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No, Abe Foxman, America is not out to get the Jews

The U.S. Jewish establishment is starting to say publicly that anti-Semitism is the reason Jonathan Pollard is still in prison. This is sickening slander that reflects a deep-seated psychological problem.  

ADL Director Abraham Foxman (justinhoch/CC BY 2.0)

ADL Director Abraham Foxman (justinhoch/CC BY 2.0)

Abraham Foxman, long-time leader of the Anti-Defamation League, capo di tutti capi of the Israel lobby, scourge of all scourges of anti-Semitism (real or imagined), the U.S. Jewish establishment’s chief of language police, the J. Edgar Hoover of American Jewish macherdom, has flipped out completely this time. Earlier this month he said publicly that Jonathan Pollard’s continued incarceration for spying, now going on 29 years, is a “vendetta” against the entire American Jewish community. From Foxman’s statement on the ADL website:

Yes, I use that word because that’s what it seems like at this point. If it were only a vendetta against one individual it would be bad enough. But it has now become one against the American Jewish community.

In effect, the continuing imprisonment of this person long after he should have been paroled on humanitarian grounds can only be read as an effort to intimidate American Jews. And, it is an intimidation that can only be based on an anti-Semitic stereotype about the Jewish community, one that we have seen confirmed in our public opinion polls over the years, the belief that American Jews are more loyal to Israel than to their own country, the United States.

In other words, the underlying concept which fuels the ongoing Pollard incarceration is the notion that he is only the tip of the iceberg in the community. So Pollard stays in prison as a message to American Jews: don’t even think about doing what he did.

Foxman wrote the above in response to an editorial by the online Tablet magazine, the highest-quality Jewish publication in the United States and a fairly pluralistic one politically. Which is all the more weird, because Tablet’s editorial, written in response to a New York Times op-ed arguing that Pollard was getting what he deserved, was much crazier even than Foxman’s response to it. Tablet:

Pollard’s continued incarceration appears, at this point in time, to be intended as a statement that dual loyalty on the part of American Jews is a real threat to America—and a warning to the American Jewish community as a whole. …

In order to cover their own incredibly damaging mistakes and failures, the national security establishment is keeping Pollard in prison on the apparent grounds that Jews are especially prone to disloyalty. …

Allowing the American national security establishment to play on classic anti-Semitic stereotypes in order to keep a man in prison as a “lesson” to other members of his group or race is contrary to both the spirit and the letter of the U.S. Constitution—and would surely and rightly never be tolerated by Muslims, gays, blacks, Chinese-Americans, or any other group.

Wow. If Tablet and Abraham Foxman – who is actually pretty moderate compared to a lot of his fellow U.S. Jewish establishment bosses – are making this charge publicly, it can be safely assumed that this is an entirely common belief among the organized, pro-Israel American Jewish community.

God help them. The idea that Pollard would be free if not for anti-Semitism in high American places is the wildest, stupidest, most paranoid notion that could be. It is also the most insulting to the United States. America has lots of bad points, but aggravated anti-Semitism at the top is not one of them. Judging by Washington’s treatment of Israel and Israel lobbyists such as Foxman, the opposite is true. This goes without saying to everyone in America except the Jewish establishment, who thrive on the image of Jewish victimhood.

Why, then, is it so crazy to believe that anti-Semitism is the reason Pollard is still in jail? Because to believe that you have to believe that President Barack Obama is an anti-Semite, and his advisers are anti-Semites, too, because Obama has the power to free Pollard, and after five years in the White House he hasn’t done so.

I can hear the laughter all the way from Florida: “Oh no, who could ever think that Sheikh Barack Hussein Osama bin Obama and his advisers are anti-Semites?”

Fine. For the sake of argument with the Jewish Obamaphobes, let’s say the current administration is riddled with Jew-haters. But what about George W. Bush? He was president for eight years before Obama, and he also refused to pardon Pollard. Were W. and his people pursuing a vendetta against American Jewry, too?

And what about W.’s predecessor, Bill Clinton, who likewise kept Pollard in jail for eight years when he could have let him go; did the Clinton administration also have it in for American Jews?

This is so irrational and low. Think about this: When Bibi Netanyahu asked Clinton to release Pollard during the 1998 Wye talks, then-CIA director George Tenet told the president he would resign first. Could Tenet have been so committed to the cause of screwing over the Jews that he was ready to quit his job as head of the CIA for it?

One last point: Elliott Abrams, one of the hardasses in the Reagan and W. administrations, is as staunch and combative a Jew as there is; he publicly called Chuck Hagel an anti-Semite when Hagel was getting confirmed as defense secretary. In 2009, Abrams said this in an interview with the Jerusalem Post:

As for Pollard: There are details of his case that have always made his release problematic, and that’s all I’m going to say about it.

Is Elliott Abrams part of the vendetta, too?

