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In the first instance and despite the brazen insinuations of his supporters, Jonathan Pollard is not a Jewish martyr

. He is a convicted espionage agent who spied on his country for both Israel and Pakistan ( !"a spy, moreover, who got paid for his work. His professional career, then, reeks of infamy and is suffused with depravity. It is true that Pollard has achieved the status of hero for some in Israel. #ut you should know e$actly who these people are% &hey are professional victims, mostly brutal themselves, who originate in the ultra'nationalist and religious right. &hey are insatiable. (nd they want (merica to be Israel)s patsy. &hey are also not democrats in any sense of the word, and their call for *+ustice* in this case is probably the only instance in which they have been moved by a sense of mercy for pretty much anyone. If you release Pollard, you would be encouraging the kind of ideological blackmail that has paralyzed Israeli politics not +ust in the ongoing diplomatic torpor (in which I believe, as you well know, that it is not Jerusalem at fault! but through the general assault on civil liberties and freedoms that make the Jewish state so distinctive in the ,iddle -ast. I know, ,r. President, that you are not responsible for the health of Israel)s democracy. #ut you will find that bending to this demand for ransom will only encourage the e$tortionists in Israel to attempt to hi+ack grand politics in an ever grander manner. &he tacticians on the Israeli far'right argue (dishonestly in my view! that, if you give Pollard to Prime ,inister .etanyahu, #ibi will be less constrained and constricted in his diplomacy. /ome +ournalists and commentators have bought this stratagem. (I am surprised to read that also #arney 0rank is in this camp.! &his is a fundamental and, for some, a deliberate misreading of the dynamics of Israeli statecraft. 1ne hand does not wash the other in Jerusalem, at least not for more than a day or two. (ctually, I was relieved to read that your press counselor had said that Pollard was not on your mind. #ut, ,r. President, I understand that it might +ust be easier to let the culprit go. &hat)s one way to stop the incessant special pleading. ,y imagination turns a bit lurid. 2ou release Pollard. He flies to Israel on -l (l. He is greeted by thousands and thousands of triumphant hustlers in the streets of Jerusalem. &hey have pulled one over on you. 1ver (merica, too. (nd over (merican Jews, especially. &hey are dancing the hora, of course, ecstatic. &here)s an article in 0riday)s Jerusalem Post about a relatively new book, 3race% How 4eligion 5ivides and 6nites 6s by my Harvard colleague 4obert 5. Putnam and 5avid -. 7ampbell. (Putnam is also

too. as Putnam told the Post. (ccording to the processor.o. 1r.. at the moment.r.ake no mistake about this% 2our clemency for Pollard will be widely seen as a cleansing. President"that the arc of the future will be drawn in the world of Islam.y estimate.* he said. &hey are very much respected by their fellow (mericans . . Pollard is the single repellent figure in this history. .the author of the highly provocative #owling (lone% &he 7ollapse and 4evival of (merican 7ommunity. . people signing up for dating websites who say they are Jewish are more sought after than others. is that Israel)s place in the (merican mind is 8uite secure. it is not persuaded by the tremblings of some liberal Jewish (and a few non'Jewish! +ournalists who seem to believe" as perhaps you do. and also much liked. I haven)t read the new book./.. It would be a disservice to both 9ion and what our forefathers called the *new (merican 9ion* to appear to cleanse this viper. *the most popular religion in (merica are Jews* &he author does not believe that this is a fragile standing. however. 江江江江 . /o I don)t know how Israel fits into the e8uation. *If you say you are Jewish. . you get more date offers than less. /o (merican solidarity with Israel is 8uite firm. #ut it is reckless to tempt the goddesses. &he Post reports% Putnam offers a piece of anecdotal evidence to illustrate +ust how positively Jews are allegedly viewed in the 6.! 3race has good news in it for the Jews of the 6nited /tates.