The Tatiana Soskin Case Critically Examined
When 26 year old Tatiana Soskin was brought before a judge, he recorded her personal details. No, she has no job, replied the new immigrant from Russia. No, her parents are not in Israel, she is alone. No, she does not even have a telephone.
The Israeli press described Tatiana as tall, thin and pale, "a Barbie doll," in the words of Israel's largest daily. But this young woman has been sitting in solitary confinement for four months.
At a time when a Tel Aviv museum is displaying photographs of naked men wrapped in tefilin, and the national Israel Museum in Jerusalem has an erotic exhibit identifying with Eva Braun, Tatiana Soskin is in jail because she insulted not Judaism, but Islam. Tatiana studied art at the Bezalel Academy of Art for three years, after she moved on her own to Israel. Last June Tatiana drew a picture of a hog, labelled Mohamed, writing the Koran. Israeli newspapers and commentators called the pro-Nazi and anti-Jewish exhibits "art" "that makes people think." Tatiana's judge said "only a distorted mind could create her drawing" and sent her to prison to await trial.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to the Mayor of Hebron, declaring that Tatiana's drawing "contradicts the respect and admiration the Jewish religion has for the Islamic religion and its founder."
Tatiana was a bit surprised at the whole ruckus. Perhaps she shouldn't have done the drawing, or distributed it in Hebron, famous as the city whose Arabs attacked and murdered the local Jewish community in the pogrom of 1929, and where Jewish residents and Israeli soldiers today are subject to a neverending stream of stabbings, petrol bombs and shootings. Tatiana is today more concerned over her liver illness and her loneliness, but she nevertheless disagrees with Netanyahu's apology to the Mayor of Hebron's Arabs. "If that is the way they act, and their religion allows them to act this way, then they really behave like pigs," she sighs.
Asked why she drew the by-now infamous caricature, she explains that "Arab leaders used the name of the prophet Mohamed when they called in the mosques to attack Jews. That seems to me a swine-like use of Mohamed's name, and that is what I tried to say with the drawing. It was my response to the incitement."
Tatiana's bright green eyes dim somewhat as she describes her life today. "For 24 hours a day," she says, "I am alone in a small cell. I am not allowed to talk to anyone, I have no clean air, barely any light. At the corner of the room is a small hole in the floor, where, pardon my language, I take of my needs. Above it is a shower and opposite, a barred window. I cannot even respond to my needs or take a shower without being afraid someone will suddenly look through the window.
"Most of the inmates work and can buy themselves things. I don't work, so I don't have money, not even for chocolate. On Friday I asked the jailers to bring me candles so I could light the Sabbath candles, but they didn't bring any..."
Tatiana's lawyer, Samuel Casper, says that everyone has the right to express his opinion, and this includes by means of caricatures. He notes that in January 1995 a journal called "Shpitz" published cartoons mocking religious Jews and the government's legal advisor refused to bring charges, ruling caricatures are protected by free speech. Casper relates how he came to represent Tatiana: "I asked her if she had money to pay for the legal representation. She said, 'Not now, but I will pay.' At first I worked for free. A few weeks later she came in, took off her earrings, and said, 'Please take these, I don't want you working for nothing.'"
Tatiana says she reads and draws most of the day. She hopes to get out of jail soon, so she can resume studying, and touring throughout the Land of Israel, which she loves to do.
If you would like to help Tatiana, please send a postcard defending
the right of free speech and urging leniency for Tatiana, to the Israeli
Minister of Justice, Tsachi Hanegbi, at The Knesset, Jerusalem, Israel.
If you would like to help defray Tatiana's legal costs, please send a check
to Mercantile Discount Bank, Branch 064, Account number 40568
and earmark it for Tatiana Soskin.
If you would like to help defray Tatiana's legal costs, please send a check to Mercantile Discount Bank, Branch 064, Account number 40568 and earmark it for Tatiana Soskin.
"40 Minutes in Palestine"
In Jerusalem, about a 10 minute drive north from the Temple Mount, or Haram al-Sharif, lies the only refugee camp in the Holy City. It is called Shofat. Mostly concrete and dust, rundown but teeming with life and a variety of humanitarian outreaches, the "camp" represents to its residents -- perhaps on this very spot -- the future capital of Palestine.
As with all of Abraham's offspring, its children are its future stars: among them, 46 teenagers, 9th grade students at the Shofat Basic Girls' School. The bell rings; this is their English class. Later in the lesson, we will interrupt the teacher and girls to poll them. The results will not be surprising.
Now, however, as the 40-minute period begins, the teacher is calling four of the girls to the front of the class. She asks the quartet to sing a song in English.
"How about 'We Shall Overcome'? Now let's not be shy. Good and strong," says the teacher, a middle-aged woman dressed in black. She is one of some 10,000 Palestinian teachers employed by UNRWA to educate Palestinian refugees in territories and countries surrounding Israel. UNRWA is the acronym for United Nations Relief & Works Agency; the United States is its largest donor.
By now the young women, dressed in brown and white-striped uniforms like their classmates, are facing their peers, giggling with stage fright; a universal "teacher's look" calms them down.
