The Truth About Jonathan Pollard

Usually, I disagree with most everything Ed Asner thinks politically. However, when we?re not talking politics, I find him an adorable man and an exciting guest on my television show, Wow! It?s Arlene Peck! In addition, his acting is amazing. However, I find it ironic that he, with his leftist leanings, was able to carry off, so terrifically, a part in a new play about Jonathan Pollard. Int

Contributing Author,

Writing on the wall: Death to Jews
Writing on the wall: Death to Jews
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Usually, I disagree with most everything Ed Asner thinks politically. However, when we?re not talking politics, I find him an adorable man and an exciting guest on my television show, Wow! It?s Arlene Peck! In addition, his acting is amazing. However, I find it ironic that he, with his leftist leanings, was able to carry off, so terrifically, a part in a new play about Jonathan Pollard. Interestingly enough, it was as the part of Israeli Rafi Eitan. A man who betrayed Pollard and ultimately caused his capture and destruction.

The 11th Hour was a powerful and moving production. However, I sat there thinking how ironic, that we are on the verge of war with Saddam Hussein and even now Jonathan Pollard sits in jail, as he has for the past seventeen years. What I found riveting about this new production is how, instead of putting the blame on Casper Weinberger and various presidents who have promised the Israeli government his release, Israel, at the time of Pollard's imprisonment, was the culprit.

I cannot open a paper today without something being written about the danger of Iraq and their possible acquisition of nuclear weapons. Yet, had it not been for that brave man, Jonathan Pollard, passing along the evil plans of Saddam Hussein to kill Israelis, which the United States should have shared with their closest ally, how many Jews would already be dead? So, that being the case, because of his information, the world was given almost twenty years of peace, why is there a question of his release?

Why isn?t Israel doing more to protest his inhuman incarceration? For how many years has he been in virtual solitary confinement? Those who did far more, those that gave up secrets, which he never did, and did things that were injurious to America, received far better treatment and were released many years earlier. Jonathan never cost one American life. It?s long past time for his release.

What does it take to wake up and smell the coffee? We, in the United States, are being told to stock up on duct tape and water and to expect ?suicide bombs.? Has it occurred to anyone how the actions of Pollard are what might have protected us? We in the United States have been blind for so long that only now, I believe, are we beginning to realize what Israel has been experiencing in its new war with the Arabs. However, doing so, when does the realization filter down to people regarding the part that Pollard played?

I have long known the truth about the travesty of Pollard's incarceration. Over the years, I have befriended his former wife, Annie, who visited me in Marina del Rey a couple of times. I remember how she told me that she was only in her early twenties when she was taken along to jail with her husband and watched by guards around the clock. Annie suffered five years of such abuse, while Jonathan was also placed in deplorable conditions. For several years they had even placed him in a mental ward.

Last year, I had dinner with that fine gentleman, Dr. Morris Pollard, who still grieves for the loss of his son. I have spoken to Jonathan's sister, Carol, and at various times worked with individuals who were active in some capacity for his release and I am mentioned in a book about the subject. I have been turned down by Hollywood producers for a movie on the Pollard case and told, ?The time isn?t right.? I wonder, when is the time? What does it take to ?be the right time??

So, I have long known how the world has apathetically condoned the imprisonment of Pollard and few have known the "true story" behind the "spy story". I know how our government promised his release and never kept their word. In fact, I remember, during dinner with Dr. Pollard, how he told me that he thought that Bill Clinton would release his son after making that promise to then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who, after their Wye Accords meeting, relayed the message to the Pollards. However, at the last minute, they "couldn't pay the ransom" and Clinton, instead, pardoned Marc Rich, who had millions to donate to the Clinton Library. I knew all of that.

However, not until watching the new play on Pollard did I fully understand how the Israeli government, represented by Rafi Eitan, betrayed his trust and turned the couple over to the American authorities. All throughout their dealings, he was told, ?Israel takes care of our own. We will bring you and Anne to Israel.? Yet, when the moment of truth came, and Jonathan and Annie Pollard were able to elude the FBI and an army of US government officials who were following them into the gate of the Israeli Embassy, Israel turned its back on them. Until that moment of truth, Pollard thought that what both governments had been telling them about ?Laws of Return? and ?We'll work some sort of deal? were viable alternatives. Yet, at the moment of truth, none of it was true.

In fairness, I spoke with the playwright Martin Blank and mentioned to him that America, and specifically Casper Weinberger, were a pivotal part in the scenario of what happened to Pollard. Oh, and let?s not forget prosecutor Joseph DeGenoa, who is still full of venom and anti-Semitism when he talks about Pollard. Author Blank, felt, however, that to make it totally factual, he had to stop with his capture. The imprisonment and deal-making that later happened was ?another kettle of fish? and something to be continued elewhere.

I wish the author, Martin Blank, great success with his new play, The 11th Hour and its stars, as Broadway, and indeed, the world, needs to remember this very important issue.
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Arlene Peck is an internationally syndicated columnist and television talk show hostess. She can be reached at bestredhead@earthlink.net.



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