Jonathan Pollard

Sheldon Adelson and the Jew Card
August 21, 2012

Can you criticize Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson without being accused of anti-Semitism?

The Appalling Crusade to Free Jonathan Pollard; Unhappiness in Jordan; and More
March 06, 2012

I.  It is not the business of Israel, although it seems to be the business of the politicians of Israel, to hector and harass President Obama about the release of Jonathan Pollard, who served as a certified espionage agent of the Jewish state in and against its one truly reliable ally, the United States of America. Maybe Pollard’s sentence was a bit harsher than it should have been. But I don’t even concede that. In any case, there are probably hundreds of thousands of convicts now in jail who can argue that their prison sentence was not equable or even just in the first place.

Defending Israel Against Its Right-Wing Jews
December 06, 2011

In the Jewish struggle around Zionism there were at least three strands in opposition so fierce that it was evident that the very meaning of “the people Israel” was at stake. The first of these was a vast religious cohort, at once immensely learned or purported to have such learning and having, as well, the authority of the sages. Or the ages. While ongoing study and “trust in the Lord” constituted their program, they practiced a politics that was fundamentally anti-political. God was both their instrument and their end.

Jonathan Pollard: What Precepts of Decency Does our State Owe its Prisoners?
June 27, 2011

 A man sits in prison, serving a life sentence after committing grave crimes against his country. Meanwhile, his aged father lies dying. The prisoner asks to be released for one day to say goodbye at his father’s bedside. The authorities say no; by some accounts, they do not even reply to his request. His father dies, and he asks to be released for one day to attend the funeral. Again, he is turned down, reportedly after high-level diplomatic consultations. This is, of course, Jonathan Pollard’s story. But I presented it anonymously because it shouldn’t matter whose story it is.

Mr. President: Do Not Listen to the Rabbi.
April 20, 2011

The two chief rabbis of Israel—one Ashkenazi, the other Sephardi—plus both their theological underlings and detractors can't stay out of the nation's politics. They also won't keep their clammy hands (forgive the non-kosher metaphor) off its exchequer. But they should be able to stay out of the American relationship to the Jewish state. In fact, they endanger it and at no time more than now. It's not exactly about high matters of state. It's actually a piece of rabbinical shulpolitik.

President Obama And Mr. Pollard, Part II
December 27, 2010

I don’t know exactly how much pressure the president is under to release Jonathan Pollard. But there is certainly much heat on the prime minister from his ultras to persuade Obama to set the convicted spy free. The pretense is that the sentence of life imprisonment imposed on Pollard was a miscarriage of justice. But there are multitudes of such miscarriages in both the United States and Israel (to say nothing of other countries), very few rectified and certainly not through the ugly politics like which we are now witnessing in behalf of Pollard in the Jewish state.

Mr. President: Do Not Free Jonathan Pollard
December 25, 2010

In the first instance and despite the brazen insinuations of his supporters, Jonathan Pollard is not a Jewish martyr. He is a convicted espionage agent who spied on his country for both Israel and Pakistan (!)—a spy, moreover, who got paid for his work. His professional career, then, reeks of infamy and is suffused with depravity. It is true that Pollard has achieved the status of hero for some in Israel. But you should know exactly who these people are: They are professional victims, mostly brutal themselves, who originate in the ultra-nationalist and religious right. They are insatiable.

Mr. President: Do Not Free Jonathan Pollard
December 24, 2010

In the first instance and despite the brazen insinuations of his supporters, Jonathan Pollard is not a Jewish martyr. He is a convicted espionage agent who spied on his country for both Israel and Pakistan (!)—a spy, moreover, who got paid for his work. His professional career, then, reeks of infamy and is suffused with depravity. It is true that Pollard has achieved the status of hero for some in Israel. But you should know exactly who these people are: they are professional victims, mostly brutal themselves, who originate in the ultra-nationalist and religious right. They are insatiable.

The Courtship
October 16, 2000

David Grann explores Hillary Rodham Clinton's efforts to obtain the support of Orthodox church leader Dov Hikind during her senatorial bid.