The Matrix and Jonathan Pollard

Ben Yam - Israelinsider Views - January 5, 2004

Like the immensely popular sci-fi trilogy The Matrix, we live in a world of virtual reality. It is like a well-written piece of software created by savvy media merchants and slick PR people, that encompasses most of life as we know it. Its programmers and tech-support folks - the media moguls and political mavens - are well-paid for investing years into perfecting and debugging their product.

In this virtual world, the United States of America and Israel are presented as inseparable friends, bonded together by the love for individual freedom, democracy and the virtues of peaceful monotheistic traditions. More than ever, the current U.S. president's virtual image is programmed as the paragon of Christian morality, honest and down-to-earth, a true Patriot who leads the free world in its battle against the evils of Terrorism.

But even the best software has its glitches. They may seem small and inconspicuous; many compensatory mechanisms have been erected to prevent these small "bugs" from interfering with the smooth functioning of the System. But they are there, and if one pays attention, it suddenly becomes clear that this virtual world is nothing but a human creation, a product designed to serve a specific end.

Take the case of Jonathan Pollard. His ongoing victimization by the American government is entering its 19th year, with no end in sight. The extremely severe, grossly disproportionate punishment he received, and the undeniable cruelty with which the U.S. judiciary and executive branches have dealt with him ever since he was arrested in 1985, have been described over and over, in books, articles, on TV, radio, the web... Yet, some people still don't get it: Jonathan Pollard's case is not an aberration. It is not an isolated unfortunate instance of governmental misconduct. It exemplifies the norm.

Forget about decentralization of power - the delicate balance between the legislative, judiciary and executive branches, which is so crucial to a true democracy. In Pollard's case, they all worked hand in hand - while treading on the fundamental principles of the U.S. Constitution, to say nothing of common sense.

Forget about the friendship between the U.S. and Israel: no other individual convicted of spying for an ally got such treatment. And yes, the U.S. withheld information from Israel it was legally and morally obliged to share. And yes, everyone even vaguely familiar with the intelligence community knows that everyone spies on everyone, friend or foe; but does Israel have CIA agents locked up for 18 years in miserable conditions?

That was a trick question. It brings us to the next smart invention of the virtual Matrix, called the "War on Terrorism." Unlike all wars before it, this war is being waged against a construct instead of a defined enemy. There are deep reasons for that. After all, who funded Osama bin Laden at the beginning of his terrorist career? Who covers for the Saudi sponsors of militant Islam and gives them a political voice in the Arab-Israeli "conflict"? What country covertly aided Saddam Hussein to amass an arsenal of chemical and biological weapons as well as Weapons of Mass Destruction? The American officials and subsequent administrations, which funded known terrorists and supported regimes which harbor and sustain terrorist organizations and manufacture WMD shall remain unnamed here. But now that they are waging a War on Terrorism we need to ask, who are they fighting - themselves?

Of course not! Instead, the image of "public enemy" is unjustly affixed to a Jew, Jonathan Pollard, who put his life on the line to avert the REAL menace of terrorism that was looming large against the Jewish State. Pollard was among the pioneers of the War against Terrorism, in the REAL world.

In the REAL world - not the virtual reality - the U.S. government, for many successive administrations, has regarded oil-rich Saudi Arabia drenched in bigotry and hatred, as its most important ally in the Middle East.

In the REAL world - not the virtual reality - Israel is regarded as expendable to the U.S. power structures as last year's snow. For years, U.S. policy in the Middle East has progressively rendered Israel more and more dependent on aid, which has been and will be withdrawn wantonly, often at the most critical moment.

In the REAL world, - not the virtual reality - nothing has changed since the founding of the Jewish State nearly 60 years. Now as then, Israel cannot count on anyone for protection in its hour of need except its own army and the strength of its own people. People like Jonathan Pollard.

The REAL world, the one that reveals itself when you wrestle your attention away from the projected and distorted images of the Media Matrix, is more convincing and more compelling when you reach it on your own. Time is running out. Consider this a wakeup call.

Disconnect yourself from the Matrix.

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