Dont give Pollard a heros welcome or Trump a heros send-off opinion – The Jerusalem Post

Posted By on November 28, 2020

Jonathan Pollard may soon move to Israel. For decades, I endorsed the release of this clearly guilty yet abusively punished spy whose sustained imprisonment I called the worst act of official American antisemitism in our lifetimes.Still, I hope Israelis and the government control themselves. Dont give him a heros welcome. He doesnt deserve it. The American government treated him abominably, but he acted unlawfully. And dont believe he acted only altruistically. That doesnt explain the thousands of dollars he earned, the diamond-and-sapphire ring his Israeli handlers gave him, or his efforts to shop American secrets to South Africa and possibly Pakistan.Im not arguing that a heros welcome will annoy many American Jews which it will. Im not objecting that gushing about an American who spied on America will alienate Joe Biden which it will. I fear for Israels soul. During this brittle moment in Israels political history, and the history of democracy, protecting Israels soul is a pressing national security challenge.In his non-eulogy honoring Theodor Herzl when he died in 1904, Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook noted that Israel, like all nations, seeks material improvement. But Israels unique mission involves cultivating spirituality too. Kook blessed the Zionist desire to accumulate material powers... coupled with spiritual excellence.From across the religious spectrum, A.D. Gordon toasted the cosmic element of nationality that comes from fusing the peoples spirit with its homeland. In 1961, when The Atlantic monthly celebrated Israels bar mitzvah year, prime minister David Ben-Gurion christened Israel The Kingdom of the Spirit.Obviously, Israel needs spies and soldiers who sometimes act ruthlessly, but you dont roll out the red carpet when they finally get out of jail. Pensions, yes; parades and medals, no.You also dont nominate veterans with a history of threatening Arabs to head Israels Holocaust holy of holies, Yad Vashem, as Zeev Elkin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did with Effi Eitam. Leading Yad Vashem isnt just more political pork to distribute. Eitam must be suited to some other plum post, experientially, ideologically, temperamentally and ethically perhaps a new position protecting parents of fallen soldiers who are protesting democratically from Likud thugs.

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Dont give Pollard a heros welcome or Trump a heros send-off opinion - The Jerusalem Post

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