Magazine article The Spectator

Letters

Magazine article The Spectator

Letters

Article excerpt

Hero, not traitor

Sir: Jonathan Jay Pollard worked as a civilian employee for US Naval Intelligence and not, as James Srodes says ('A traitor for Israel', 20 February), as 'a librarian at the Pentagon'. Pollard discovered that intelligence which was meant to be supplied to Israel by treaty arrangement was being deliberately withheld, whereupon he filled the breach. What was this information? Among other things, that Iraq was almost a nuclear power, that she possessed large quantities of biological and chemical weaponry meant for the destruction of Israel -- materials and knowhow having been supplied by the US, Britain, France, Germany and others.

Pollard's security clearance permitted him virtually unlimited access to America's secrets, but the information was not supplied to Mossad, which was deliberately excluded and, to this day, remains deeply angered by this exclusion. Under suspicion Pollard, and his wife Anne, fled to the Israeli Embassy in Washington. They had been promised asylum, but were ejected into the waiting arms of the FBI; it was an Israeli effort at damage control to try to mitigate the effects of this incident.

Pollard could have opted for a trial by jury, which his wife wanted, but instead chose a plea bargain, which his father, a prominent biochemist, preferred - there being, he assumed, less publicity attached to such an arrangement. But instead of the one or two years Pollard expected, he was given a life sentence. Alan Dershowitz, the Harvard law professor, says that had he chosen a jury trial, the American government would have dropped the case rather than reveal the information that could have been required under the circumstances. Later Pollard denounced his father.

In an effort to bring about the release of the Pollards, I started the Jonathan and Anne Pollard Committee, their cause having gained the support of eight members of Parliament, as well as that of Margaret Thatch er. I then wrote a book, On Sinai's Lofty Mountain (published by Geiser Productions), in order to provide insight. It is apparent that there are powerful forces within the United States that are not pro-Israel, people who would find Israel's disappearance an immense relief (see The Secret War Against the Jews by Loftus and Aarons, published by St Martin's Press). With the prospect of Pollard's release, those forces opposed to Israel's existence have vigorously campaigned for his continued incarceration, making hysterical allegations that are meant to obscure the issue, rather than. clarify it. The man who saved Israel is not seen as a hero in Washington.

Sidney Du Broff

Geiser Productions,

Grange Road, London W6

A charge on holes

Sir: I was pleased to read Christopher Fildes, suggestion that we charge utilities rent for the time they spend digging up roads (City and suburban, 20 February). This is precisely the policy I announced on 17 February. The plan would encourage utilities to work faster, and to co-ordinate better, while raising cash for the capital.

Jeffrey Archer

House of Lords,

London SW1

Negative discrimination

Sir: In view of the political rant about alleged institutionalised anti-black racism, I and many others feel that attention needs to be drawn to the blatant pro-black racism which is increasingly being practised by all the institutions responsible for projecting news on television. Whenever news cameras visit a supermarket school, university, hospital or any other crowded venue, the cameramen almost invariably focus on any blacks who happen to be handy or can be found. Whites may then be drawn into the picture but, commonly, the cameras will track back to black faces to provide the final image. This occurs when whites are massively in the majority and to such an extent that a foreigner seeing the news would be justified in thinking that the majority are black. In a recent news item on banking, the camera needed to focus on the hands of a cashier counting notes. …

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