Oligarch Sheldon Adelson Arranges a Hero’s Welcome for Convicted Traitor Who Sent American Military Secrets to Israel

The convicted spy Jonathan Pollard arrived in Israel from the United States on December 30, 2020. This came three decades after Pollard was sent to jail for handing over secrets to Israel

Pollard was arrested in 1985 for espionage while he was working as an analyst for the U.S. Navy.

Billionaire Republican mega donor Sheldon Adelson provided a private jet to Pollard and his wife, Esther, for their flight to Israel. Adelson made his fortune in the casino industry and is a staunch Zionist who supports Israel’s Likud Party. The plane’s photos matched the colors of the aircraft that Las Vegas Sands Corp. owns. Las Vegas Sands is the hotel and casino company owned by Adelson. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greeted the couple at Tel Aviv airport and handed them an Israeli ID card, thus fast-tracking their citizenship.

“We are ecstatic to be home at last after 35 years,” declared Pollard, according to a statement that Netanyahu’s office released. “And we thank the people and the Prime Minister of Israel for bringing us home.”

During his time in the Navy, he was in communication with prominent Israeli intelligence officials and supplied them with multiple suitcases of classified documents on Israel’s Arab adversaries and the military aid they received from the Soviet Union.

American Navy intelligence officials started to become suspicious of Pollard’s behavior in the fall of 1985 due to how he was providing the Israelis large quantities of classified information that did not pertain to the regions he presided over. He would later be confronted after he was spotted taking classified materials from out of the building. Three days later, Pollard and his wife at the time, Anne Henderson Pollard, were arrested outside the Israeli embassy in Washington D.C. after the embassy’s decision to reject their asylum request.

The CIA reported that Pollard’s case “has few parallels among known U.S. espionage cases.” In addition, he had “put at risk important U.S. intelligence and foreign policy interests.”

Following his arrest in 1985, Pollard received a life sentence in prison two years later. In 2015, Pollard was released on parole but was prevented from heading to Israel.

In Israel, leaders across the political spectrum pushed for Pollard’s eventual migration to Israel.

According to a report by Information Liberation, Pollard rationalized his espionage in an interview with 60 Minutes in 1988 by arguing that America was at fault for the Holocaust and asserting that he was only punished due to anti-Semitism.

During a 2007 conference on US-Israel relations at Bar Ilan University that Pollard, U.S. Ambassador Richard Jones was a traitor who “committed treason against his own country” and “took money for what he did.”

“He sold out his country,” Jones declared. “The fact that he wasn’t executed is the mercy that Jonathan Pollard will receive.” The Obama administration released Pollard from prison in 2015.

A leading former FBI lawyer and U.S. counterintelligence official M.E. “Spike” Bowman asserted during the 2014 National summit at the National Press Club that Pollard engaged in one of the most harmful acts of espionage in American history. “By his own admission, he said I gave [Israel] enough information to occupy a space that would be 6 feet by 6 feet by 10 feet,” Bowman stated.

Bowman also revealed that one of the documents Pollard had provided the Israelis was a “RAISIN manual” which “described all of the communications capabilities of the Middle East and how the NSA could attack them at the time.” 

Pollard had his parole terms lifted in a quiet manner by the Trump administration in November that enabled him to move to Israel.

This Pollard case came at a time when D.C. passed a $2.3 trillion Wuhan virus “relief” bill, with $500 million being allocated to Israel. In addition, Israel received $3.3  billion as part of its 10-year, $38 billion Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

Pollard’s case brings tough questions about Israel’s relationship with the U.S. Undoubtedly, Israel is the most developed and politically stable country in the Middle East. However, not all of its interests align with the U.S. That’s the nature of international relations.  

The U.S. should develop policies that maintain good relations with the Middle Eastern country but also recognize that not all of Israel’s internal and foriegn policy parallels are in America’s interest. Oligarchs like Adelson would like to have America completely attached to Israel, which is not always beneficial to the country. For that reason, Adelson should be viewed with considerable skepticism.