New York – Editorial: Re-Examining the Pollard Issue


    Famous photo printed all over the world the arrest of Jonathan Pollard in 1986New York – This is yet another article that will probably generate controversy in some circles within the Jewish community. Our history, however, since the rise of the Talmud and before, has always been one of intense analysis, debate, thought and discussion. This political issue is no different, and it is perhaps time for another point of view to be presented.

    Pollard was a United States civilian intelligence analyst convicted in 1987 of handing over state secrets in spying for Israel. He was sentenced in March of 1987 to life in prison. Since then, numerous Jewish organizations have stood completely behind Jonathan Pollard – not just in terms of advocating for his freedom, but in actually advocating for his outlook and perspective as well.

    It could be reasonably argued that what has kept Pollard in jail for so long is precisely this outlook and perspective.

    Before we begin, it should be noted that on Nov 21st, 2015, Jonathan Pollard will be set free. The reason for this is a relatively little known clause in the federal sentencing guidelines that existed at the time of Pollard’s sentencing. The clause stated that in a life sentence where the defendant is eligible for parole, after thirty years and with good behavior – the defendant can walk out of jail a free man. At this point, Pollard has 5 and ½ years left to serve in jail.

    Those guidelines were changed in April of 1987. Pollard, however, was unaffected by the change. He still walks out a free man.

    It might also be argued that our Jewish organizations, caring and wonderful though they may be, have failed in their responsibility to tell Pollard that what he did was wrong, that he should express and demonstrate genuine remorse, and that he should appear before the Parole Board. Seeking parole was something that Pollard was eligible for since 1993. He has steadfastly refused to do so. Instead, he insist upon his receiving clemency.

    Pollard made some hefty decisions that were wrong – dead wrong. Handing over state secrets is a criminal act that constitutes something called “Moraid BeMalchus” (see Talmud tractate Shabbos 56a) – rebelling against the government. One might argue that, halachically,saving innocent lives takes precedence to the prohibition of rebelling against the government, but this is only the case when the saving of innocent life is direct. Here, however, there was no direct saving of innocent lives and, according to the government authorities, the Mardus against the government extended not just to assist Israel – but to other nations as well. According to government sources directly contacted by this author, Mr. Pollard also attempted to give away state secrets to South Africa and Pakistan, and wished to work out illegal arms deals with Afghanistan.

    In other words, what Mr. Pollard did was horrific.

    He violated the law by acting in a treacherous manner to the government of the United States. We, the Jewish community should be seeking his freedom after so many years of incarceration, but we should also tell him, “Jonathan – you were wrong and you should express real, genuine remorse. We appreciate your support of Israel but you stabbed your country in the back. You should not be holding out for clemency – you should beg for forgiveness before the Parole Board. You are not a hero and you should not construe what you have done as heroic. No good Jew would have done what you did, notwithstanding your love for Israel. Did your actions benefit Israel? Yes, absolutely. But going into Fort Knox, stealing American gold, and giving it to Israel, would also benefit Israel. It would also be very wrong and is inexcusable.”

    Some may argue, no Pollard – No Israeli attack on the Osirik Iraqi reactor. Inquiries with those who have an intimate familiarity with these things, however, reveal that this was not the case. Regardless, however, we should also be telling the State of Israel, “Much as we support you, what you did was endanger a great friendship and that was wrong.”

    Ahavas Yisroel and a love for humanity are central themes to who we are as Jews. A brotherly concern and a love of Israel are things that most Jews care for deeply. But it should not be to the point where we accept and rubber-stamp all behaviors, outlooks and attitudes.

    Now, should we be fighting for Pollard’s freedom? Yes, but only in the proper way. He has been in jail for too long, true, but only because of his obstinacy. It is an ancient tenet in Judaism (see Sefer Chassidim 26) that when a person has no mercy upon himself – we should not have mercy upon him. Pollard should ask for parole and should not spend the next five and ½ years in jail.

    Pollard has demonstrated an incapacity to see his own error and we have been afraid to tell it to him. He has become or has always been a hero in his own mind, and, ultimately, like the Shvatim when Yoseph declared to them, “I am Joseph..” – will be in a state of shock [or denial] when faced with the stark truth that the act was far from heroic.

    Instead of being heroic, he has endangered a precious relationship with the Jewish State. This relationship has been carefully forged for over six decades by some remarkably intelligent, patriotic, and caring people who serve this nation in government service, in the armed forces, and in the civilian ranks of this fine country that we live in. The United States of America is a country described by the greatest of our Rabbis as a “malchus shel chessed” – a government of lovingkindness – and one that we should surely appreciate.

    Pollard, unquestionably, threw back the status of Jewish people in this country a half century at least. There is distrust in the air because of Pollard’s actions. Jews are no longer trusted in the highest echelons in government because of Jonathan Pollard and because our Jewish organizations have behaved incorrectly in embracing Pollard’s delusional perspectives rather than convincing him, for his own good, to grow up and make things right.

    Sumner Shapiro, a Jewish Admiral that was the Director of Naval Intelligence in this country for many decades summed it up best when he told the Washington Post in 1998, “We work so hard to establish ourselves and to get where we are, and to have somebody “–“ it up . . . and then to have Jewish organizations line up behind this guy and try to make him out a hero of the Jewish people, it bothers the “-“ out of me.”

    Not only was Shapiro right, but it very well might be our tacit acceptance of Pollard’s outlook and perspective that probably keeps him in federal prison – by backing up his refusal to even request a parole hearing.

    Pollard, his legal team, and spokespeople claim that the reason Pollard does not request a parole hearing is because it is certain that it will be refused. The rationale that they provide is that a definitive and certain “no” before a parole board will most assuredly jeopardize any future request for clemency.

    But is this really the case? Pollard gets out in five and one half years. How will this jeopardize a future request for clemency? It will more likely open up an entirely new venue for pressure – parole. Also, clemency is clemency and is not unduly subject to the thoughts of people on a parole board. It is more likely that the reason for Pollard’s refusal to seek parole is that it is “embarrassing” and not the hero’s release that Pollard wants.

    And we are all playing into this game. Like loving bubbies, who find no fault in their adorable grandchild, we are enabling him to remain confined in his prison, and at the same time create a new narrative for the events that have occurred – a paradigm that continues a cycle of mistrust, and of playing the anti-semitism card in inappropriate and wrong venues thus just causing more anti-semitism.

    A request for parole is a first step that must be taken in his genuine rehabilitation – in admitting error. The conventional thinking regarding clemency is that a sitting president might consider releasing Pollard in some sort of broad-sweeping Middle-East deal. A request for parole will make it easier, not harder for a president to do that – at least the person showed visible remorse.

