October 29, 2010 | 3:10 pm
Posted by Rabbi Asher Lopatin
From the Right - but true for all Americans:
Clemency for Pollard is an important issue for those who are interested in fighting America’s true enemies – such as Islamic terror extremism and its supporters throughout the world – rather than making moral equivalents between allies and enemies. Pollard transferred information – illegally – to America’s closest ally and friend. True, any two countries will have different priorities and different strategies in fighting the common enemy, and as an American Pollard needed to follow American law which reflected the American strategy for fighting the enemy. But, unlike many in the politically correct community, it is important for those interested in American interests to finally recognize that Israel is not the enemy, Israel is not the obstacle to peace, that it is not true that without Israel the Middle East or the world would be a stable, pro-American bastion of democracy! For too long, in Democratic and Republican administrations, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries, and Palestinians who danced on 9/11, have been coddled and allowed to export terrorists and Imam’s who preach terrorism and export the money that pays for those Imams and terror organizations all over the world. I believe that we have to say that yes, Pollard violated American law by spying, but let’s put things in proper perspective; let’s understand who our friends are and who are enemies are. Clemency for Pollard can be the first step in moving in that more realistic and strategic direction, and being honest in admitting where the threats to America’s well being lies, and who are our allies in defeating that threat.
From the Left - but true for all Americans:
Fair Sentencing for Jonathan Pollard is a matter of American Justice
Clemency for Jonathan Pollard is not an issue just affecting Jews or for the pro-Israel community; rather, it is a matter for all who care about American justice and civil rights. Pollard, who has been in prison for 25 years, is serving an unprecedented sentence, way out of proportion to the normal sentencing, for his single indictment, that of transferring information to a foreign country, with the intent that that information would be used by that country (Israel). Some have said that there are secret papers – known only to Casper Weinberger and to the judge who sentenced Pollard – that show how serious his crime was. Others say that Pollard is getting his “just deserts” and he deserves to rot in jail forever. Neither of these statements bode well for a system of justice that is supposed to be transparent and unbiased. In fact, this attitude of letting those in the security services determine how long people are sent to jail for, without any accountability even to lawyers who defend the accused, will lead us down a road where civil, legal and human rights are denied to anyone whom the security services don’t like – Muslim, Jew, radical or reactionary. We have already seen issues in the Patriot Act that verge on this usurpation of American justice; let us not allow our love for America, over any other nation, friendly – such as Israel – or unfriendly, destroy the fair and open justice system that we have fought to defend for centuries. Whether it is a mosque that you don’t like or a spy for Israel that you don’t like, let us make sure that blind justice is done and that American law is followed. Let us not let “secret information”, known only to those in power, to destroy “liberty and justice for all”.
Rabbi Asher Lopatin
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