Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Something the Left and Right can agree on

When Jameel asked me, JoeSettler to guest blog, he gave me a precondition. I shouldn’t write anything overtly inflammatory against the Left (“do not upset the Purple Parrot”, is what he said privately).

So here is my preliminary list of subjects I won’t be posting about:

  • The gassing of Jewish children in an enclosed room by IDF soldiers at the joint secular-religious agricultural community of Sde Boaz (near Neve Daniel) last week.

  • Hamas is expected to be the landslide winner in Jerusalem.

  • The intentional and sudden provocations by the Olmert interim government (just before elections) to provoke and incite various Yesh(a) communities.

  • The lack of real response to the Kassam missile strikes as opposed to the hundreds of soldiers sent to kick out a bunch of Jewish families from Jewish owned property.

  • Are we supposed to have in mind the members of Peace Now, Yesh Gvul, the Geneva Initiative, and Rabbis for Human Rights, when we say the prayer "v'l'malshinim al t'hee tikva"?

  • How Sharon committed a Coup d'etat - a posting I'm rather proud of.

  • Avri Ran is a really great role model.

  • Tel Aviv University is still occupying stolen Arab land (including the 'Green House') despite protests, disengagement and Arab demands to end the occupation.

  • Why, despite the Jewish expulsion and the increase in Kassam missile strikes, have we not disengaged from Gaza's arabs, and still supply them with water, electricity, and jobs (not to mention international marketing for the Jewish greenhouses they are occupying)?
    Shouldn't that (at best) at least now be Egypt's responsibility?

Don’t comment on them either.

So I racked my brains for a week, and finally came up with a subject that everyone Left and Right can agree with:

The mistreatment of Jonathan Pollard.

I mean, what can be more uniting to the forces of Left and Right in Israel than the ill manner in which the Israeli government, and more distinctively the Israeli High Court of Justice (HCJ) have treated Jonathan Pollard.

For those not familiar with the case, Jonathan Pollard, a U.S. citizen, was utilized as an espionage agent by the Israeli Government. He provided Israel with valuable information that was being deliberately withheld from Israel by the U.S. government (despite the 1983 Memorandum of Understanding).

While Pollard unmistakably betrayed his loyalties, oath, and obligations to the U.S., for those of us in Israel, he is a hero for the critical information he supplied.

What makes the Pollard story so distressing, are the persistent rumors that those in power in Israel at the time made use of the Pollard information for personal political gain.

Of course their shameful act of simply hanging Pollard out to dry to protect their political behinds doesn't help, much less the half-hearted efforts to get him released (with the exception of Netanyahu at Wye).

But now the State of Israel has reached new heights (or is that lows) in their treatment of Jonathan Pollard.

In what I think is in part a marketing bid (though it does have actual, very serious legal ramifications as to the actions it obligates of the State to help free him), Jonathan Pollard requested to receive Prisoner of Zion status.

This is the same status that Natan Sharansky and other Russian dissidents had while they sat in Soviet prisons.

In January 2005, Jonathan Pollard was denied Prisoner of Zion status by the Prisoner of Zion Authority. He was denied the status for some clearly ludicrous (read: political) reasons.

In response, the Knesset passed a resolution giving him Prisoner of Zion status, but without any governmental obligations towards him.

Pollard appealed, taking it all the way to the HCJ.

Yesterday, the Israeli High Court of Justice denied him the status on (different) technical grounds.

According the Jerusalem Post:

A person is considered a prisoner of Zion if he or she has been imprisoned for at least six months for Zionist activity in a country that forbids such activity; because he or she was imprisoned in or exiled from a country because they were Jewish or because of that country's hostile relations with Israel; or meets the above criteria and has disappeared.

Ze'ev gives a slightly more complete definition (via IMRA)

Well there you have it. Spying for the State of Israel is not a Zionistic activity, nor is receiving a clearly disproportionate sentence because you are Jewish.

At least here is a topic the Left and Right can agree on. Well, except for those who blindly champion Aharon Barak and his HCJ.

Here are some additional and interesting background links:

Facts on Pollard’s History

Comparative Sentences

(Esther Pollard holding a FreePollard sign at the illegal Jonathan Pollard Vineyard)

Wherever I am, Jameel's blog physically sits on a server farm somewhere in the U.S., without a Jerusalem compass to orient it properly.


Tovya @ Zion Report said...

Bravo, I ignored all the "inflammatory" remarks against the left, and I will not cross the line and make the comment that I agree that Avri Ran is a role model.

Nor will I make the remark that this is the worst example of "disengaging" that I have ever seen.

And I certainly will not tell everyone that I agree with you that there has been virtual silence in regard to continued Terrorist attacks from Gaza after the expulsion.

Man I feel better not getting that out of my system. Keeping your opinions to yourself feels pretty good.

Joe Settler said...

The point is to comment on the Jonathan Pollard post and how the Left and Right still have that in common, I think, not what we aren't supposed to talk about.

tafka PP said...

Nice of you to take my feelings into consideration...

Does that mean I'm not allowed to say that part of the Amidah, if I'm in Shalom Achshav? :)

Joe Settler said...

pp: I said not to comment on the deleted sections.

Oh, but that was crossed out also.


Tovya @ Zion Report said...

Yeah, that's very much a "me" thing to do... talk about everything that your not supposed to talk about. I amaze myself sometimes, it's almost like I crave rebellion. Oh well. :-)

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