The release of Jonathan Pollard after serving 30 years in prison for spying on the U.S. isn’t the end of the “free Pollard” campaign. His supporters, who see him as a loyal Zionist, now want him to be able to emigrate to Israel.
For this reason, it’s worth being reminded of the fact that Pollard’s motives for stealing classified documents had little to do with ideology and a lot to do with making money.
In 1998, W. O. Studeman, Sumner Shapiro, J. L. Butts, and T. A. Brooks wrote:
Jonathan Pollard is serving a life sentence for stealing massive amounts of highly classified and extremely sensitive U.S. national security information. In terms of sheer volume of sensitive information betrayed, Jonathan Pollard rivals any of the traitors who have plagued this nation in recent times. Nobody is clamoring for the release of traitors like Aldrich Ames, John Walker or Jerry Whitworth, but Pollard, by manipulating his supporters and conducting a clever public relations campaign both here and in Israel, has managed to generate a small but vocal movement advocating that he be released and allowed to emigrate to Israel, where he expects to be something of a national hero.
We, who are painfully familiar with the case, feel obligated to go on record with the facts regarding Pollard in order to dispel the myths that have arisen from this clever public relations campaign aimed at transforming Pollard from greedy, arrogant betrayer of the American national trust into Pollard, committed Israeli patriot.
Pollard pleaded guilty and therefore never was publicly tried. Thus, the American people never came to know that he offered classified information to three other countries before working for the Israelis and that he offered his services to a fourth country while he was spying for Israel. They also never came to understand that he was being very highly paid for his services — including an impressive nest egg currently in foreign banks — and was negotiating with his Israeli handlers for a raise as he was caught. So much for Jonathan Pollard, ideologue!