    While we are at it, another one of our problems is our attempt to generate support within our own Jewish community, by not – at the outset – fully disclosing the facts behind the case. When we are all out there busily fighting for clemency for Pollard, do the Jewish organizations tell us that he has not even asked for a parole hearing? Do they mention the issues of spying for South Africa and Pakistan?

    Why is it that we Jews have to find these things out for ourselves, and not from the organizations that are requesting our support? Are we, the Jewish people so childish and immature that we cannot be trusted to make our own decisions with all the pertinent information? The best way to get Pollard released is to stop the obstinacy, to accept that what was done was genuinely wrong, to be truly remorseful, and to ask to be paroled.

    So as not to be accused of not hearing both sides and just hearing the side of the United States government, let us briefly look at all 54 statements about Pollard that are found on the website The reader is urged to independently look at the 54 statements and examine them. Here we shall just comment on a few of them them.

    Statements 1 through 5 are designed to appeal to our sense that Pollard was aware of information that directly put Israeli lives in danger and then went on to provide Israel with that information. This is information that comes directly from his side – and is clearly the best possible accompanying explanation to his behavior that is possible. Whether the progression of events actually occurred in this manner is highly questionable. The facts presented by the government employees show that he was giving information to other countries beforehand. Most of the material that he stole had nothing to do with Israel. His behavioral patterns both in college and in his career prior to his arrest are indicative of an unstable mindset – of a person obsessed with the intrigue of the world of espionage.

    But it is the attitude that is the point of concern. The attitude is a non-repentant one. It is an attitude that some of our Jewish leaders are, unfortunately, supporting.

    The website claims that the FBI concluded that Pollard acted for ideological reasons only. This claim was one that I could not verify. Also, after checking with government sources who are familiar with espionage trials, most judges do not fine spies. It just doesn’t happen.

    The government did believe that Pollard for the most part cooperated, but they also felt that he did not come completely clean in regard to his attempt to work out arms deals with Afghanistan rebels. They felt that there was a possibility that he may have divulged classified information. This could not be proven and the government attorneys chose not to pursue it. They believe that both he and Anne did cooperate.

    The government attorneys also said that there was never any recommendation that Pollard never be paroled. This is simply incorrect and misinformation. Not only that, but they never asked for a life sentence – only a substantial sentence.

    In short, Pollard should ask for a parole hearing. Jewish askanim, leaders, and organizations should help him, but not buy into the outlook and perspective that he has been promoting. What Pollard did was quite damaging to this country, to Israel, and to the Jewish community. Our approach in how we deal with Pollard has had some negative effects as well. The purpose of this article is not for the author to become the recipient of further hate e-mail and abuse. It is to spark discussion about this important issue. Perhaps it may even spark a new approach in how we should be dealing both with Pollard and with other issues that arise within the Jewish community. The approach must be to check whether the information we are receiving is not just the unfiltered, sanitized version of events from one side. Like the dayanim of a halachic judicial ruling, we should examine the evidence from all sides. We must do so independently. When we fail to do so and advocate political positions that cause intelligent people to turn their heads in bewilderment, we are not doing ourselves or anyone else justice.

    The author can be reached at

    Editors Note: You’re welcome to post your comments, please do so with respect.

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    1. I don’t necessarily agree with everything in this article, but, leaving my own opinions out of it for the moment, I’d like to offer my congratulations to the author for presenting his views in a manner that was intelligent, well-researched, thoughtful and not inflammatory. Would that we could see more political debate at this level!

      • No one said what he did was noble; we are just hoping that he’ll get out very soon. Because someone did something for pay doesn’t render it ok to wish onto him to rot in his cell. You are absolutely wrong and you should think before you say or post something.

    2. Finally!
      I have done my research too, and I understood that the reason why JP never filed for parole was for the same self centered mentality that got him where he is today, Nowere
      HE was greedy in the 80’s, got sloppy, and is paying the conseq
      He was not stable back then (how he got access to classified docs is part of the Navy’s embarrassment), and 20 plus years in jail will only add to it-
      Do I daven that he should get released? Yes everyday- but you can’t expect to win the lotto without buying a ticket-

    3. i agree with what you write 100 percent. i happen to live in israel, and i also happen to be a u.s citzen, and i srongly feel that that israelis dont care at all what side effects will happen from what they do. and everybody can be trapped into thinking that what they do is right when in fact it could be dead wrong. so if you are in the u.s. army and you feel that your goverment is doing something wrong, go to a judge and ask him, dont be the judge yourself………

    4. Why is it anyone’s business what Pollard decides to do? Jonathan Pollard is his own man and he acted alone. He knew what he was doing and he paid the price. Pollard made some powerful enemies (King of Saudi Arabia) and his jail-term was part of an appeasement strategy at a time when U.S. dependence on Saudi oil was inordinately high. But thanks to Pollard, the Saudis never got the nukes and they got a huge slap in the face.

    5. I have been promoting the idea of pardoning Pollard for years based on 1 primary fact- no one who has ever spied for an ally has ever spent this much time in jail.
      I have also spoken to many politicians about Pollard, and i will quote 2 of them:

      Anthony Weiner- I have seen the “so called” secret documents on the case, and there is nothing more damaging in there

      Joe Lieberman- What do you expect the USA to do when the Israeli government has never pressured the USA for Pollards release?

      I wont even put Charles Schumers quote in because those of you who still have any respect for this moron, will certainly lose it.

      I am shocked that the Yeshiva students today have no clue who Joanthan Pollard is.
      I am shocked that when so called ” frum” organizations go on lobbying trips to Washington, Pollard is never mentioned.

      What Pollard did was a crime- HOWEVER, he did his time and punishment.

      How about Agudah, Chabad, and every organization that that had no issue emailing and calling on behalf of a convicted murderer( Grossman), get behind the Pollard effort?

      Kudos to Rabbi Pesach Lerner of Young Israel for being the lone voice for years promoting the Pollard cause.

      • US Law does not differentiate between “spying for an enemy” and “spying for an ally”. The law violated is the same.

        Pollard received the same sentence every spy ring leader in the 1980s got. Life in Prison.

        His then-wife got a lesser sentence, as did lesser involveds in the other spy rings.

          • John Anthony Walker is serving Life in Prison.
            Jerry Whitworth is serving 365 years in Prison.

            Lesser involved Michael Walker (like Pollard’s ex-wife) is no longer incarcerated.

            You were saying?