The impression from the New York Times op-ed and more so from the Tablet editorial is that the book on Pollard in Washington is that he got American intelligence agents killed abroad, and that’s why the U.S. national security establishment, with the president at the top, is keeping him in jail. I don’t know if that’s true, of course, but it would make sense as a reason. Yet even if it’s not true, even if the American Jewish establishment and Israel are right that Pollard is being punished much more harshly than he deserves – where in the hell do they come off accusing Washington of anti-Semitism? And not just a minor case of it, but the kind that can fuel a vindictive campaign against American Jews going back decades, waged by both Republican and Democratic administrations and an entire generation of the Washington security/intelligence bureaucracy, a campaign that continues to this day.

My dear freaking God. This is what Abraham Foxman and Tablet magazine are saying publicly; I hate to imagine what the real right-wingers like Sheldon Adelson are saying privately. This is a sign of a deep-seated psychological problem, of disconnection from reality, in the organized, pro-Israel American Jewish community. There’s not much I can say to them, but there are a whole lot of sane, non-paranoid Jews in America, and they have to publicly denounce Foxman, Tablet and whoever else takes up this sickening slander against the U.S. government. It’s an insult to a country that’s treated Jews pretty damn well, and a crime against the truth.

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  • COMMENTS

    1. Danny

      “So Pollard stays in prison as a message to American Jews: don’t even think about doing what he did.”

      What’s wrong with this message? From my understanding of crime and punishment, that’s one of the reasons why criminals go to prison – as a deterrent for others.

      The U.S. has a serious problem with Jewish dual loyalty to Israel (and Foxman is living proof of this), and needs Pollard to serve as a deterrent. This is the reason why Foxman is so incensed, and unwittingly (and comically) proves the dual-loyalty canard.

      Poor Pollard will remain in prison for many years more precisely because of the actions of Foxman and his ilk.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ginger Eis

        When this article surfaced, I said to myself, ‘here we go again: another anti-Zionist-Red-Meat!’. And it didn’t take a second for the frenzied anti-Semitic attacks on American Jews as a group to ensure. The issue, ‘Danny-the-Jihadi’, is NOT whether or not Pollard committed crimes against the US. NOR is the issue whether or not Pollard deserved to be punished for his crimes. The issue, rather, is whether or not Pollard has served (more than) enough prison-time so that proportionality and fairness demand that he ought to be released. That, Danny, is a Human Rights issue, a legitimate topic for debate and any American (Jew) has EVERY RIGHT to exercise her/his 1st Amendment Rights to make his views on the matter known. That’s what Abe Foxman did (albeit without verifiable evidence). That does NOT justify the accusation of “dual loyalty” against Abe Foxman or American Jews! Thus, your post is inherently anti-Semitic. What say you to that?

        Reply to Comment
        • Danny

          Foxman is 100% a dual-loyalty American citizen, and by his words and actions it’s clear he reserves most of his loyalty to Israel, not the U.S. Same goes for many, many other Jews who see Israel as their true home (Adelson even said as much when he said he regretted serving in the U.S. army rather than in the Israeli army).

          Jonathan Pollard could have been freed decades ago. All he had to do was give up his Israeli contacts and handlers, dissociate himself from the likes of Netanyahu and Foxman, assume a low profile and serve his time quietly. Did he do that?

          Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            From your post it is evident that you acknowledge that “Pollard could have been freed decades ago”. Your acknowledgement of such is well appreciated. If the US government was ready to release Pollard long ago, but refrained from doing so because he did not give up his Israeli handlers and contacts, the argument cannot be made that Pollard poses a security threat to the US TODAY. Given the length of time Pollard has already served, a very strong case can be made by anyone regardless of her/his race/ethnicity that there is no longer any justification for his continued imprisonment. As such, the fact that Jew (e.g. Abe) made that case cannot justify the accusation of dual loyalty. This is the second thing I wanted you to see and I hope you would acknowledge it.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            More on dual loyalty:
            The US and Israel have 98% common interest. 99% of Jews see Israel and the US the same way one sees her/his own father and mother. As one loves both her/his parents, so do US Jews love Israel and the US. This is the best analogy I can give. If one of either parents is weaker than the other and existentially threatened (e.g. Israel is a very small country with smaller economy, military etc. and faces existential threats ), one tends to be more protective of that parent – without prejudice to other. The possibility that Israel, unlike the US, might one day not exist is a nightmare for 99% of Jews. I hope this helps in at least bringing some nuance in judging the actions of US Jews.

            Reply to Comment
          • Jeff

            Do Japanese Americans feel the same way about Japan? i.e, mother and father.

            Because that is absurd.

            Reply to Comment
          • Marc

            The US and Israel have 98% common interest. 99% of Jews see Israel and the US the same way one sees her/his own father and mother.

            This is 100% Bullshit, and is widely indicative of cynical Israeli/Jewish propaganda.

            First, it is impossible for two countries separated by thousands of miles, to have “98%” common interest. Two countries would be extremely lucky to have 50% common interest. We can barely get the states to agree on what constitutes “common interest”. Your reply, however, is extremely common, and is used as a rhetorical ploy only to silence those who speak to differing interests and the potential for single or dual loyalty in favor of Israel. It’s tired and everyone is sick of it. We absolutely do not have a high percentage of common interest. Pick your side and stop with the BS.

