we had enough of Israel? The day after the US announced its
new Middle East peace initiative, the Israelis
bulldozed more Palestinian homes in Gaza and announced
the planned construction of new houses for Jewish settlers
in the West Bank city of Hebron, thumbing their noses at their
American benefactors at a time when the US itself is besieged.
we had enough of Israel? When Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
visits Bush at the White House, he plans
to "raise the issue of Jonathan Pollard," according to
Middle East Newsline. Pollard, you'll remember, is
the Israeli spy whose betrayal of American secrets led to
the deaths of untold numbers of American agents in the field.
Many contend that the Israelis traded the stolen information
to the Soviet Union in return for increasing the emigration
of Russian Jews to Israel. In "The
Case Against Jonathan Pollard," Seymour M. Hersh relates
a conversation between the late William J. Casey, then CIA
director, and one of his station chiefs, a month after Pollard's
arrest. When his subordinate asked why the CIA chief was ordering
stepped-up monitoring of an Israeli delegation on a routine
asked if I knew anything about the Pollard case,' the station
chief recalled, and he said that Casey had added, 'For your
information, the Israelis used Pollard to obtain our attack
plan against the USSR, all of it. The coordinates, the firing
locations, the sequences. And for guess who? The Soviets.'
Casey had then explained that the Israelis had traded the
Pollard data for Soviet émigrés. 'How's that for cheating?'
he had asked."
grasps the enormity of Pollard's betrayal, it is possible
to wonder: why wasn't he shot? Yet, Sharon, like his predecessors,
is intent on releasing him: furthermore, he is raising the
issue at a particularly tense moment in the history of US-Israeli
relations. After all, the Israeli Prime Minister just got
through accusing the Americans of "appeasing" the Arabs by
sacrificing Israel on the altar of a Middle East peace settlement,
just as Czechoslovakia was sold out to the Germans in the
years leading up to World War II. First he compares
an American President in the midst of a crisis to Neville
Chamberlain now he wants to bring up Pollard. What
will he do for an encore build an Israeli settlement on
the White House lawn?
21 was the sixteenth anniversary of Pollard's arrest, and
the week seemed to mark a new upsurge in the movement to release
Pollard from his life sentence. In addition to the Conference
of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (a consortium
of fifty-five groups), the Reform Union of American Hebrew
Congregations and the Orthodox Union, the roster of organizations
and politicians urging freedom for Pollard includes the sainted
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and
now even the Reverend Al Sharpton.
is being wooed by another Pollard supporter, Rabbi Shmuley
Boteach, author of the "Kosher Sex" guide for married couples
and bosom buddy of mutant pop singer Michael Jackson. Shmuley
civil rights movement was not a black issue, it was about
human rights. This is not a Jewish issue, it's about human
rights. I think Rev. Sharpton can help in this cause. He's
a man who is a voice for many who have no voice."
urging, Pollard wrote to Sharpton, suggesting a meeting:
aware that in the past you have gone on public record stating
that the life sentence that I am serving is too harsh, calling
for equal justice in my case, and advocating for my release.
Your participation in this case is welcome and I look forward
to exploring with you the ways in which your enhanced involvement
might be most effective."
and Pollard might seem like strange bedfellows, at first:
after all, the Reverend Al has attacked Jewish merchants in
the black community as "interlopers," and been accused of
anti-Semitism by his detractors. But when you get right down
to it, Pollard's supporters and the Reverend Al's are brothers
under the skin. Black victimology and its Jewish equivalent
the doctrine of Zionism are both organized around the
same principle: that past oppression of a minority requires
extraordinary present-day remedies, which inevitably violate
the rights of the majority.
In the case
of the victimologists-of-color, the remedy is affirmative
action and the victims are those who lost out in the process:
the students and job applicants who would have been rewarded
if merit and not race had been the only criterion. According
to the dogma of the Jewish victimologists, the remedy for
their past oppression is Zionism, the idea of a separate Jewish
state in the land of Palestine and the victims are,
among many others, the five Palestinian schoolchildren blasted
to bits by an Israeli booby-trap.
