Caroline Glick: A Jewish prisoner's longing for Zion
Pollard paid for that fateful decision with 30 years in prison and another five years of conditional release during which he was barred from moving to Israel.5 reasons why mainstream Jews should drop the Palestinian cause in 2021
I asked him back then to describe his life in prison.
"I don't want to go into detail," he responded with a brief, sad sigh. "I will give you an impressionistic description of my life. Life here involves constant noise, endless noise that is impossible to imagine, all the time; constant violence; profanity every conceivable type of profanity. There is no place to be quiet or to find quiet to read. You really have to be disciplined not to be provoked. You need to be disciplined to see when a situation is getting out of hand and to get away as quickly as possible. I have to be ready if my door opens at 2 in the morning."
I asked Pollard what he thought about when he was sitting in his room.
"My dream is to be with my wife, at home in Israel. I am worried about my wife. She is a cancer survivor. But she refused to have chemotherapy because it would have destroyed any chance of having children. Do you have any idea of what it feels like for a husband to have to hear over the phone that his wife has cancer?" he asked in an expression of unending distress and barely disguised desperation.
"I want to come home so that I can be with my wife, my people and my land. That is all I want. I love my nation."
Thirty-five years after his initial arrest, 15 years after I met with him, early on Wednesday morning, Jonathan Pollard finally realized his dream, the dream of a Jewish prisoner longing for Zion.
As we close the chapter of an unprecedented year filled with enormous loss and begin a new year with unparalleled opportunity, I believe now is the time to ask bold questions with answers that may be uncomfortable for the mainstream Jewish community in North America. As we made, and now pursue, resolutions for our personal and professional selves, our families and our communities, let us also have the courage to ask the more uncomfortable, more durable – and frankly, more honest questions that we only have the courage to ask in the light of this most challenging year.
How do we engage with Israel? What core policy objectives do we as a community and our organizations seek to achieve? Which organizational policy objectives, written long ago in boardrooms far far away, are still relevant? Which objectives are not relevant? What is achievable? What is not? What is the “needle” – and in what direction do we push it? Which causes embrace all of our identities? And which causes force us as Jews, as Americans, and as Zionists to leave our identities at the door?
I have a resolution.
In 2021, and in the years and decades beyond, the organized Jewish community should abandon its paralyzing, archaic, immoral and dangerous objective of establishing a Palestinian state.
Our world has changed. The Middle East has changed. Israel has changed. The American Jewish community, and its objectives, must too. Suppress your anger, lay down your talking points and hear me out.
1. The Abraham Accords
2. John Kerry’s Middle East is gone – if it ever existed after all
3. No Jewish Organization was actively involved in the Abraham Accords – and likely won’t even be involved in any other breakthrough
4. The Palestinians, and any future potential Palestinian state, would be an organized society and nation whose values and lack of rule of law would be completely antithetical to the Western world
5. The PLO, our alleged partners in peace, incentivize and pay terrorists to kill Jews