            He did what he had to do for Zion and is being tortured on a daily basis for his role in building and defending Zion.

            Well, it seems as if you ahve picked your side. If you aren;t in Israel already, please move there ASAP as we don’t like disloyalty here. In my opinion, Pollard and all caught spies should be hanged immediately to deter more spying. He’s getting off extremely light in his residency at that country-club detention center. Be thankful for that.

            Reply to Comment
      • Vadim

        Danny – If “The U.S. has a serious problem with Jewish dual loyalty to Israel” what do you think of the dual loyalty issue of Israeli Arabs?

        I mean, if a population that is fully integrated, that is proud of being American but has ties with a friendly country is a problem. What do you think about a population that does not wish to be integrated, that views our independence day as a disaster, that identifies with our enemies and prefers their flag over ours?

        By the way, I did not say there is or isn’t a dual loyalty issue with Israeli Arabs, just wanted to hear your opinion on the subject, given your clear stance on the dual loyalty of US Jews.

        Reply to Comment
    2. Steve Benassi

      Timing of ADL smear coincides with imminent release of Obama/Kerry “framework agreement” for Palestine Israel.

      American Media covers ADL only in positive light, suppresses ADL news when deemed negative.

      Lessons to be learned…Jews stick together, and no consequences for racist attacks by Jews on non-Jews.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Khaled Khalid

      Yes they are out to get the Juden -
      Just say yes.
      These guys have mortgages to pay and a lifestyle to maintian, you know. It’s a Jobs creation program for people who couldn’t normally get real work.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Mikesailor

      Larry, I completely agree with your article but it does leave open two questions: 1)Why would Foxman bring up such a calumny and insult? and 2)Why now? The second question is probably easier to answer but no less disturbing than the first:1) he insults the administration right before the State of the Union Address and therefore intended his remarks to be the most embarassing to Obama; 2) The Iran sanctions bill seems to be dying with even Peter Beinart questioning the sanity of Jewish ‘establishment” leaders pushing sanctions ober the objections of even Jewish senators; 3) The Israel-Palestinian ‘peace’ talks seem doomed to run aground over settlements etc. and the distraction of ‘catching’ an ‘Al-Qaida’ cell in Iarael plotting to boomb the US embassy etc. seems to be not only disbelieved but actively ignored in the US media as patently false; 4) US Jews, especially on college campuses are starting to ignore the pap and myths they have been fed all these years and are beginning to question the official Jewish ‘establishment history’ and the untruths which have always buttressed Jewish support; and 5) it seems the EU is getting prepared to play hardball with Israel if the peace talks run aground, which is where they are heading. In other words, the perfect storm seems to be staring the ‘Jewish’ establishment in the face and they are striving in vain to show themselves as somehow ‘relevent’. The most interesting question is why would Faxman make such statements at all, insulting all Americans with such a lie but I will leave that for later.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ginger Eis

        It is a huge understatement to say that you “agree completely with Larry”. Indeed, them unpatriotic American Jews are responsible not only for the all the failed domestic- and foreign policies of Obama but also for all ills has befallen- and will continue to befall mankind in general and the US in particular. Israeli settlements that occupy LESS than 3% (THREE percent!!) of the disputed territories in Judea and Samaria are responsible for the absence of peace in the Middle East. The evidence for terrorist plot against US Embassy/counsulate in Israel is actually false and designed to distract the American public and embarrass Obama (as was the case in Benghazi). Now them Jews are out to get Obama. etc. Ya know, when this diabolical article surfaced, I knew some very ugly things were going to rear their ugly heads again. But I didn’t know it was going to be this bad. What kind of human being are you guys?

        Reply to Comment
    5. Ginger Eis

      The Jonathan Pollard-tragedy is one that should concern Jews in general and every Zionist in particular. Just as Israel will never abandon her soldiers behind enemy lines, Pollard will never be abandoned. He did what he had to do for Zion and is being tortured on a daily basis for his role in building and defending Zion. For Jews the Pollard-tragedy is apolitical and as such is a club neither for the Left nor for the Right to bludgeon one another on the political battlefield. I commend Abe Foxman and others who have been tirelessly doing whatever they can – regardless of how big, small, smart, stupid, bold or outrageous – to free Jonathan Pollard. Pollard has suffered enough! Most unfortunately, the ilk of Mr. Larry Derfner don’t give a damn about the Human Rights of Pollard (assuming he is human enough like Palestinians, Adam Verta, etc. to possess any). For them, it’s an open season for intellectual thuggery and terrorism against fellow Jews – on Jonathan Pollard’s back. Shame on you, Mr. Derfner. Shame on you, Sir.

      Reply to Comment
      • Mike panzone

        “He did what he had to do for Zion”…and America must do what it must do for America…which includes letting pollard rot and, if it doesn’t change it’s ways, ditching israel as it’s favorite nation.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ginger Eis

          Indeed Mike, Pollard “rots” in jail – for over 36yrs. His crime is passing classified info to a friendly country that has also contributed enormously to the technological defense establishment of the US. The question is thus, whether or not continued imprisonment of Pollard is proportionate to the crimes he committed. If your position is that Pollard should “rot” FOREVER because he is a JEW, then we have nothing to discuss. If not, let’s hear your arguments for why he should not be released (and pls. leave the Jewry out of the equation for a decent discussion).

