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Refusing to remain silent in the face of evil

Posted by Zamir Ben Etzioni on December 1, 2009

By Jonathan and Esther Pollard

Why is the life of one Israeli captive deemed so precious that Israel’s leaders are willing to dispense with all logic and morality in order to redeem him? Why is the life of another Israeli captive dismissed as if it were worthless?

Why is the life of one captive such an urgent national priority that the safety and security of every single Israeli citizen must be put at risk? Why is the life of the other captive so inconsequential – after decades of captivity – that negotiations for his release have never been undertaken?

Are we, the People of Israel, so incompetent, so bereft of will, talent, imagination and faith in God that we really believe the only way to secure the release of the former captive is at a price so exorbitant that it beggars the imagination? Do we really believe that the wholesale release of terrorists and murderers is a rational response? Are we, the People of Israel, so bereft of vision that we cannot grasp that burying one captive alive while we pray for the release of the other drives the blessing away and brings shame and dishonor upon us all?

Are we, the People of Israel, so politically brainwashed that we cannot see that, in both cases, mere expediency reigns supreme in a morally-bankrupt government? This is not fulfillment of the mitzva of pidyon shvuyim!

AS LONG as Israeli leaders demonstrate a unanimous will to exploit the value of rescuing one captive because it suits their political ends, while simultaneously ignoring another captive, there can be no national honor, nor national self-respect. There is only political expediency. Self-serving, opportunistic, political expediency.

Those who are willing to close their eyes to the truth and follow lockstep with Israel’s “leaders” in support of this unconscionable plan to unleash the forces of evil by allowing the architects of mass murder to pour forth from Israeli jails are placing their own lives at risk as well as the lives of their loved ones.

Those who fail to speak out and protest Israel’s lopsided, immoral policy of selective rescue – damning one captive while saving the other and simultaneously putting the lives of all citizens in jeopardy – must know that they are complicit in this criminal deed.

It is painfully clear that Israel’s mainstream media has stymied all rational debate on this issue, just as it has, for its own self-serving reasons, lent its support to the government’s cowardly abandonment of the latter captive.

Nevertheless, moral conscience does not permit us to remain silent.

If our words are not heard today, so be it. A time will come when they will be heard. We hope that by then, it will not be too late.

Jonathan Pollard is an American-born Israeli citizen currently in the 25th year of his life sentence in an American prison for his activities on behalf of the security of the State of Israel.

Esther Pollard is his wife.

Originally Published on the Jerusalem Post

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