Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Jonathan Pollard and Jewish Identity

All 109 Jewish Knesset members signed the letter to Obama. The Arab MKs did not sign. Why not? Isn't this is a humanitarian issue? After all, Pollard did not spy in an Arab state!

It makes no difference. The root of the Pollard story is not security-based or political. Pollard is still in prison because of the identity crisis that he unearthed. He chose to endanger himself and to save us because he is a Jew and we are Jews. Arabs really have no relevance to this story at all.

Pollard was not an Israeli citizen then. He was an American. In other words, the Jewish American saved the Jewish Israeli - from America that was concealing information that would have endangered the lives of all the Jews in the Land of Israel.

Pollard may be the only issue that unites all the Jews in Israel without exception - and leaves outside, also without exception - all the Arabs to whom we so desperately tried to bequeath our coerced mutual identity.

This is not the first letter signed by all the Jewish MKs. But until now, all of Israel's Prime Ministers refused to give it to the US President. They refused to understand that first and foremost - they are Jews.

Rivlin Deserves Credit

In an unprecedented move, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin sent the US president and the heads of the two houses of Congress a letter signed by all the Jewish Knesset members requesting Pollard's release from prison. Apparently, Rivlin filled a crucial role in breaking the PM's silence on Jonathan Pollard.

It is well known that Rivlin has a warm Jewish heart. Possibly the merit of his ancestors, illustrious students of the Vilna Gaon and builders of Jerusalem, stood him in good measure at the right moment to redeem himself and make this dramatic move.

Netanyahu's decision proves Esther Pollard's claim - repeatedly denied by government spokespersons - that until today, Israel has never issued a formal request for Jonathan's release.

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