          Reply to Comment
          • Mike panzone

            “Leave the jewry out of the discussion” you say and yet you are the only one bringing that subject up. of course it is not because he is a jew that i think he should serve life. Anyone who commits treason should be treated so. Im sure his life sentence has prevented others from committing the same crime. And if this “friendly country” is such a good friend, then why did they accept information that was gained illegally? Why didnt they inform its friend of the security breach? Why did this friendly country hide the depth of its involvement? Why did israel protect pollards handlers? Tell you what, if you guys turn over the other israelis implicated in this case who got off scott free and let them serve at least five years in prison for their crimes against america, then we will set pollard free.

            Reply to Comment
          • mike panzone

            …and as far as this being an anti-semtic thing…that those who want pollard to stay in jail want it because they dislike jews…one has to ask, would you israelis be so gung ho for releasing pollard if he were a muslim israeli-arab? something tells me, no, you wouldn’t be. wouldn’t be concerned in the least. but because he is a jew, you are outraged. whose the racist now?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            “of course it is not because he is a jew that i think he should serve life. Anyone who commits treason should be treated so. Im sure his life sentence has prevented others from committing the same crime”. IMO, your position is a perfectly legitimate one to take – regardless of whether or not one agrees with it. The clarity you provide is well appreciated.
            “… would you israelis be so gung ho for releasing pollard if he were a muslim israeli-arab?” Absolutely. All you have to do is to check-out the heavy sacrifices Israel made in the past to recover her soldiers and agents or their dead bodies/remains from behind enemy lines – (e.g. exchanging killers of elementary school children for the bodies of dead soldiers etc.) Some of those soldiers and agents are “Muslim Israeli-Arabs”.

            Reply to Comment
    6. goldmarx

      “Just as Israel will never abandon her soldiers behind enemy lines, Pollard will never be abandoned.”

      Pollard was spying on the US – so the US was the enemy after all, according to you.

      The US has given $3 billion plus a year to Israel – more than to any other country – and this is your idea of gratitude??

      Reply to Comment
      • Ginger Eis

        I will not apologize for YOUR lack of English comprehension. The US and Israel are best of allies and the bond between them is UNBREAKABLE. Sometimes unfortunate things happen between allies and best friends (as evidenced in the in the Pollard-tragedy, cases where the US spied on Israel). Currently both nations shear intel. The US and Israel know exactly what each other knows, thereby making spying against each other moot. Israel’s GDP is close to 300 BILLION USD. With that in mind, do the math re the percentage of US aid to Israel. But hey, you may keep fantasying and salivating at the thought of the US and Israel as enemies and the US dumping Israel (something that won’t ever happen and won’t even help Israel’s enemies in their quest to vanquish her).

        Reply to Comment
        • Albert

          Ginger Eis, in her response on January 29th to Goldmarx, reveals something crucial she does not seem to realize she revealed. She equates “the Pollard-tragedy” with “cases where the US spied on Israel.” She misses this crucial distinction: Pollard was an American citizen spying on America. The US agents were American citizens spying on Israel. These two situations can NOT be equated. In the first case the perpetrator is a TRAITOR. In the second case the agents are merely agents working for their own country. Pollard was (and is) an AMERICAN. Eis gives away the game whether she realizes it or not.

          Reply to Comment
    7. gerry

      Amen!Foxman has lost it and the ADL has lost my support for as long as he is associated with the organization. What an insulting, idiotic approach.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ginger Eis

        Gerry, send a well written letter of protest to ADL. I am sure ADL will reply you. ADL is far larger than Abe Foxman (who like you is an imperfect human being that will always act in an imperfect manner). Withdrawing your support will not harm the ilk of Abe but rather defenseless Jews around the world that ADL seeks to protect.

        Reply to Comment
    8. brenda

      If the US Jewish establishment was serious about ‘dual loyalty’ perceptions they would see to it that AIPAC was registered as a foreign lobby. But unable to let go of this tempting asset for Israel, they must suffer the consequences — more and more perceptions among the general American public that a dual loyalty issue exists. That’s enough to drive anyone crazy, no?

      Reply to Comment
    9. Rehmat

      According to Jewish Daily Forward, Abraham Foxman is the highest paid Israeli lobbyist ($688,280/year plus other benefits).

