We are judged not by how we treat our kings and the elite of our society, but rather how we treat our prisoners. The case of Jonathan Pollard was, at first, a Pollard problem, then it was a blemish on Israel, and now it has become a United States travesty of justice.
There are those who know nothing of Pollard. There are those who quip, “He must have done something really bad.” And there are those who understand the great deep anti-Semitic act that continues to spit not only on Pollard but it arrogantly spews out onto every Jew.
As Russian spies in the U.S. are sent back to their homes in Russia within hours of capture, and as Israel has negotiated the release of thousands of terrorists from its prisons, and as GITMO inmates are sent to the Bahamas with U.S. dollars in their pockets, and as murderers, pedophiles and rapists leave U.S. jails, one Jew sits in an American maximum security prison for 26 years.
For those in the religious community who know the details of the placid offense, the remorse and the prominent pleas for pardon, it is the most boring spy novel that drones on. The very name Pollard could bring a yawn to the mantra at religious gatherings and it’s a footnote throwaway line at a rally for something else. But we should not discount for a moment the gravity of the offense on each and every Jew who thinks he is entitled as an American to equal justice by the law that governs the rest of the society of this country.
The case of Jonathan Pollard is a story about the Unites States of America. We request his pardon not as Jews and not as supporters of Israel. We demand his release as citizens of this democracy. It is the same democracy that the world speaks and screams of from Eastern Europe’s broken down wall to the recent Middle East spring. It is democracy that upholds the same law for all its populace equally without excuse. We want Pollard out because we are Americans.
Jonathan Pollard’s continued captivity holds our America hostage. There is an equitable set time of detention for an individual who commits a non-violent crime against his country. What is the sentence for a nation that commits treason against all its citizenry for its failure to carry out justice without prejudice? Pollard’s indiscretion did not abate our country’s welfare, but by our America allowing him to languish for decades in prison most certainly diminishes this nation’s very essence, strength, foundation and security. The release of Pollard would be the epitome of all that is good and great about our United States.