One Is a Free Hero, the Other, a Hostage

Another festival comes and goes: Jonathan Pollard seems likely to immigrate to Israel. He already earned Israeli citizenship while in prison, and he may of course take advantage of it – but let’s not make him a national hero, as the right would like to do. Pollard is neither a hero nor is he a nationalist. He’s a spy, an American Jew who betrayed his country, doing damage to both his community and Israel.

The defense establishment in the United States did indeed treat him cruelly; but Israel has no right to complain. Its treatment of another man, a man with arguably more values than Pollard, Mordechai Vanunu, is much crueler. And yet – a torch has already been lit on Mount Herzl on Independence Day for the former, while the torture of the other hasn’t ended to this very day, and hardly anyone says anything in protest.

It’s not fair to compare the two. Despite the efforts of Israeli media to fondly but meanly call him “the atomic spy,” Vanunu did not engage in espionage, but published information in his possession to express his legitimate anti-nuclear and anti-Zionist ideology. The campaign of vengeance against him was not due to any security damage he had supposedly done – it’s doubtful that he caused any – but aggressive political reasons. In fact, if any damage was done, it was by the cruelty toward him

— source Jews For Justice For Palestinians | Gideon Levy | 21.11.2020

Nullius in verba


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