      Shimon Peres, Netanyahu, John Kerry, etc. have also called for pardoning Jonathan Pollard who is considered a traitor by a great majority on Americans.

      http://rehmat1.com/2013/07/23/netanyahu-wants-kerry-to-free-traitor-pollard/

      Reply to Comment
    10. Ginger Eis

      Pollard spied in the United States against the United States, but for a friendly country. He received life-imprisonment with the POSSIBILITY of PAROLE. To date Pollard has serve more than 36yrs in jail. Every human being, including prisoners has Human Rights. Such Rights include the Right to (a) freedom and (b) equal-protection under the law. The question therefore to be asks is this: is the continued imprisonment of Pollard DISPROPORTIONATE in relation to the crimes he committed and as such a violation of his Constitutional Right to freedom and equal-protections? In answering this question, you must take the following into account (1) non-Jewish US citizens have spied in the US against the US but for friendly Countries that does not include Israel; (2) Pollard is the ONLY SPY in US history to get LIFE SENTENCE for spying for an ally; (3) the punishment for spying for an ally is ten yrs. (4) Pollard is the ONLY US citizen to receive more than 10yrs prison sentence for spying for an ally. Ignoring these question and engaging instead in anti-Semitic frenzy, accusing Jews of “dual loyalty” and stating that Pollard should rot in jail forever is pure RACISIM. You guys are smarter than that, no?

      Reply to Comment
    11. Giora Me'ir

      Abe’s finally jumped the shark.

      Reply to Comment
    12. shachalnur

      Confusion all around,what is Foxman trying to do?
      He’s actually doing what the ADL was created for.
      The ADL was created in 1913,long before the Balfour declaration,the Shoah and the State of Israel.
      Find out why the ADL was created and by whom,and things will become a bit clearer.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Ben Zakkai

      It’s enormously illuminating to compare the Pollard case with that of Mordechai Vanunu, who revealed Israeli nuclear secrets and spent 18 years in prison, mostly in solitary. Since Vanunu’s release he’s been barred from leaving Israel and thrown back in jail periodically for allegedly violating draconian restrictions that are supposedly intended to prevent him from spilling more secrets — but that justification can’t be true, because Vanunu lives in East Jerusalem and hangs out with Palestinians and Europeans, plus it’s been 30 years. Vanunu also converted to Christianity, making him even more of a traitor for Israeli Jews and explaining the continued vendetta against him. My experience is that Pollard supporters hate Vanunu and want him to suffer unto death, i.e. they’re not motivated by compassion and human rights, just tribal loyalty.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ginger Eis

        Indeed comparing the Pollard case to Vanunu’s is very “illuminating”. On the one hand it shows that the US has much to learn from Israel when it comes to Human Rights and Equal Protection under the law. On the other hand it demonstrates the barbarity of the continued imprisonment of Pollard. Vanunu served 18yrs in prison for spying against his country in time of war. Pollard is now more than 36yrs in jail for spying against his country for an ally, in time of peace. You do the math if you can – and let us know the result. But I guess that even that would be too much asked. Indeed, blind hatred of Jews is a mental illness that sinks the hater’s head deeper into darkness while he feel “illuminated”.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben Zakkai

          I did the math and concluded that Pollard’s been in jail for 26 years, not 36 like you’ve three times asserted. So let’s see who’s blinded by hatred: Vanunu was incarcerated 28 years ago and finished serving his full sentence in 2004. Nonetheless, he’s been subject to draconian limits on his movement, social contacts and communications that the Israeli High Court extends every year, most recently in December 2013. Would you let him emigrate as he desires, and if not, why not? Think carefully before you answer, because your credibility and fairness — whatever’s left of them after all your distorted claims — are on the line. And be aware that any justification you give for restricting Vanunu’s freedom could easily be turned against Pollard.

          Reply to Comment
      • Ginger Eis

        Ben, you did bad math. Here is why: (1) Vanunu spent 18yrs in jail, no more, no less, while Pollard is now more than 26yrs in jail with no light at the end of the tunnel (I stand corrected on the 36yrs-figure with apologies); (2) Vanunu spied against his country for enemy countries in a time of war, while Pollard spied for an ally, in the time of peace; (3) Unlike Vanunu, Pollard got a life sentence; (4) Vanunu is very proud of what he did, has no remorse whatsoever and has continually threatened to do so again, while Pollard continues to regret his actions and beg for clemency; (4) Vanunu still has information he has not yet divulged and has repeatedly stated his hate for Israel and his desire to damage her, while Pollard has no information on the US that Israel doesn’t already have and even then Pollard continues to pledge not to harm the US again. Based on EVIDENCE the SUPREME COURT in Israel found that Vanunu, who defiantly continued to violate the terms of his parole, still poses significant threat to the security of the State Of Israel , while several ex CIA chiefs and member of other intelligence agencies agree that such is not the case re Pollard. I think Pollard would do anything to exchange places with Vanunu if you did your math well. But you did not.

        Reply to Comment
        • Mystikiel

          Pollard will be eligible for parole in November, 2015. So you’re wrong on that as well. Of course, that will be dependent on him demonstrating contrition, on which point his conduct has been pretty poor thus far.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Mystikiel, “Pollard will be eligible for parole in 2015”. That’s correct, BUT does not mean any light at the end of the tunnel. His parole, just like numerous appeals for pardon (including from the State Of Israel) may as well be rejected.