        • u are wrong .theoreticly there might not be a diffrence but in FACT no one spying for a friendly country got such a punishment witch means discrimination .there was just a story on 60 minutes of a guy named bergerson who sold military secrets to a chinese spy he got only FIVE years in prison and the chinese guy that bought the stuff got FIFTEEN do u get that ?its worse to spy for israel then for china !! !

          • The prosecutors objected to that sentence. I agree with their objections.

            The Judge determined that the damage done to US interests (i.e. what was actually taken) was such that a five year sentence was appropriate. I happen to disagree with the Judge, but there isn’t much I can do about that.

            Again, every spy ring leader in the 1980s got life. Every one. Comparing setences in different decades gets trickier because laws change, as do sentencing rules.

            • Dave, I am confused. You state:
              “The Judge determined that the damage done to US interests (i.e. what was actually taken) was such that a five year sentence was appropriate.”
              If so, then why in the world he then sentensed him to life? Please clarify.
              Thanks. Shmuel

            • Pollard and his ex-wife violated the terms of their plea agreement. There is nothing that upsets a judge quite so much as bad faith, especially on the part of a convicted felon. Given the circumstances, Pollard is lucky he didn’t get life without parole.

      • Pesach Lerner never pushed for parole, only clemency – he probably wants Pollard to stay in jail so it can look like he is doing something, meanwhile he has mechalelei shabbos as rabbis on the west coast and kicks rabbis out on the east coast over flags

      • If you come to Baltimore and speak to frum yidden who do indeed work in the intelligence community you will be surprised to find that most say that he should have received the death penalty!!

        I personally have spoken to a number and the reaction is that the public has no idea to what extent he damaged the security of this country.

        • Don’t exaggerate. He was guilty and deserved to go to jail. But now there seems
          to be a consensus that continued incarceration is excessive. (Even former CIA
          Director agreed that while Pollard committed a major crime the guy had served more
          than enough time in prison.)

          • “major crime the guy had served more than enough time in prison”

            You must be privy to information that no one else has access to, if you had any idea what I and many others here in this kehilla need to go through every so often just to keep our parnoso, I’m not sure how quick you’d be saying that he paid back society. The damage he has done is still effecting the parnoso of many yidden who have been refused TS and SCI clearance because they learned in yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel! This has only been the case sice this guy was caught.

            • I was working for a defense contractor, with a Secret clearance, at the time Pollard got caught. I cannot overestimate the effect on morale. Ever since, Israel has been in the category of a country of suspicion.

            • It’s nice to know that what he gave actually protected Israel! I’d like to know how you can even claim to know that information.

              By the way it there is no real public indication that Pollard was responsible for the transfer of information that led to the Israeli bombing of the Iraqi reactor.

      • While nobody convicted of spying for an allly has spent this long in prison, that is because either (1) they apply for parole and get released, or (2) they got the death penalty instead!

        Pollard has indeed done his time. He should apply for parole and it should be granted.

      • Grossman was repentant that’s the difference Pollard thinks he’s a hero. Also as mentioned in the article he was spying for south Africa and Pakistan, there are also reports that Israel was giving his info to Russia in exchange for freeing refusnik’s… last I checked these aren’t allies

      • “What Pollard did was a crime- HOWEVER, he did his time and punishment.”

        As far as I (and you) already know, Pollard’s time was LIFE. The sentence may have been too harsh, but it was his sentence nevertheless. He has never asked for parole so why should any court/judge give it. You, I and all the prison guards may agree that Pollard has been in prison for far too long but its not up to us or the prison guards to let him free. As written in the article, if Pollard wanted parole, he could at least show remorse and ask for parole.

        I happen to agree with Rabbi Hoffman in this any many of his articles. I am thinking I am becoming a chossid of his!

        • Under today’s law, it was not even the harshest sentence. Federal law today provides for the death penalty for giving away national security secrets to any other country (whether or not they are an ally).

      • No organization has fought for the freedom of Grossman just to spare his life. Besides which Polard never identifeid with the jewish people of “Kol hakofer beacum nikrah yehudi” he only worked for the zionist orgenization which is against the torah

    6. “Before we begin, it should be noted that on Nov 21st, 2015, Jonathan Pollard will be set free.”

      This is THEE most shocking piece of information i heard in a loooong time… Is this true though? How come no one ever mentioned this?

      I don’t believe it…..

      • Youre pretty naive if you take everything Aguda and the rest of the community “leaders” say at face value without doing your own research.I’d bet if you and everyone else actually thought for themselves instead of following the party line,you wouldn’t be so shocked when someone tells it like it is.

        Kudos to Rabbi Hoffman for his common sense. Although he makes far too much sense to be taken seriously by most frum people unfortunately.

    7. I agree with Rabbi Hoffman’s assesment of the situation.

      May years ago I heard a lecture from a former chief of staff of Senator Monihan, who stated emphtically that the confrontational attitude of the right-wing Pollard supporters have kept him locked up all these years. The hardliners created a situation that if the goverment released Pollard it would be an implicit green light for jews throughout goverment to betray their country for ideological reasons. Had the attitude have been how terrible Pollard’s actions were and how reprehensible he is percieved by American jews, a case could have been made for clemency.

      • “Confrontational attitude of right-wing ….supporters.” Left-wing confrontational
        attitude was more problematic. In this case, however, it is inaccurate to focus on
        left-wing/right-wing polemics. (The statement alluded to comes from a left-wing
        or at least liberal operative of the old school—notwithstanding the late senator’s
        cordial relations with Jews.)

      • that so called “chief of staff” was only an aide to the senator and it was unfortunately a person who claims to be frum Dr. Luchins (some of you may know him from Touro) when almost every senator asked for clemency for Pollard our own Dr. Luchins convinced the Ny Senator to have “him rot in jail” . rabbi Hoffman your article is so full of inaccuracies that to counter each one of them would take pages and pages. I visited Pollard with Rabbi Lerner and 2 others Rabbi hoffman you are wrong about him not having remorse pollard did not stop saying that he was guilty and did wrong and deserves to be punished but not longer than other spys even those who spied for enemy countries…Once more with all due respect to you Rabbi Hoffman your piece comes accross as an angry self righteous person who wants to come across as a “know it all” speak to Rabbi Lerner and go visit Pollard yourself and then write your article

      • Indeed many more yidden should learn from the Mesiras Nefesh Pollard and we should all have the same mesiras Nefesh to save the lives of other Yidden even if it means a long prison term for ourselves.

        KOL HAKAVOD to Pollard and to all who will follow his lead.

    8. finnaly a smart voice from a smart jew who dosn’t behave like all the rest in a ‘monkey say monkey do’ pattern. thank you rabbi hofmann for again saing it right!

