Dr. Miriam Adelson - JNS - December 30, 2020Jonathan Pollard deserves Israel's eternal gratitude as well as its remorse for how long it took to bring him home.
Jonathan Pollard has finally come home, and like many homecomings, this day is both happy and sad.
This day was a very long time coming-decades in the making. The years of Jonathan's imprisonment, and later his release under restrictions that did not allow him to leave New York, were excruciatingly long. While his spirit never faltered and his Jewish pride never waned, his body weakened.
Now, after prolonged anticipation, he can build a home in Israel with his beloved wife, Esther, but her failing health will overshadow everything. She needed special, strict medical conditions to make the journey and they are still facing trials and tribulations until, God willing, she will grow stronger and heal.
This day is also bittersweet because as joyous as Jonathan's homecoming is, the actions for which he was imprisoned had marred Israel-U.S. ties.
Israel has never undermined its closest ally, except to save the Jewish people. Israel has learned its lesson, to which the fact that there has never been another case like Jonathan's attests.
But the fact that this was an isolated case is exactly what sets it apart. After all, in every other aspect, Israeli-American relations are rooted in friendship and unconditional mutual trust.
For our American friends, Jonathan is a memory best left to fade, especially at a time when President Donald Trump is showing the Jews in Zion kindness in spades.
Jonathan deserves Israel's deepest and eternal gratitude. Like a wounded soldier returning from a long and difficult journey, he deserves every benefit and grant the state can offer to ensure he can live his life comfortably.
At the same time, he deserves the right to live in a country that treats its ally with respect and wisdom. A country where sensitive matters are kept secret, and whose heroes are humble.
Jonathan is this type of hero: calm, collected and confident that his place in Jewish history needs no public relations.
Let us honor him in the same vein-quietly, with a huge sigh of relief, tears of remorse, and with a long and grateful hug.
This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.
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