            Reply to Comment
        • Ben Zakkai

          Ginger, you need to read and think more. Read the articles that Derfner links to and then a little Wikipedia, just for starters. Vanunu revealed info to the London Times, not an enemy. He acted on principle (not hatred), so he hasn’t expressed remorse, but he long ago promised not to do further harm to state security, and it’s preposterous to think that he could; if he was dangerous, Israel, which is not known for its liberal, humanitarian approach on national security issues, would keep him locked up all the time. Israeli Jews just want continued petty revenge against Vanunu, plus they don’t want him to be a star overseas. As for Pollard, whether he’s expressed remorse is disputed, but he’s never requested parole, only a pardon, so apparently he wants more than freedom; he wants exoneration. Also, credible accounts indicate that Israel traded some of Pollard’s info to the Soviet Union, America’s chief enemy at the time, in exchange for concessions on Soviet Jews. You didn’t answer directly: would you give Vanunu his freedom? Because I think that Israel never will, while Pollard may get parole next year, and who will envy whom?

          Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            “Vanunu revealed info to the London Times, not an enemy”. WRONG. Vanunu did more than revealing info to ONE enemy. By using the London Times Vanunu assured that ALL enemies (inter alia States, International Organizations, State-actors and non-State actors, etc.) of Israel got the classified info. Is Vanunu principled? No, not at all. Vanunu is a manipulative, syndical liar, a reckless and hateful human being who has wanton disregard for the lives of millions of his people. “Would I give Vanunu freedom?” YES – if there is no legal ground to infringe on his freedom (as in all Western countries). However, different Colleges Of Justices have on several occasions ruled that such is not the case re Vanunu. Vanunu was always present and well represented during all the proceedings. Vanunu’s case is periodically being reviewed by said College Of Independent Justices. That’s how it ought to be in a State Of Laws, such as Israel.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben Zakkai

            Thanks, Ginger, for proving my point. Your blind hatred of Vanunu makes you see him as a monster. You wouldn’t let him leave Israel and lead a normal life. Your sympathy for Pollard is purely tribal and has nothing to do with reverence for human rights. I wish I could feel happy about being right.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Ben & Richard, whether or not I like/hate Vanunu/serial killers/mass murderers, etc. is NOT the issue. The issue is whether or not the restrictions on Vanunu’s freedom are LAWFUL. The LAW is what the Court interprets it to be. In Vanunu’s case Colleges (plural) of independent Justices (plural) have on several occasions (plural) ruled that based on (a) EVIDENCE and (b) THE LAW, the restrictions on Vanunu’s freedom are justified. THAT, gentlemen, is the law – regardless of one’s personal opinion about Vanunu (I am sure both of you are able to make that distinction, if you make the necessary effort). My dislike for Vanunu and support for Pollard have nothing to do with tribe. Both are Jews. Disliking one because of his “tribe” would by necessity also mean disliking the other on “tribal grounds”. That is however not the case. Thus, Ben’s argument in this regard doesn’t follow.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben Zakkai

            Well, the law also says that Pollard sits in jail for life, so you should have no problem with that.

            Jeez Ginger, don’t you ever get tired of lying? And shouldn’t you be better at it by now?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Ben, Pollard must stay in jail for life. That’s the law – for now. I respect the law. Because I find that the law has been wrongly applied to Pollard, I advocate his release. Successful advocacy can only take place in legal proceedings that will result in a ruling containing an evidence based legal justification or lack thereof for continued incarceration of Pollard. IF and WHEN e.g. a REVIEW Court reviews and finds that continued incarceration of Pollard is based on (a) LAW and (b) EVIDENCE, I would accept the ruling as law. End of story. This is and has been the core of my position re Pollard and Vanunu (regardless of my personal feelings for both). Do you accept the same re Vanunu? If yes, why continue screaming? If no, pls. do explain?

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          • Ben Zakkai

            Please. Do you take the readers here for idiots? Law is law, whether applied by trial court, appeals court, parole board or other duly constituted authority, so both Pollard and Vanunu are legally incarcerated or restricted. Also, Pollard’s appeals have been twice rejected by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals and denied certiorari by the Supreme Court, so if a review court decision was really your criterion, you’d have to accept Pollard’s fate, end of story. But you’ve decided that for Pollard, justice requires a different outcome. Neither of us will ever know the classified details of either case; my personal sense is that both men have served enough time and could be released without danger, but I could be wrong. But your arguments don’t have a shred of integrity attached to them.

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          • Richard Lightbown

            Fancy you missing my question in the first sentence of my post. Fancy you missing my point about evidence at the end of the post.

            If you can’t answer these points is there any chance that you might concede them?

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          • Richard Lightbown

            State of laws? By what law did Israel have the right to abduct Vanunu from Italy?

            Incidentally it was not its enemies that Israel wanted to keep in the dark about its nuclear bombs (the point of deterrence after all is that your enemy should know). The problem with Vanunu was that America could no longer pretend it did not know that Israel had advanced nuclear weapons. That genie is out of the bottle. So what is the point in continuing to infringe Vanunu’s rights? Pure, malicious revenge: nothing more nothing less.

