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Thursday, April 11, 2019
It’s Time For Pollard To Come Home

It’s Time For Pollard To Come Home
By Rabbi Mordechai Weiss - The Jewish Press 6 Nisan 5779 – April 10, 2019
https://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/torah/its-time-for-pollard-to-come-home/2019/04/10/

In the early 1900s, a Jew named Mendel Beilis was placed on trial for
allegedly killing a Christian child and using the blood to bake matzot. It
was the old “blood libel” that over the centuries, beginning in the 12th
century, repeatedly raised its ugly head, accusing the Jews of this heinous
crime. This accusation is also contained in The Protocols of the Elders of
Zion, a book which is used as a source by the haters of the Jewish people.

After a long and arduous trial and untold suffering by Beilis, the case
against him was thrown out and he was acquitted. He nearly died while he was
awaiting trial (which his accusers hoped for) but eventually was freed. The
entire incident, however, demonstrated the latent anti-Semitism in Russia,
and the tremendous challenges that the Jews had to endure during those
trying times.

One would think that in this great country of the United States, where we
have our freedom, there would be no need to worry about anti-Semitism.
Certainly, we should at least be able to feel confident that a Jew would not
be convicted of a crime without having a fair trial, and that after serving
a sentence or being paroled, he would not still face excessive punishment
and be treated with cruelty greater than anyone who has committed a similar
crime.

Over 30 years ago, our newspapers covered the incident of a young Jewish
man, Jonathan Pollard, who was accused of giving over classified information
to a friendly country – Israel. When the story hit the press, Jews were
embarrassed. Many leaders disassociated themselves from him and from the
case, and hoped that he would get “what he deserved.”

The case never came to trial. Pollard made a plea bargain which he entered
on the promise that he would receive certain leniencies, among them that his
wife would be excluded from punishment. The government at the last moment
reneged on its promise, sending both Jonathan and his wife at the time,
Anne, to prison. Jonathan was given a life sentence with no chance of
parole. Anne was thrown into jail and suffered greatly because of her
medical condition. She was eventually freed after serving five years.

A great deal has happened since that time. Jonathan Pollard was finally
paroled in 2015, but the conditions of his parole are again unfair and
cruel. He cannot emigrate to Israel which he yearns to do, and he remains in
a situation of severe limitations on his daily life. He must wear an ankle
bracelet equipped with a communication device allowing the authorities to
keep track of him all hours of the day and night He has a curfew which he
must abide by daily. Though Pollard is out of jail, he still suffers
greatly. It’s time to end this terrible chapter of Jewish and American
history and allow Jonathan to finally come home to Israel.

President Trump, you have the power to accomplish this. You, who have taken
dynamic steps to insure the safety and security of the State of Israel, must
realize that this sad chapter of the suffering of this man must end.
Jonathan Pollard should be allowed to realize his dream to live in Israel.

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