    9. if the information presented regarding the sale of information, and possibly arms, to other countries,is correct,then there is a potent argument to have jonathon ask for parole,rather than seeking clemency. being obstinate in refusing to seek parole for no valid reason raises the question why so many mosdos, leaders, and national groups, are putting so much political capital on the line.
      a point NOT made by the writer, and one frequently forgotten ,is that pollard was motivated by greed and the desire for financial enrichment, in addition to, if any,. true zionistic /israeli redemption and salvation. in fact, with his willingness to SELL information to other countries, in ADDITION to Israel, he proved that he was a true traitor to the USA.
      lest we forget, we are living, according to all gedolim, in a true medinas hachesed, and any action that jeapordizes our safety, and our reputation as good citizens, may one day ,chas ve’sholom, come back to haunt us.

    10. People do bad things; most regret it after, like Pollard and Grossman, etc…. But he was sentence to prison FOR LIFE for just one count. Forget about the fact that Pollard is Jewish, why doesn’t the article say anything about the unusual sentencing of life in prison. Most spies have got one to two years compared to the same crime. No one is arguing that he’s innocent, after all he did plea guilty. The reason why he got such a harsh punishment is because he is Jewish, and we must remember that. That’s why OUR Jewish brothers come with big noise to help out another Jewish person. The mitzvah of pidyon shvuim applies 100% in this case and who ever once wrote a letter or called the president requesting his release will definitely get sechar for this. CONTINUED NEXT POST…

      • Pollard got the harsh punishment because he violated the plea agreement prior to sentencing. He then lost his opportunity to appeal that sentence because his attorney forgot to file a form on time. Our federal judiciary, in particular the Supreme Court, has been stacked with Lock ’em Up and Throw Away the Key right wing judges and justices who care not a bit about fairness to convicted felons and we can thank the right wing Presidents and Senators that so many commenters here love.

        • They are wrong but they are a lot better than the Let ’em loose Bruce Leftists that allow vicious murderers and terrorists to prey on the public.

          Pollard was punished because of the self hating Jew Caspar Weinberger, yemach shemo, that went out of his way to smear him and Israel.

    11. The government in this case is wrong for keeping him in jail for so long time as a bargain chip against Israel. Had it been a different county nobody would ever hear this story…..Look at the Hamas terrorist kill in Dubai, one less terrorist, WHO CARES about this guy, the world is a better place ever since he was killed. Yet you keep hearing about it in the news over and over every day. The reason is because it’s against Israel / Jews. Keep this in mind if you think Pollard should remain in jail. The Fact is that a Person’s life was wasted in jail because he was Jewish and not because the crime he did.

      • “ The government in this case is wrong for keeping him in jail for so long time as a bargain chip against Israel.”
        A: No, he is in jail because he commited an act of treason against the his country that entrusted him with extraordinary access to the top secret information.

        “Keep this in mind if you think Pollard should remain in jail.”
        A: Neither R’Hoffman nor I think so. I would like him to be freed tonight. But he must admit to his crime and ask for mercy.

        “…a Person’s life was wasted in jail because he was Jewish and not because the crime he did.”
        A: Once again, NO! His life was wasted precisely because of the crime of trason that I already commented on.

        • “No, he is in jail because he commited an act of treason against the his country”

          Wrong. Treason is a charge that is only applicable when one spies for an enemy state in time of war. Pollard was not charged with such a crime.

          • The crime he committed and pled guilty to was “Gathering or delivering defense information to aid foreign government”, which is the same crime we get all the other spies for.

            What he did, while not legally the crime of treason, was arguably an act of treason.

            • “What he did, while not legally the crime of treason, was arguably an act of treason.”

              Art. III, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution defines treason. If the act doesn’t meet the definition, then it’s not treason. Tomoya Kawakita was convicted of treason in 1952 for his actions on behalf of Japan in WW2, and Adam Yahiye Gadahn is currently charged with treason for his actions on behalf of Al Qaeda. In between, no one was charged with treason, because their actions did not meet the Constitutional definition.

              Pollard did not levy war against the U.S. or give aid and comfort to enemies of the U.S. [during a war]. There was no treason. I’m not defending Pollard’s actions, but don’t make them worse than they were through your imprecise use of legal terminology.

            • See, that was why I said it was “not legally the crime of treason”.

              On the other hand, English is not confined to legal definitions. So it is perfectly acceptable to say that “someone who spies on his own country is a traitor” while at the same time acknowledging that espionage does not constitute the crime of treason (which is explicitly defined for reasons that relate more to the abuses in the British government than fine grades of espionage culpability).

              For example, Aldrich Ames was also guilty of espionage, and not the legal crime of treason. Would you object to labelling him a traitor as well? If not, why not?

            • ‘Treason’ is not just a term of legal terminology, surprise! it is also a word of English language. In a dictionary, it is defined with words such as betrayal, perfidy, subversiveness, traitorousness, treachery, etc. A dictionary also states that “Treason may also mean an act of betraying their own political party, family, friends, ethnic group, religion, social class, or other group to which they may belong.”

              Thus, people who claim that what he did was an act of treason are not at all misusing this word. Besides, instead of splitting the hair like this, I still hope that he asks for mercy and is freed soon.

    12. Thank you Rabbi Hoffman for oustanding article once again. Your comments are true and wise. We must not be hasty in our decisions on this or any other serious matter without hearing both sides of the story. Then and only then should we come to our own conclusions.

    13. Since most of us only got involved with the whole Pollard cause when we were hit with campaigns to demand his freedom, it is safe to assume that the overwhelming majority of Jews know nothing about the circumstances of the affair. Myself included. I am not embarrassed by this, as it is highly unlikely that anyone has the time, resources or interest to thoroughly research all of what happens in the world.

      What I am ashamed of, however, is having jumped on the “Free Pollard Now!” bandwagon without an iota of knowledge as to what went on behind the scenes. Not knowing because I was deliberately not told. So, when Bush was leaving office, I obeyed the hyped up pressure by the masses and called the White House hotline and left a long message complete with my name. I will never do this again. Why? Because emes, seichel, independent thinking and above all, Kiddush HaShem vs. Chillul HaShem, principles and integrity matter most to me. I so couldn’t care less about the popularity of the cause or all of the trite scoldings I will receive (Pidyon shvuyim! Jewish blood isn’t cheap! etc).

      It is for the above reason that I did not call Gov. Crist like many of us did regarding Mr. Grossman.

    14. Rabbi Hoffman, thank you for another smart and well-articulated article. Your words are like a breath of fresh air. It gives me chizuk to know that, Baruch Hashem, there are still some straight-thinking leaders among us. You should be gebencht!