            (And remember your beloved Justices believe whatever yarn the spooks tell them. They don’t see the evidence they’re just told this is highly confidential, but trust us… The Israeli courts buy this patsy every time.)

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          • Ginger Eis

            Not too fast, Richard. I will answer in two posts. Here is the first: (1) It has not been established that Israel kidnaped Vanunu (from Italy) and there is no available evidence to support that claim. Thus, the question ‘by what law Israel kidnaped Vanunu’ does not arise and as such cannot be answered. (2) ASSUMING (and I mean assuming) Israel did kidnap Vanunu, one can successfully argue that (a) an arrest warrant was issued against Vanunu by a competent Israeli Judge/authority; (b) the state of national emergency that arose in Israel as a result of Vanunu’s action demanded that Vanunu URGENTLY be physically secured and brought back to Israel. Said emergency trumps any right Vanunu and/or Italy may have in going through the usual extradition-procedure, in which the damage done to Israel’s national security would have even worsened. The extra-judicial extradition (not “kidnaping”) of Vanunu to Israel was thus lawful.

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          • Richard Lightbown

            “It has not been established that Israel kidnapped Vanunu (from Italy) and there is no available evidence to support that claim.”
            Sure, Cheryl Hanin is a figment of the imagination of countless journalists all over the globe and Vanunu just happened to turn up in Israeli custody (the last place on earth he wanted to be). No I ain’t buying your bridge in Brooklyn either.

            There was no state of national emergency in Israel over Vanunu. He just confirmed what was long suspected, filled in some of the details and embarrassed the U.S. which for years had been refusing to listen to any of its intelligence operatives concerning the Israeli bomb programme and even pulling them off cases if they were getting to close to the scent. If anything Israel’s security was enhanced by Vanunu’s leaks.

            In case you had not noticed Italy is a sovereign state. International Law does not permit Israel to go into the territory of any other nation and physically attack and sedate someone. Extradition, for your information is the HANDING OVER of someone to a foreign state. This was abduction, that is to say, according to Italian law he was illegally restrained and forcibly removed from the country against his will (and without the consent of Italian authorities). I know Israel happily does this sort of thing all over the world but that does not make any of it legal. I am surprised that even you cannot get your head around that.

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          • Ginger Eis

            Why are you so sure that Vanunu ( an odd man who had no GF nor sex in years!) did not follow sexy Cindy into a Mossad-boat to ravage her there? Once inside said boat, Vanunu would be legally on Israeli territory. If this is what happened, no one can accuse Israel of kidnapping. Other scenarios are also possible, e.g. the Italian government gave its tacit approval to take Vanunu out of the country, etc. We just don’t know what exactly happened. All we have are SPECULATIONS (and they are many) from a lot of people with extreme power of imagination. But SPECULATIONS are not evidence. And you need evidence to make a case for kidnapping.

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          • Richard Lightbown

            Like Vanunu making the clear accusation: remember he wrote it on his hand? Your suggestiions make as much sense as claiming that Martians stunned him with a ray gun.

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          • Ginger Eis

            What Vanunu did shook the very basic pillars upon which the Israeli defense establishment stood and gave rise to a state of national emergency (national emergency is more than just ICBMs raining down on e.g. Herzliya, etc.). There are laws and there are laws. All laws are equal but some laws are more equal than the orders (see ‘the doctrine of hierarchy of laws’). Self-preservation and the protection of its civilian population are THE most solemn OBLIGATIONS of the State. From this OBLIGATION flows forth LEGAL AUTHORITY to do WHATEVER is (a) NECESSARY and (b) PROPORTIONATE to achieve the objectives of said OBLIGATION (unwritten Constitutional law). Now, let’s ASSUME that Israel “kidnaped” Vanunu. Had Israel asked Italy to arrest and extradite Vanunu, Israel would have sustained additional, more severe and irreparable damage. The tumor had to be removed fast and quick before it was too late. Israel’s action was thus (a) necessary and (b) proportionate to the aim it sought and thus (c) a justified/lawful breach of Italian sovereignty. Sovereignty is not absolute.

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          • Richard Lightbown

            Paranoia and tosh: there was no security threat to Israel by these relevations. And you haven’t provided any explanation to this ridiculous allegation.

            But come back through the looking glass to the real world for a moment. Spain has an arrest warrant out for a group of very prominent Israelis wanted to face charges of murder. Supposing Spain sent Special Forces to Israel to abduct (no let’s use your word) to extradite the accused without first notifying the Israeli government. Would you still assert that sovereignty is not absolute? Would you call that necessary, proportionate and justified? What would be the difference?

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          • Ginger Eis

            Vanunu’s claim is evidence ONLY (a) if the claim can be used against him, OR, (b) there is an independent evidence to corroborate his claim(s). Btw. Vanunu claimed that he was “hijacked” NOT “kidnapped”. (1) you don’t “hijack” a human being, (2) we don’t know what he meant by “hijacked” and (c) how he was “hijacked”. Did sex-hungry Vanunu sheepishly follow “Cindy” into a boat flying Israeli flag (Mossad-boat)? You don’t know, do yo?! But hey, you are free to believe your own fantasies and/or fantasies created by others for idle and gullible minds.

