many things about Jonathan Pollard with little or no verification. Much of the accusing documentation is still legally unavailable for for legal defense and public scrutiny. However there are few indications that Pollard had any need or motivation to endanger American security. It is quite obvious that he had a great need and motivation to protect Israel from real and considerable dangers. This is clear from his principles, words, and deeds.
The thrust of the Obama Administration in the present Mideast negotiations was more than contrary to the basic security of Israel. Now, again, we see Jonathan Pollard conducting himself in a way most similar to how he acted more than 30 years ago. Then, by violating regulations he endangered himself for what he believed in, and now, he is sacrificing himself for those very same beliefs by parole waiving.
Thus, the Obama Administration has quite unwittingly created a situation where the sterling character and motivations of Pollard are reaffirmed. At the same time, the Obama Administration is reaffirmed as made up of manipulative opportunists of expediency, devoid of of the values to which Jews, Israelis, Americans and decent people everywhere are dedicated.