    15. Pollard also tried to recruit other Jews in sensitive positions to be part of his “ring”. He got caught when they turned him in. In addition to the the crimes for which he was convicted, and in addition to the hubris that he maintains, Pollard has cast the shadow of suspicion on every Jew who serves this country. It is very difficult to have compassion for this oisvarf.

      • How do you call a Jew an “oisvarf” (auswurf) when he saved other Jews from potential death?
        We know that America is called a malchus shel chessed and we need to give credit where credit is due, BUT what do you say about a friend that stabs you in the back? America chose not to warn Israel about the impending danger they were facing.
        Should we have gone to the slaughter like sheep as we did once??
        You sound like the pre-war German Jews who were more German than the German gentiles. Their misplaced loyalty got them very far!!

        • in general i agree with rabbi hoffman but there r always exceptions for example in ww 2 the u.s. couldnt care less about jews bieng killed in europe in such cases espionage would be justified but if pollard decided these issues on his own that shows that it wasnt just pure intentions.

    16. It’s at the point where if our leading organizations beckon us to do something, it’s probably a bad idea. What a wonderful state of affairs. I’m so proud.

    17. Excellent piece. Great information that most people don’t have and a refreshing, vital, new perspective. This case and how it is handled by all involved is just another of many instances when we must ask ourselves as Torah Jews, ” what does Hashem want” not our individual and collective egos or even misguided and misdirected indignation. Thank you for the facts. Y’Yasher Kochacho.

    18. I agree with Rabbi Hoffman. In addition, I read a while back that he did it for money, and not for ideology, as evidenced by being paid to give documents to other countries besides Israel.

      We don’t fully know the damage he did. Maybe certain codes and methods for keeping agents safe and transmissions secure were violated that could be very hard to redesign and replace.

      The claim that Israel was promised certain intelligence re Iraq is not an excuse. There are better and legitimate ways to go about making sure Israel gets the info the US supposedly promised, via pressure on congressmen to make sure deals are kept, etc.

      In addition, he created a big mess for those of us who need security clearances to do our work and who are honest. It takes a huge amount of additional time for Jews to get one in the aftermath of this affair, especially if one has any relatives living in Israel.

      While I pray for his release, and that he shouldn’t suffer, however, I cannot sign any petitions on his behalf, since that would be saying I agree with or minimize what he did, which was in fact an egregious crime.

    19. R Ahron Soloveichik z”l was within a hairsbreath of getting Pollard released close to 15 years ago He and Dr David Lukens a talmid of his and an assistant to Sen Patrick Moynahan worked out a deal where Pollard would admit wrongdoing and ask for clemency in exchange for his release. Pollard was ready to go along until Avi Weiss got involved and advised him not to confess The deal was scuttled and Pollard sits to this day Avi Weiss was guilty of gross rabbinic misconduct

    20. “Ahavas Yisroel and a love for humanity are central themes to who we are as Jews. A brotherly concern and a love of Israel are things that most Jews care for deeply. But it should not be to the point where we accept and rubber-stamp all behaviors, outlooks and attitudes.”
      I would love to see the above lines posted anywhere and everywhere for all Yidden to see. Especially BECAUSE you are a Jew, you should behave appropriately and not think that you can do what you wish and get away with it! We are Yidden and we have to show the world that Yidden are mentchen, Torah abiding people and a law abiding nation!
      LOSE THE ‘BISHVILI NIVRA HA’OLOM’ ATTITUDE and stop destroying everyone in your path!

    21. By Rabbi Hoffman’s reasoning, Mordechai and Esther should have received life sentences for espionage and being “morid b’malchus”.
      Sorry, I would sooner trust Alan Dreshowitz who has advocated for Pollard then a writer who relies on unnamed “sources”.

    22. Rabbi Hoffman; I agree 100% with your statements and opinions in this highly valuable article. As I agreed with you on the last major issue. It seems, at times that we swim against the tide. You put words to our thoughts (Those few of us that agree with you opinion.) and feelings. My question, at times, is; Are we a nation of sheep?! Speaking of the herd mentality. The same applies to whether there should be, or, whether we should attend concerts. It looks like we have lost our moral compass. Innocent actions are sometimes condemned, while other, blatantly wrong endeavors are encouraged. My only misgivings about the Pollard case, as presented by the Federal Government, were in the fact that the main presenter of the case Caspar Weinberger, the son of an apostate Jew, who himself was not considered Jewish from an Halachic perspective. Yet, he was so self-conscious that he went out of his way to minimize anything Positive about Israel and the Jews and blow out of proportion any Negative activities involving Israel or Jews in general!!!

    23. I am disgusted by some of the comments on this article as I am on the gross inaccuracies and lack of quoting any real sources in the article. Besides bordering on loshon hara this piece is a complete rant. Pollard has expressed remorse over and over again. He is not eligible for parole ina ny real and meaningful way. No where did anyone prove he sold secrets to another country and finally he was not acting alone as the State of Israel has admitted he was acting as their agent. One last halachic piece of interest “mored hamalchut” applies to a Jewish sovereign entity i.e. Jewish Kingdom and not a non Jewish country. Most politicians across the political spectrum admit he has been in jail way too long.

      • Who cares about his supposed “remorse”. He committed treason against the U.S. That is the worst possible crime you can do. Further, your comment about “loshon hara” is void of any meaning given that the whole purpose of this discussion is to express our agreement or disagreement with rav Hoffman and clearly the majority of readers AGREE. If you want a one-sided cheering section for your views, without any dissent, there are plenty of websites where you can get that echo chamber effect.

      • I admire Rabbi Hoffman’s other writings but I feel that he is way off in this one. This is a hate article. Whether you can admit to it or not, Jonathon Pollard was/is a hero. Read the entire record. Consider the ramnifications. You will readily realize that Pollard did not ask for money, he did not offer information to any other country, and he save Israeli and American lives. Further, the case against him was contrived and consisted of exxagerations and outright lies. Secretery Weinberger admitted that the charges against Pollard were monstrously inflated. For the first 5 years of his incaceration, Pollard kept is mouth shut in solitary confinement and suffered unjust severe treatment. He did not ask anyone, inside or outside prison, for anything. That was because his (then)(first) wife had a 5 year sentence (almost simply for being married to him). He wanted to make sure that she gets released and that she’d have a life. For that alone, we must acknoweldge his sacrifice.
        Rabbi Hoffman, my dear good man, it is easy to sit free and write letters of criticism. What did you ever sacrifice for Judaism or for another Jew? Did you ever risk your life or your pinky for another Jew?

