Scapegoats don’t come in much easier form than spies caught in the field. Unless they’re Jewish.
Please tell me that you didn’t fall for that latest episode in the cruelty forced upon Jonathan Pollard by the Obama Administration.
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Just like clockwork, every time that the Israelis and the Palestinians near a crucial point in their on-again, off-again “peace talks”, Mr. Pollard’s case is trotted out like some show & tell presentation. Normally, the story is made in the form of an unconfirmed press leak, told off-the-record by the class clown (aka: the unnamed ‘source’), to a classroom full of brainless sponges (lazy reporters), who have not even the slightest clue about the background and inhumanity of the story.
They did it again in this latest round of “talks” between the two main sides of the Arab-Israeli conflict, because as always, it serves as a powerful distraction in an otherwise clear and present failure by diplomats to actually get anything good done.
One more awful element in this terrible, sad saga, is the claim that Mr. Pollard may hopefully be paroled in 2015, after serving 30 years in American captivity. Of course, there is no real chance of that happening, because the powers that be wish to keep him locked up as long as possible. And lest we forget, parole is not freedom; it is release to community supervision under very restricted conditions for the balance of his life sentence — in this case, at least 15 more years, possibly more. Parole is, in essence, an extension of the punishment, after time served behind bars. So even if he were allowed to leave prison, he would not be allowed to go to Israel, which is where he longs to be.
Furthermore, the parole system was never intended to address an unjust sentence – just good behavior. Parole lets sentences stand but allows for early release to community supervision (with numerous restrictions), on good behavior.
Also, recently, because of an FOIA request, Jonathan Pollard and his attorneys were able to review the contents of his parole file.
The file makes it abundantly clear that the government intends to fight his release on parole vigorously at any time, relying heavily upon classified documents, more than a quarter of a century old, to which his security-cleared attorneys have unreasonably been denied access.
The government is playing it both ways; trying to prevent his release by relying on classified information, and refusing to allow Pollard or his attorneys access to the information in order to challenge the lies and misinformation it contains.
The courts have recently sided, unfairly and incredibly, with the government, to continue to deny access to these documents to Pollard’s attorneys, claiming they have “no need to know” what is in them. How can they defend their client at a parole hearing if they are not allowed to know the accusations against him?
As things stand now, Pollard has no chance of release on parole.
Sadly, given the vicious American policy towards his case, I for one will not be surprised to see Uncle Sam fail in granting Jonathan Pollard parole, even after three decades of imprisonment.
Realistically, Jonathan’s only hope of ever being freed (barring an Act of G-d) is a political deal.
Full disclosure: Beyond being poignant with a pen (and keyboard), Yasha Harari has worked for a number of media and political organizations in the U.S., Europe and Israel.