Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Lessons from Parshat Shavua, Torah Portion Shmot, Exodus, and Jonathan Pollard

The Book of  שמות Shmot, Exodus or Names, which is the actual translation from the Hebrew, starts with a line which should remind us of a crucial mistake Joseph Yosef made.
ח  וַיָּקָם מֶלֶךְ-חָדָשׁ, עַל-מִצְרָיִם, אֲשֶׁר לֹא-יָדַע, אֶת-יוֹסֵף.8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph.
Genesis Chapter 40 בְּרֵאשִׁית
יד  כִּי אִם-זְכַרְתַּנִי אִתְּךָ, כַּאֲשֶׁר יִיטַב לָךְ, וְעָשִׂיתָ-נָּא עִמָּדִי, חָסֶד; וְהִזְכַּרְתַּנִי, אֶל-פַּרְעֹה, וְהוֹצֵאתַנִי, מִן-הַבַּיִת הַזֶּה.14 But have me in thy remembrance when it shall be well with thee, and show kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house.

Our sages, Chazal tell us that Yosef should not have asked the winemaker to remember him to Pharaoh. For that mistake Yosef stayed longer in jail than G-d had originally planned.

Dry Bones
Jonathan Pollard,
 I.D. Photograph,
U.S. Naval intelligence
That's why I think that concentrating on American "justice" and the American Pharaoh aka President is a mistake.  Pollard's release is up to Israel and Israeli and Jewish leaders.

Pollard was turned into the American police by Israel, which refused him asylum.
After his partial confession, Pollard was put under surveillance but not taken into custody. On November 21, 1985, he and his wife attempted to gain asylum at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., only to be rebuffed by the Israeli guards and was arrested by FBI agents who swarmed the perimeter as soon as Pollard set foot off embassy property.[38] Until this point, investigators could not confirm that Pollard had been spying for Israel; their only lead having been the speculation of Pollard's superiors.[citation needed]
Photo credit: AP
It took many years for the State of Israel to recognize that Jonathan Pollard had not received a just sentence, according to all American legal precedence, and begin its half-hearted "campaign" to get him released.  The actual Israel officials involved have never done the halachically (according to Jewish Law) prescribed public Teshuva, repentance for such an act.

Shimon Peres was Prime Minister, and Rafi Eitan was Pollard's handler.  They are the ones who should be leading the campaign, moving mountains to force the Americans to release Jonathan Pollard.
Former cabinet minister Rafi Eitan, the ex-Mossad agent who operated Jonathan Pollard in the mid-1980s, told Army Radio on Monday that he handed over incriminating information about Pollard because the U.S. had promised Israel that Pollard would serve no more than 10 years in prison.
They must take full blame and visit Pollard in jail.  Then while in jail with him refuse to leave unless the Americans release Pollard to them.  That sort of responsibility and drama is the only way that the United States will let Jonathan Pollard out of jail.

Yes, of course, Pollard broke the law. But no other "spy for an ally" has ever gotten such a punishment. Even Soviet spies who caused the death of Americans and those who worked for the USA received lighter sentences.  This has gone on much too long.  The key is in Israel's hands, not in the American justice system.

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