      • You may be a lover of Israel, but I am a lover of the truth-
        It sounds like the only thing not spoon-fed to you was the cool-aid
        Please do some real research, and then post your nonsense-
        I am disgusted by peole like you who wave their “Free JP” posters bec their teachers told them too-

    24. Rabbi Hoffman’s article is well thought out. If there is a flaw in his logic it is in his failure to appreciate the sheer length of Pollard’s term. Positive attitude or not, at some point a convict is even with the house and in my opinion Pollard has done his time. A convict that does his time doesn’t also owe remorse. So from that perspective, Hoffman’s article is probably 12 years too late. He’s not wrong, but timing is everything.

      • But he has not done his time! His sentence was life, whatever you think is ‘enough’. Even if he served his complete sentence, remorse would be a very desirable state of mind. And if he wants to go free earlier (and I want him free asap), owning up to his crime and asking for mercy is the absolute minimum the people against whom he commited his crimes have the right to expect from him.

    25. The problem with Jewish apologists through the ages has always been that they pepper their arguments with some truth to give credence to conclusions that are utterly misguided. Pollard saved Israel and the west from a calamity. He has paid the price for it – more than anyone else convicted of similar actions. At this point unified effort should be – let him out because he has served enough time – please do not think that the fact that he is a Jew that helped Israel does play into his long incarceration. As for the Admiral – sir – no matter how hard and long you try – those that do not like Jews will always find a reason to say that “you messed it up”. This country has been and is good to Jews – do not be naive – without the State of Israel our position even in this wonderful country would be threatened.

      Rabbi Hoffman – your voice of reason in this case is dangerous. All I hear is another apologist that further strenghtens our enemies.

    26. Over the past several years, there has been a growing pattern of yidden supporting other yidden who have committed terrible crimes based on a distorted notion of piduon shivuiim and a perverted idea that we must support another yid no matter how horrendous their crimes and a determination of their guilt under the law of the country where their times were committed. Not only are these yidden guilty of crimes like treason, theft, drug smuggling, child and spousal abuse, fraud and tax evasion, cases like Pollard, the Dwek conspirators in NJ, SMR etc. jeopardize the lives of Yidden throughout the world by fanning the flames of antisemitism and perpetuate the images of jews as money-grubbing shylock stereotypes. We should not appologize for these criminals and anyone seeking to excuse their behavior and help them evade justice and punishment are themselves guilty of risking yiddeshe lives.

    27. Pollard was absolutely not motivated by pay. Read the official record and see that the Israeli government insisted that he accept money. It was only then that Pollard accepted a token payment. Further, the accusation that Pollard tried to peddle secret information to foreign governments other than Israel is pure unadulterated fiction. I would use other words, but VIN’s standards of speech are high and I wish to keep well within its limits. Pollard is a hero. Period. The plain fact is that Pollard saved thousands, tens of thousands, of Jewish lives. During the first Persian Gulf War, face masks were distributed by the Israeli government as well as by the U.S. Department of Defense. Why? Because Pollard revealed Sadaam Hussein’s proclivity to use chemical warfare. When Sadaam knew that Israelis and American soldiers had face gas masks, he refrained from using chemical warfare. Were it not for Pollard’s “crime”, ten’s of thousands of Israelis and American soldiers would be lying in graves today. And yes, that does make Jonathon Pollard a Hero. Pollard is paying a price for his act of heroism. By all that is right, the entire Jewish community should share in his pain. Let Pollard Go!

      • #59-
        Where did you get your info from- care to reveal your sources, or are they just a figment of your imagination?
        He was after the moola- he was after the free trips around Europe- he was after the jewelry his wife recieved-

      • Insider, your ‘logic’ just doesn’t add up. At that time, many men, especially in the intelligence, knew about Saddam not hesitating to use chemical weapons when it suited him. But even if we were to take what you say at face value, it only follows that Israeli government didn’t know that, not the US Department of Defense. Otherwise, who did Pollard steal this information from?
        Then how is DOD distributing face masks to US personnel predicated on Pollard committing his acts of espionage?
        Please rethink your arguments and come up with better case for Pollard.

          • Wrong again, Insider! What did the Israelis not know? That Saddam is capable of using chemicals? You expect anybody to believe THAT?

            You can’t make any sense and thus forced to resort to making snide remarks.

      • Please explain was seems to make absolutely no sense:
        “During the first Persian Gulf War, face masks were distributed by the Israeli government as well as by the U.S. Department of Defense Why? Because Pollard revealed Sadaam Hussein’s proclivity to use chemical warfare. “
        If Pollard was giving out classified US intelligence info, WHY would the US Dept of Defense need him to prepare gas masks for the US soldiers???????

      • A token amount? According to Wikipedia “Pollard started passing classified information to Sella and received, in exchange, $10,000 cash and a very expensive diamond and sapphire ring, which Pollard later used to propose marriage to his girlfriend Anne. He also agreed to receive $1,500 per month for further espionage.[12] .” And keep in mind, that was in 1984 when median income in the United States was only $22,000 a year.

    28. Free JP movement is just another veichle for the “state of israel above USA” idaoligy. it is dangeorous and foolish. hashem put most of klal yisroel in america and we enjoy grear freedoms here. we should appreciate it and be totally loyal to our kind goverment. let not the hot heads bamboozel us with their propaganda which is meant for their own benefit. this is excactly what happened 70 years ago when the so called rabbis urged the US goverment to sit idol in regards to saving the jews in euroupe. this people are our biggest enemeis. We have to stick to our principles and follow what the torah says. if we do that we will be zoiche to moshiach

      • My dear idiot. You contradict yourself. According to you, Pollard was wrong for doing someting to save Jews and the US Rabbis of WWII were wrong for not doing anything to save Jews. It is precisely because of confused Jews like you that Moshiach must come.

      • You have it exactly backward. Those reformed “rabbis” who opposed efforts to save Jews from Europe put their loyalty to America ahead of everything else, and felt no loyalty to their fellow Jews. They were Americans and not Jews, and they can never be forgiven for that. And the same applies to those who condemn Pollard, and would not have done as he did.

    29. “The government attorneys also said that there was never any recommendation that Pollard never be paroled. This is simply incorrect and misinformation. Not only that, but they never asked for a life sentence – only a substantial sentence.”

      Are these the same gov’t attorneys who successfully fought to prevent Pollard’s lawyers from seeing Weinberger’s “Victim Impact Statement”? Since neither Pollard’s lawyers or the public know what’s in that statement, I refuse to believe the gov’t attorneys.

