Who will be the next hero of the Jewish people?

The whole world rejoiced on Friday when Jonathan Pollard was finally released after serving 30 years in prison for an act of heroism which made him undeniably one the Jewish people’s greatest heroes since Joshua led the conquest of the Holly land more than 3,000 years ago. Church bells rang, school children were let out early and spontaneous dancing and singing broke out in public plazas from New York’s Times Square to St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome to celebrate the great prisoner of Zion.

pollard_obama002The Jewish Nelson Mandela, as America’s one and only political prisoner was known, is now a free man having finally been granted parole. As we all know, Pollard only received a life sentence for what he did due to rampant anti-Semitism in America and not because he failed to show contrition at his sentencing and spent the last 30 years declaring himself to be a proud agent of Israel who would do it all again if given the chance.

Jews have not known such celebration since Natan Sharansky was released from the Russian Gulag almost 30 years ago. Pollard, who everyone knows was no traitor, who in no way harmed American national security and who simply worked to stop the evil Reagan Administration in the 1980s from betraying America’s greatest ally in the world, Israel, by violating longstanding treaties between the two nations which never actually existed, should never have been jailed for what he did.

For example, Reagan failed to provide Israel with the exact location of all U.S. and Soviet naval vessels in the Mediterranean at any given time so that it could easily send its air force jets over that sea to bomb foreign capitals such as Tunis. No one will ever forget what a great act of courage it was on the part of then Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres who in 1986 ordered the attack on the PLO headquarters in that city in an attempt to assassinate Yasser Arafat.

Pollard also bravely gave Israel US intelligence on how to take out the Russian made anti-aircraft missiles used by the Syrian military when Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982. And that surely did not harm American national security in any way since the Russians clearly did not realize that they had a problem with their security once that happened and did not upgrade their missile systems once they saw that their weak spots had been revealed to the West.

It also was not the case that Israel at the time had access to the photographs taken by America’s most advanced spy satellite. While the British could request that intelligence collected by the satellite be given to them, Israel was forced to settle for simply asking that it be redirected over specific locations at set times so that it could get the exact intelligence that it needed.

Most importantly, perhaps, there was never any chance at all that Pollard’s actions could cause ant-Semitism and leave all American Jews who work in that nation’s intelligence services and armed forces suspect of holding dual loyalties and block their career advancements.

And now that Pollard is finally free there is still a feeling of regret among us all. Now whose release from prison will we be able to pray for every day? What Jew is there in the world who has been falsely imprisoned for simply being a Jew who we can all be proud of ourselves for caring so much about now?

So let’s look at a few candidates for the title of greatest imprisoned Jewish hero in the world. First there is David Berkowitz who has now been in prison for 38 years, a full 8 years longer than Pollard. Berkowitz is best known as the “Son of Sam” serial killer who killed 5 people in the spring and summer of 1977 in New York and wounded many more.

The authorities, of course, claimed that Berkowitz was nothing but a crazed murderer. But we Jews know better. We know that all of his “victims” were in fact Muslim fundamentalists who were plotting to enact suicide bombings which would have killed countless Jews. Berkowitz acted on Israeli intelligence which let him know who to target. But as with Pollard, he was betrayed by the Israeli government which refused to acknowledge Berkowitz as an agent. And, of course, the anti-Semitic New York Police buried the truth.

And let’s not forget Bernard Madoff. We all know that the propaganda about his having run a Ponzi scheme which cost countless investors, including Jewish charities like Hadassah, a fortune is a lie. Madoff, who has been imprisoned since 2009 and is currently serving a de facto life sentence of 150 years, was really jailed for his part in our world Zionist banking conspiracy.

So who do you think we all should pray for now? Who should be the Jew in jail who gets our self-serving foe admiration for being a criminal? Who should we include in our prayers for the ill which we make every Shabbat morning?

If you have any ideas please let Jewlicious know. We will be conducting a contest in the coming weeks to select the new candidate. The winner will get an all-expense paid trip to meet Jonathan Pollard in person and a chance to himself become a prisoner of Zion someday.

About the author


Gil Tanenbaum made aliyah from New York after he completed college. He Has lived in Israel for over 20 years. He has an MBA from Bar Ilan University and is a contributor for various blogs.


  • Oh Gil. We can’t pray for Berkowitz because he converted to Christianity. I guess he had no idea that kosher meals in jail are way better than regular meals. Or maybe a dog told him to do it. Who knows.

    • well maybe he’ll convert back for the food like that woman on OITNB did and we should pray for any yid who converted to convert back!

  • Not Madoff, he conned Elie Weasel, I don’t know, who should we pray for, hey, how about we pray for Pollard to be allowed to go to Israel early!