            The Spain-analogy is a false one and a form of argumentum non sequitur and as such fallacious. Additionally, ‘NO Right is absolute’ (not even the right to life!). ALL rights may be breached IF SPECIFIC LEGAL REQUIREMENTS are met. Ask any Constitutional- or IPR jurist. But I am certain none of them will run around circles with you (as I have patiently tried to do with you to help you understand).

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          • Ginger Eis

            Here is the second post. (2) In all Western countries (except the US), when evidence is withheld from the defendant, the Court may use that evidence ONLY IF (a) very strict, specific requirements are met AND (b) the evidence in question is corroborated by other evidence that has been turned over to the defense. (3) Sworn statements of police officers/state agents are in- and of themselves evidence. The oath underlying such statement guarantees the correctness of their content(s). The only way to get rid of such evidence is (b) demonstrating that the statements are inherently inconsistent with one another or (b) contradicted by objective evidence (evidence that is independent of your will). The law is not perfect, but what Israel and Western Europe has is among the best.

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          • Richard Lightbown

            Ginj Post 2.

            Very authoritative. Now what are your sources?

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          • Ginger Eis

            I am writing from my head while on holiday. But you might want to search for Court Rulings on ‘admissibility of evidence’ and/or take a look at law literature for 2nd/3rd year law students (they more easy to understand).

            Reply to Comment
          • Richard Lightbown

            You made the assertions, you back them up. They have no credibility at the moment and I am not going to dig you out of your own hole.

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          • Ginger Eis

            Apparently you are also too lazy/not capable to find info that is readily available on EVEN the internet, etc. Go to google-books or the portals of the Israeli Supreme Court, the ECHR or SCOTUS. I have tried my best to simplify for you what I would ordinarily not even bother explaining to others, because even though you are not a jurist and have no legal background (and thus engaging in ‘legalistics’ with you is futile), you appeared inquisitive- and asked curious questions about the law. But I am not going to run around circles with you. This has to be clear. The only “hole” I see is your lack of legal knowledge. It will take a lot (definitely more than discussions on this site) to dig you out of it. Go to law-school, if you are still young (enough) (and stop agitating/rioting against the Criminal Justice System and those who wish to provide you with info others pay for to get!).

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    14. Piotr Berman

      It is true that sentences in USA are excessive compared with most of Western countries, but picking Pollard as a most deserving case of thousands is at best peculiar to most of Americans (who are obviously comfortable with the range of sentences in their countries, no politician runs on “coddle the criminals” plank).

      The most reasonable objection to the treatment of Pollard is that if he had brains and was spying for Soviet Union, or Iran, then by now he would be exchanged for some captured Americans or some other exchange. Even if there are no American spies in Israel, it would be simplicity itself to frame some. That would not go too well, of course.

      However, if the government of Israel is really so concerned about the fate of Pollard, it had ample opportunities over the year to exchange him for something like settlement freeze.

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    15. Mikesailor

      I’m waiting for Foxman to start crying ‘antisemitism’ over the length and severity of Bernie Madoff’s sentence. Oh, sorry. The majority of his victims were Jews who lost the ability to fund Abe and Israel in the style to which they are accustomed. If they had been goys, then I’m sure Foxman would be singing the old ‘Antisemitism Blues’ by now. Crocodile tears becomes him.

      Reply to Comment
    16. brenda

      Jumping forward on the ADL Abe Foxman story, Foxman does an unprecedented about-face on anti-semitism. Politics trumps ideology I would say: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.571807
      ADL chairman Abraham H. Foxman decried Yogev’s remarks as “offensive, inflammatory and totally without any basis.”

      “In this period of intense US-led negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, it is understandable that political tensions would arise regarding the implications for Israel of a future agreement,” the letter read. Yet “it is beyond the bounds of legitimate critique to disparage the intent of the Secretary’s intensive […] investment in the negotiations, and simply indefensible to accuse him of harboring anti-Jewish beliefs.”

      Ginger, I think you are wrong in your perceptions that the ADL is more than Abe Foxman. According to lengthy 2007 NYT piece, Foxman IS the ADL:
      http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/14/magazine/14foxman.t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

      Reply to Comment
      • Ginger Eis

        Wrong, Brenda! Abe is not doing any “unprecedented about-face on anti-semitism”. The guy just says what he believes, regardless of whose ox is gored. That much you must – given his latest condemnation of Yogev – acknowledge in the interest of fairness. He has not retracted what he said re Pollard. Most of the times Abe is right. Sometimes he is wrong. He is human and his personal mistakes may not be used as a club bludgeon the entire US Jewry as many here (excluding you and a few others) have done.

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    17. Ginger Eis

      “Former U.S. Deputy National Security adviser Elliott Abrams has joined a LARGE NUMBER (emphasis are mine) of former high-ranking American officials who have called for the release of Jonathan Pollard”. Worry not too much, Jonathan. We will bring you home soonest – by G-d’s grace.

      http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/177018

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