      “it should be noted that on Nov 21st, 2015, Jonathan Pollard will be set free.”

      That will never happen. Either the gov’t will find some other charges to level against him, or they will arrange for another inmate to kill him.

      • Without making value comparisons, the recent Grossman death sentence campaign evealed that the Jewish community has the capacity to make an impact. Again, not making any value comparisons, Jonathon Pollard is deserving of an ongoing continuous concentrated campaign, one in which we will never relent, to get him clemency. Every White House operator should automatically assume 24/7 that all incoming calls are about Pollard. That is precisely what we must do, not write self-depreciating articles and ugly comments. All this energy and effort should be directed towards freeing Jonathon Pollard, Jewish Hero. And exactly what sacrifice for other Jews did the writer or any of the commentators do for other Jews? Did even one place his/her life in jeapordy even for a minute to save another Jew. Did anyone do anything even remotely similar to what Jonathon Pollard did? History will record with glory that Jonathon Pollard, like Shimshon Hagibor, was a true Jewish Hero, to be admired by our posterity. Hang in there, Jonathon, soon we will wake up and get you out !!!!!!

        • The most comparable case to Pollard was Julius Rosenberg. He was convicted of spying for an ally.

          And the evidence from the recent Grossman campaign is that the Jewish community has no capacity to make an impact.

          • The communists were temporarily fighting on the same side as the USA, but they were not an ally in any real sense; the USSR was always a hostile power, and was treated as such. Which makes sense, since they were just as evil as the Nazis, and only joined our side because their former ally had turned on them. Rosenberg acted out of loyalty to the communist enemy, and was therefore just as evil as them. You cannot compare him to Pollard, who spied on behalf of an actual ally, not an enemy that temporarily found itself on the same side.

            • Sorry, but we cannot allow every yid with a security clearence to decide for himself/herself whether certain secret information should be compromised because they fear it might jeopardize EY. If you do, expect to get caught and spend the rest of your life paying for your treason (assuming you only get life imprisonment). Treason is treason…its not a personal choice.

            • While the USSR was indeed always legal, it had the legal status of an ally when Rosenberg did his spying — more so than Israel which still has no formal official defense treaty with the US.

            • Agreed..Israel cannot be assumed to be an “ally” of the U.S. since it has always said it must put its own survival above any other consideration, even it occasionally means compromising its relationship and committments to the U.S.

            • Did Sagihara commit treason by disobeying a direct order from his government and thereby possibly compromising its alliance with Nazi Germany?

              Morality and law at times are two different things.

            • While I generally agree with you, in this case I would be skeptical of assuming the old Soviet Union was a more reliable ally of the U.S. than EY.

            • I agree regarding reliability; I was talking about the legal status, which is what would matter in a court proceeding.

              Maybe the US should establish a formal mutual defense treaty with Israel. Maybe Israrel should join NATO. But neither of those possibilities has occurred yet.

            • You focus on formalities, which often lie. Israel is a close ally with or without a piece of paper; the USSR was a hostile power *and was treated as one at the time* of the supposed alliance. The USA had a memo of understanding with Israel under which it was supposed to share intelligence, which it broke. During WW2 the USA had no such understanding with the USSR, and in fact did not share intelligence, which is why the Soviets had to spy for it.

            • IF there is a memo of understanding with Israel (it would be classified so none of us would know), Pollard had no right to deside what was to be shared — that would have been up to peopl much higher up. And the US *did* share intelligence with the USSR. For example, we warned Stalin that Hitler was going to attack him. Stalin didn’t believe us and that led directly to the loss of millions of lives (many of whom were Jews).

      • Thank you and thank #59. I will never believe that JP tried to sell secrets to Afghanistan etc. This is simply not plausible.
        FWIW, I don’t believe the government lawyers. Rabbi Hoffman’s article referred only to unnamed sources.

      • Of course Israel catches USA spies regularly; how could it be otherwise? Do you think the USA doesn’t spy on Israel, or that Israel is too incompetent to catch them once in a while? But we never hear about it, because they’re quietly sent home, as allies do. If the Israeli government had not betrayed Pollard, it would hold these spies and trade them for him.

      • So what you are saying is that large, strong and prosperous countries have more influence than small countries with proportionately small militaries and small economies, and can get their way more often? What a chidush!

    30. “According to government sources directly contacted by this author, Mr. Pollard also attempted to give away state secrets to South Africa and Pakistan, and wished to work out illegal arms deals with Afghanistan.”

      Are these “government sources” the same people who looked away from the abuse Mr. Pollard suffered in prison? Are these the “government sources” who kept this man in jail for giving secrets to a friend of the US, while spies for our enemies went free with half the prison time?

      “Rabbi” Yair Hoffman, can you call yourself a rabbi when you accept this glaringly obvious Loshon Hora about your brother?

      And who are your sources? They are the same government people who have no scruples about besmirching this man, this friend of the US, to save their own hide.

      Kudos to you for valuing the words of anti-Semites over those of your brother.

    31. I am tired of you way out lefties remember we are in gulis and dont think usa is our geula we are not to judge polard for what he did but remember one thing we are jews and in gulis and being an american come first in your mind then you shoul remember what happend in germany of all of us who thought they were germans

    32. I have visited Pollard, have any of you who are posting the comments that he should rot in jail visited him or wrote to him? Have any of you that are posting that Mr. Hoffman is correct, done research to get the correct facts? Did you know that the judge sentanced him to LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE? Did you know that he cant apply for parole until 2/3 of his sentance is done, and that its known when the time comes upand when he requests it he will get a 15 year set back, which means he cant appear before the board for 15 YEARS. He never spied for any other country but Israel, and do you know how many lives were saved because of the information he gave over. Do you know that he is very sick and is being denied medical care. DO YOU CARE? I welcome someones opinion but where is the rachmanus for someone who has been in jail for 25 years?

      • He was not sentenced to Life without Parole.

        Had he been, there would be no parole possible.

        He was eligible to apply for parole over a decade ago.

        If you want to complain that people don’t “get the correct facts” you should stick with the facts.

      • You are incorrect, the sentence was life but with the possibility of parole.

        If you told Pollard this lie you may personally be responsible for keeping him in prison.

        There is nothing in the law about a 15 year set back. In any case he got a voluntary set back because he was first eligible for parole about 15 years ago!

        Finally, you have no idea how many lives he saved or cost. Nobody knows what secrets he sold except for his handler Rafi Eitan, and Pollard himself. And neither is talking.

    33. “I am shocked that the Yeshiva students today have no clue who Joanthan Pollard is.
      I am shocked that when so called ” frum” organizations go on lobbying trips to Washington, Pollard is never mentioned.

