Pollard the Second

Merry Meet everyone,

I have neglected you recently but then a genious is nothing to be forced 😉 Especially not out of a stressed out student on beautiful first-sunny-days.

Do you guys know Yossi Yagur aka. Jonathan Pollard? People in Israel do certainly remember him. Whether they like to or not. He is the all-famouse Mossad-spy caught decades ago. And that place he was doing espionage in wasn’t a traditional enemy country such as Syria. It wasn’t even a part-time foe, such as Lebanon or Iran. No. Jonathan Pollard was caught exactly a month before Yule, on November 21st 1985 nowhere less stunning then the United States of America. And the place he was gathering intelligence in was nowhere less important then the United States Navy where Pollard, born a US citizen but granted Israeli citizenship later on, served.

I guess I needn’t write about the diplomatic impact of Pollard’s blown cover. To put it in a nutshell: It was dramatic. It took Israel several years to talk itself out of the worst yet still people would point their finger at her stealing military technology from the one state said to be her ally.

Naturally the emphasis here lies on “said to be”. The US, despite publicly being believed to be Israel’s most important supporter, to the point of enabling her survival, aren’t quite relieable. Their government, as do all governments around the place, changes it’s policy towards Israel as it serves them best. A nice round of the good old game of “the Roadmap to Peace in the Middle East” has served a hand full of US American politicians well when there was domestic troubles to cover up. As has demonstrated support of poor Hamasnikim and PLO members and the glorification of Arafat.

What I am talking about is, of course, on a mere political level. Had the US made any effort of supporting the grassroots population of the PA, bypassing those taking over Human Aid money for buying weapons and explosives I am sure the conflict would be over for a couple of decades by now. But so far no nation has made the effort to make sure their money reaches the places it is needed. It’s just for the PR: “Look, we are sending some money to help the poor Palestinians.”

As I already statet Pollard has been sent to prison more then twenty years ago – where he remains until today though on a regular basis people negotiate for his release – and the case was considered to be long over. Well, think twice. In a really remarkable timing JPost reported today:

An 85-year-old former US Army mechanical engineer was arrested Tuesday on charges he slipped classified documents about nuclear weapons to an employee of the Israeli Consulate who also received information from convicted Pentagon spy Jonathan Pollard, US authorities announced.

Ben-Ami Kadish was charged in US District Court in Manhattan with four counts of conspiracy, including allegations that he disclosed US national defense documents to Israel and acted as an agent of the Israeli government.

It turned out said Ben-Ami Kadish wasn’t only nearly an identical twin to Pollard’s case – yet one that is a little older – but he also was a workmate of Pollard‘s too. Though Israel of course has always denied the existance of other spies alongside Pollard. Surprise Surprise.

Yet the timing didn’t only stunn me but also Zalman Shoval, Israel’s ambassador to Washington between 1998 and 2000:

“The content is not the only interesting thing here. There is also the timing. If this is such an old story, why is it coming out now?”

Might it have something in common with Barrack Obama’s pre-electional ralley where he repeatedly worried the Israel-supporting community within the US with his speeches about Israel? Perhaps. But wait a minute, there’s another name that sounds familiar. An “old friend”, so to say:

Defense Minister Ehud Barak was head of Military Intelligence at the time, and was one of the primary consumers of the information and material provided by the American spy for Israel, who is serving a life sentence.

And said Barak is regarded as a candidate for Olmert’s succession as a Prime Minister of Israel. With elections still just around the corner and Olmert’s requiem written what could serve his political enemies – such as ex-Prime Minister Binjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu – better then a nice little episode reminding people of Barak’s dark past. Netanyahu’s, of course, isn’t much better but as long as the media is busy reporting on Ben-Ami Kadish there’s a good chance nobody will get bored enough to have a look underneath Netanyahu’s carpet. That’s how things work: Bad news are good news.

The looser certainly is Israel. Again. Israel who’s reputation is nearly back to where it was in 1985. And somehow Kadish and Pollard, too, who’ll likely spend the rests of their lives in prison. It ist to dispute whether they belong there or not. Both sides do have their valid points and – as is everything in Israel and elsewhere – the issue is pretty complicated. And the most complicated doubtlessly is how to protect Israel from her own politicians. Again.

– Migdalit


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