THY NAME IS ISRAEL
for Israel has gotten us what? Our tax dollars bought the
explosives that snuffed out those five young lives. We also
pay for Israeli settlements that make peace in the Middle
East an impossible dream. Without US aid and political support,
the Israeli settler-colony would sink like a stone, enveloped
by the vicious and incessant tribal warfare that characterizes
the whole history of the region. Certainly our support has
not earned us the gratitude that one might expect. Instead,
the Israeli Knesset held a special session to mark the anniversary
of Pollard's incarceration, where, as
Israel National News reports, "speakers from across the
political spectrum addressed the Knesset and dozens of special
guests, each demanding that the U.S. release Pollard."
the session, one right-wing deputy got up and denounced Sharon
because he "didn't have the courage to stand in front of the
US President and demand Pollard's immediate release." Sharon
cannot afford to lose the support of his ultra-right wing,
and, at any rate, cannot fail to do what his Labor predecessor
did, and that is lobby for Pollard's release.
MUMIA ABU POLLARD
bring up the Pollard case is to stand accused of anti-Semitism,
but in this case it is the Israelis, and their vocal amen
corner in the US, who are making this an issue. It is Pollard's
numerous supporters in America, as well as in Israel, who
have not let us forget him. He is the Mumia Abu Jamal
of the Zionist cause, a symbol of Israeli independence and
combativeness even against its ally and devoted sponsor,
the US. Just how far this combativeness goes was vividly dramatized
by the sinking of the U.S.S.
Liberty, in 1967 another topic, along with the Pollard
case, that only alleged "anti-Semites" discuss and it may
go even farther, in light of a strange new twist in the post-9/11
in this regard, is the news that, along with the 1,000 or
so Muslim Middle Easterners jailed in the Ashcroft Sweep,
60 Israelis have been picked up and held, not just for routine
visa violations, but in connection with the 9/11 investigation.
The Washington Post story subhead read: "Government
calls Several Cases 'of Special Interest,' Meaning Related
to Post-Attacks Investigation." According to the Post,
INS officials in Cleveland and St. Louis testified in court
that these Israelis were "of special interest to the government"
putting them in the same category as hundreds of mostly
Arab men rounded up by the feds since the attacks.
is the meaning of this? In the days and weeks after the twin
towers went down, perfervid rumors of Israeli responsibility
for the attack roiled some sectors of the Arab media, with
the former Imam of New York City's biggest mosque refusing
to rule it out. The pro-Israel pundits had a field day with
this, pointing to such nonsense as proof positive that the
Arab mind was fundamentally and perhaps irreversibly deformed
by "Islamo-fascism" and anti-Semitism. But as long as 60 Israeli
citizens are being held under conditions of great secrecy
in connection with the 9/11 investigation, it is no longer
tenable to dismiss the possibility of an Israeli angle in
the Post story blandly assures us that the Israeli
detainees "are observing a time-honored tradition in their
country touring the world after their mandatory service
in the Israeli military," we are also informed that "a number
of them had served in counterterrorist units in Israel." Well,
spying is indeed a time-honored tradition, and something tells
me these guys are no ordinary tourists, but since the US Government
is keeping mum about everything connected with this investigation,
we just don't know. In rounding up untold hundreds of mostly
Arab Muslim men, and interviewing thousands more, the Ashcroft
Sweep is clearly designed to gather information that might
lead them to the remaining conspirators. It could be that
the Israelis, or at least some of them, fall into this category:
while not being directly involved, maybe they know something.
Nothing else could account for the government's "special interest."
SMILE FOR THE
from Israel came to the US warning of some unspecified terrorist
threat a few months before 9/11. Add to this persistent
stories about the employees of Odigo, an Israeli software
company, who received "instant messages" over their computers
on the morning of 9/11, and news
reports of Israelis picked up by the FBI after neighbors
reported them laughing and smiling while
they photographed themselves against the backdrop of the
burning World Trade Center and now this.
WHAT DID THEY
these stories justify at least some suspicion of Israel's
role. It is still nonsense and vicious nonsense to ascribe
the 9/11 horror to "Zionist agents." But now there is at least
a hint of Israeli foreknowledge, on some level, which can
only be dispelled if and when the government comes clean and
lifts the veil of secrecy.
secret evidence, closed military tribunals many commentators,
in decrying these extraordinary measures as unconstitutional,
have also pointed out that none of this is necessary, since
we already have the legal means to deal with terrorism, as
in the case of the first WTC bombing. One would think that,
normally, the US would be trying to impress the public that
the administration is on the job with this investigation,
in addition to building a public case for holding over a thousand
however, nothing normal about the times we are living in:
and, in any case, secrecy is a necessity for those
who have something to hide. But in these days of the Internet,
and the instant dissemination of information, the gatekeepers
have to resort to quasi-legal means to keep the truth from
coming out. But it will come out, sooner rather than
later in which case, the question, "Haven't we had enough
of Israel?" may be definitively answered.
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