      What Pollard did was a crime- HOWEVER, he did his time and punishment.”

      Yeshiva students don’t know what DNA is, you expect them to know who Pollard is. And Pollard gets too much attention, not to little. Spies may get get parole, and perhaps Pollard does deserve it. Before you cry discrimination though, realize that he’s never even applied for parole. There’s no reason he should get a pardon other than the ridiculous lobbying that goes on for him.

    34. Taken from
      “At the time of Pollard’s sentencing there was a rule that mandated parole at thirty years for prisoners like him if they had maintained a clean record in prison. That parole date would be November 21, 2015. Also, Pollard was eligible to apply for parole after eight years and six months, though he has never done so. [31] Pollard has never been accused of violating prison rules or engaging in behavior that would jeopardize his chances of parole, thus it seems likely in 2015 he will qualify for parole.”

    35. Tomoya Kawakita was convicted of treason in 1952 for his actions on behalf of Japan in WW2, and Adam Yahiye Gadahn is currently charged with treason for his actions on behalf of Al Qaeda. In between, no one was charged with treason, because their actions did not meet the Constitutional definition. In addition the definition of marriage should be defined as a union between a man and a woman. To suggest otherwise is against the Torah and utterly shocking…

    36. Precedent was set during the Bush Administration.

      Attorney General Gonzales intervened (under what appear to be questionable circumstances) to block a mandatory parole release. Here is an article in 2009.

      So, mandatory parole may not be quite so mandatory.

    37. I have heard that he has never filed for parole AND has never filed for a pardon/clemency. these things will not be granted if he doesn’t ask.

        • Absolutely. The Halacha is crystal clear. If a Jew sells himself as a slave to a non-Jew, the obligation to redeem him falls upon his family. If his family is unable to redeem him, then the obligation falls upon Klal Yisroel.
          Should you wish to disregard the sacrifice that Pollard has made for Israel and disregard the tens of thousands of lives that he saved by giving the important information to Israel, then, at the very least, you are in violation of this Halacha.
          Considering that Pollard gave information to Israel that the U.S. government was obligated to give, the mis-use of the word treason here is obscene.
          May haShem be mochel all those who disparage a true Jewish Hero, because your punishment is indeed terrible.

    38. I think this article sets us back in this Country. It is, as they say, a crack in the armor. So, the next time that a Judge, or Governtment prosecutor want to “make an example” out of a jew, and we all know that does happen sometimes, this article can give them the comfort that they need to know that even the handful of Jewish organizations that make noise about anything, will be publicly bad-mouthed for doing so.

    39. B”H

      Rabbi Hoffman –

      I hope it doesn’t take until 2015 for you to realize how wrong you are.

      Its clear that the powers that be want him kept where is.

      Remorse? See letter written by JP at this site

      Have you visited Jonathan Pollard? Have you spoken to Rabbi Lerner to see why he feels the way he does after visiting him several times?

      Instead of telling everyone else what they should tell Rabbi Lerner and the other people who are trying so hard to help Jonathan with such mesiras nefesh…. instead of telling all of us what to tell Rabbi Lerner you should pick up the phone or the pen and you tell him…. but then he can tell you why you’re so wrong.

    40. Finally someone has written a rational response to a complicated issue.

      The lack of Pollard’s remorse coupled with the knee jerk reaction of our community to only see an issue like this from our own myopic viewpoint and demand support to free this individual only serves to add fuel to those enemies of our community who wish to portray us as potential disloyal “Quislings”.

      The community should request that the YI movement join in asking Mr Pollard to acknowledge his remorse.

      If he & his supporters do not ask for “mechilah” I believe that his release request will & maybe should be turned down in 2015.

      • I have verified, that by law, unless Pollard causes trouble in prison over the next five years, he will be set free in 2015. You can verify this by checking the Bureau of Prisons website. Pollard will not be on parole and will be a free man to go and do what he wishes. He was eligible for parole in 1993 and by his own choice, decided not to go before the parole board. It appears he only wants to be pardoned and/or receive clemency from a sitting President. He will not stand for anything less which shows that he has no remorse for what he did. Pollard would most likely be a free man today, living in Israel with his wife, if had showed remorse and gone before the Parole Board.

        • The website indication that you mention is the result of every prisoner having his sentence calculated so that a release is scheduled after fulfillment of the sentence less good time. In Pollard’s case, that calculation is a figment of the computer programmer’s imagination.

        • you may have verified the law but you still don’t know anything about why pollard didn’t apply for parole…the people sitting on the parole board are those who want him locked up forever therefore if he gets denied he cant get clemency for a number of years after that with pollard’s bitochon that something good will happen any day his attorneys are advising him not to request parole..

    41. How come we don’t have articles unequivocally condemning the corruption in our own community by persons who claim to be “Rabbis,” but it is o.k. to have articles which can condemn a person who is not “Haredi,” whatever that means.

      If there is mitzva of pidyon shvuyim and it applies to Pollard, it is a kal vachomer that it is forbidden to author or publish an article that may prolong his prison term.
      Did you ask or Rabbi Hoffman ask a posek whether this article violates Halacha?

    42. Having general information about potential use of chemical warfare is not enough in preparation of defense. Specific information, such as what type of gasses, etc., Sadaam Hussein was poised to use, was needed. That exact usable information is exactly what Pollard provided and what the Israelis use in their successful defense.

    43. B”H

      Rabbi Hoffman,

      Did you know that JP is a direct descendent of the Vilna Gaon?

      As a scholar that may help you to feel some Rachmonus on JP.

      It really seems like you did not research a lot of pro pollard sources for this article.

    44. Much of this information is incorrect.

      J Pollard was NOT looked as by prosecutors as “cooperative”. His plea deal called for his complete cooperation in (a) inventorying the information he had stolen and (b) ascertaining what damage could have been done by not only the documents but also other (ie verbal) communication that he made available to the Israelis. He did neither of these to any great degree.

      Additionally, Pollard was selling (remember the word selling, as in profiting) this material and not only did he want to do this for Israel, but he also attempted to create a working relationship in this regard with 2 other countries that we know of (Australia and South Africa). Naturally with a person like this it is easy to presume that there are other countries that could have been approached as well. To assume that Pollard did this out of “love for Israel” is absurd, and only the most blind Kool-Aid drinker could buy into such an obviously incorrect fallacy.

      How many people in the past have justified their actions out of “love of country”? Hitler comes to mind; would any of us endorse him as a patriotic zealot, or a does sociopath come to mind. Pollard is little different.


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