Moving the US Embassy does not affect Jonathan Pollard

Despite the fanfare over the American Embassy move to Jerusalem - don't expect to see Jonathan Pollard dining at the White House any time soon. Unless something changes now.

Barouch Levy

OpEds Jonathan and Esther Pollard at conference
Jonathan and Esther Pollard at conference

Although not generally admitted out loud, it is clear that the reason Jonathon Pollard, the American Jew and Israeli agent,was meted out such a severe sentence by the American judicial system is the existence, in certain quarters, of deep-seated American anti-Semitism.

Today, high officials, such as Jared Kushner and the President's daughter, Ivanka, and perhaps even the President himself, are said to be slated to participate in the ceremonies marking the beginning of the transfer of the American Embassy to Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, Jonathon Pollard continues to live under severe and legally unprecedented parole conditions. Obviously, this too, is a continuing expression of the same anti-Semitism that has marked the  Pollard affair for well over thirty years. Nonetheless, there are many Jews in the United States and Israel who cannot even contemplate the blatant incongruence between the pro-Israel act of moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem and the opportunity for President Donald Trump to end the sad saga of the Pollard affair. With a stroke of a pen he can enable Jonathon Pollard to come home to Israel. Will Trump bow to politically potent forces of American anti-Semitism, who would be outraged if Jonathon Pollard were allowed by President Trump to live in peace in dignity in Israel?

An episode in American history, at the beginning of the previous century, exemplifies the political influence of existing American prejudice, bigotry and racial intolerance. Indeed, the similar popular bigotry and rancor of the Pollard Affair successfully mitigated against decisions by all of the American Presidents which would have reduced the severity of the legal decisions made against Jonathon Pollard. While this instance of bigotry, of more than 100 years ago, was not an anti-Semitic one, it does demonstrate how popular clamor to degrade and maintain a social status of subordination for a targeted ethnic group can and has often been influential in the policies and decisions of high office holders in the United States. Furthermore, in this incident, many of those exerting pressure on the then President were, indeed also anti-Semites, as many of their political and cultural progeny are today, those who invariably desire to see Jonathon Pollard lead a life shackled by restriction and afflicted with degradation.

In 1901, the famous public activist for alleviating the plight of the American negro (as people of color were then called), Booker T. Washington, was invited to dine at the White House. The Southern Press denounced this violation of racial taboos as a 'crime equal to treason'. 'Entertaining that nigger,' said senator Tillman of South Carolina, 'would necessitate our killing of a thousand niggers in the South before they will learn their place again.' Indeed in the previous year of 1900, more than a hundred blacks were lynched in the southern United States. ("A Concise History of the American Republic", Samuel Eliot Morrison, 1977). In spite of this large and widespread bigoted public pressure, then President Theodore Roosevelt stood up to the political pressure aimed at maintaining the social subordination of Blacks in the United States, as his invitation to Booker T. Washington indicates.

Regarding the Pollard Affair, persistent public sentiment against Pollard coupled with  a similar animus within  government circles, has successfully led to the continued  punishment of Jonathon Pollard, the American Jew and Israeli Government agent. Undoubtedly, the severe sentence Pollard received, the extremely harsh conditions during the thirty years of his incarceration, and the current parole conditions Jonathon Pollard is currently enduring, all serve the same particular goal.

The goal or motivation, consistently seen during the entire period of the Pollard Affair, both in the realm of public opinion and in the realm of officialdom, is twofold. One of these goals Is to maintain and uphold a certain subordination of the Jew in American society. The other aspect of that goal is to deny granting, to the State of Israel, the full respect normally shown to a nation which has formally received recognition as a fully sovereign nation. Inasmuch as this respect is not granted, as seems the case in the arbitrary American abuse of the Israeli agent, Pollard, it should be then understood that American recognition of Israel as fully sovereign Jewish nation is still lacking, to a certain extent. 

The relationship between American Jews and President Donald Trump and his relationship to the State of Israel should be put into the context of the present status of the Pollard Affair.

The Trump Administration is not viewed and judged in this context at present. For this, Jews in the United States and Israel have nobody to blame except themselves. But it is not too late.