life sentence stands in glaring contrast to the four-year sentence given to Helmy. Helmy is an Egyptian-born American who was cleared for secret work at a weapons plant in California. In 1989, he illegally transmitted to Egypt the materials used in stealth aircraft, missiles and rockets. The materials transmitted by Helmy were to be used by Egypt in a joint weapon with, of all countries, Iraq, to extend the range and improve the accuracy of ballistic missiles, including Iraq's Scud-B missiles. Helmy's activities were co-ordinated by Egypt's defence minister.
Following Jonathan's arrest we heard a tremendous chorus of condemnation out of Washington about Israel's "arrogance" and "ingratitude" in running a spy in the United States. But following Helmy's arrest, we should have asked a very obvious question: given the fact that, since the Camp David Accords, U.S. aid to Egypt has been virtually on par with American aid to Israel, why didn't we hear any condemnation of Egypt expressed in Washington? On the contrary, although Helmy was originally charged with espionage, he was eventually indicted on a single count of smuggling, due to the Administration's concern about offending the Egyptians and upsetting relations with them.
And what of the arrest, last May, of Lt. Cmdr. Schwartz (a non-Jew) in the U.S. Navy who spied for the Saudis for two years while stationed in the Persian Gulf?
- Why were there no public expressions of U.S. Government outrage at the "arrogance" and "ingratitude" of Saudi Arabia for running a spy in the U.S. Navy, just one year after the United States saved the Saudis from destruction in the Persian Gulf War?
- Why wasn't the story of the Saudi spy front page news?
- Why didn't the FBI start leaking information regarding the case and the character of the spy?
- Why didn't the Pentagon and the Intelligence community question the continued viability of the American special relationship with Saudi Arabia?
- Why weren't question raised about the propriety of American political, economic and military support of Saudi Arabia?
- Why didn't the United States government demand a formal apology and promise of non-recurrence?
All of the above followed immediately upon Pollard's arrest.
Lt. Cmdr. Schwartz will never serve a day in prison. In consideration of Saudi Arabia's "sensitivities", the U.S. Navy has let him off with a reprimand and a less-than-honorable discharge.
In light of the special consideration accorded to Saudi Arabia in the Schwartz case, not only does it appear that a double standard of justice exists for American Jews, but also a double standard of political relations has now been set for the Middle East.
Equally troubling: why hasn't Israel openly pressed the United States for a full accounting of the damage assessment? What, exactly, did Schwartz give the Saudis that compromised Israel's security? What perceived weaknesses on the Golan Heights were revealed in these reports? And, if the Saudis have this intelligence, why can't Israel? After all, Israel must now take remedial action for whatever vulnerabilities have been seen and exploited by the Saudis.
Most troubling of all, why is Jonathan Pollard still in prison?
Every day that Jonathan Pollard continues to languish in prison calls into question America's role as an honest broker and true partner with Israel in the peace process.
Return to The Schwartz Case