"We Shall Overcome, we shall overcome...we shall live in peace someday...deep in my heart, I still believe," they sing, parroting the popular American civil rights theme -- but with a personalized touch, a kicker that snaps this former Chicago inner-city English teacher, now a correspondent who is sitting at one of the long desks in the back of the room, observing -- snaps him out of '60's make love, not war nostalgia and into the '90's and beyond:
"Deep in my heart, I still believe, we shall have Palestine some day!" The room is now alive with applause. Maybe we should give it to them. One God, one Messiah, Hatikva, no Right nor Left wing, just peace, Thy most precious gift. Imagine all the people....
The four girls return to their benches and the teacher picks up a piece of chalk.
"So, class, what's this song about? What do we want?" she asks rhetorically. Peace, they respond; "Pease" one girl writes on the chalkboard, to the left of a map of the world. "Good, very good," the teacher says, ignoring the spelling. "And why do we want peace?" No more war. "Good, no more war. Wonderful," she says. The atmosphere is charged and rarefied; the teacher has written, then crossed out the word "war." Suddenly her tone shifts.
"But class, our people have not yet overcome; they are being killed. Why?" asks the teacher. The class rustles, but there is no response. "In case no one is listening, I'll ask again: our Palestinian people, why are they being killed?" Still no verbalizing. "Anyone? What is the killing about?"
"Land," someone responds. "It's because of land."
"That's exactly right. Our land is under occupation," says the teacher, writing "land" to the right of the map, then shifting back to the class. "And who took our land?"
"The Israeli's," 46 girls respond in unison. "Israel" is written under "Occupation." Meanwhile, sitting next to me and growing increasingly uneasy as I write down the classroom dialogue is the UNRWA public information person who has brought me to the school. Glances are exchanged between the teacher and official, (who wishes not to be identified.)
The teacher continues. "Now for the most important question, the question we're all concerned about: How do we fight for peace? We have to fight for peace -- by education. Okay, please take out your book and turn to the lesson on shopping," the teacher says. And the practical lesson begins.
The 40-minute period is now half over. Choices must be made: should I check the textbook for bias or...? Suddenly I remember, then extract a form which has been sitting in my briefcase: "Confidential Survey On Middle East Issues." After perusing the questionnaire, my anonymous UNRWA guide, also bored with the shopping lesson, whispers, "Good idea -- let's try it," and walks to the front of the classroom where he consults with the teacher.
She sits down and he takes the floor. He reads in English, then in Arabic, each statement on the poll, then counts raised hands and writes the numbers on the sheet. Responses range from "strongly agree" to "unsure" to "strongly disagree."
The straw poll lasts beyond the bell, then class is dismissed; we exchange awkward, but cordial smiles. The teacher asks to make copies of the survey, then returns with the original. After student-made sugar cookies with the principal, I take one final photograph of the Shofat School; then the UNRWA guide drives me back down through the dusty, narrow, winding streets of the camp: Jerusalem, capital of Palestine to three million refugees.
Of these refugees, 46 (100% of the class) "agree" or "strongly agree" with the following:
There should be a Palestinian state next to Israel. Israel should give the West Bank to the Palestinians. All Palestinian refugees & descendants should have right of return.
All "disagree" that Jews should be able to live in the West Bank and Gaza while all "agree" that Palestinians should be able to live within the borders of Israel.
For some reason, the following statement was also polled, hands were raised and counted, but the response was left unrecorded:
Based on religious traditions, both Palestinians and Jews have a legitimate claim to some of the Middle East lands.
Henry Kissinger's involvement with the Council on Foreign Relations and the New World Order has been well documented for many years. However, little is known to Americans of his role in the Middle East and how he has influenced the events there to help the New World Order gain control over this area of the world.
The late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin met Kissinger when he was the U.S. secretary of state and Rabin served as the Israeli ambassador to the U.S. from 1968-1972. Later, Rabin stated that Kissinger was his role model.
During the Yom Kippur War, Kissinger refused to supply much-needed arms to Israel unless Golda Meir resigned as prime minister and supported Rabin as the next Labor Party candidate for the post. At that time, Rabin had never even been a Knesset member and was listed far down on Labor's Knesset list.
After the war, Meir appointed Rabin as Minister of Labor and supported his candidacy for party chairman, paving his way to become prime minister in 1974.
While Rabin was prime minister, Kissinger presented his "Gaza-Jericho First" plan in 1976 which called upon Israel to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and the city of Jericho first in any overall peace plan with the PLO. It was this plan that was incorporated into the Oslo Agreements which Israel and the PLO signed in 1993; the first Israeli redeployment under Oslo was from the Gaza Strip and Jericho.
During his first term as premier, Rabin and Kissinger redrew the map of the Middle East, which included Lebanon being absorbed by Syria. (It was this plan which reportedly caused Ariel Sharon to resign as an advisor to Rabin's first government.) Kissinger then instigated the Levanese civil war in order to accomplish this goal. He succeeded when Syria annexed Lebanon during the 1991 Persian Gulf War.
During Menachem Begin's tenure as premier, Kissinger's influence in Israel was considerably reduced. Begin tried to reverse the Kissinger plan through the Peace for Galilee War in the 1980's (also known as the Lebanon War.) It wasn't until the Labor Party regained power in the 1992 elections with Rabin as prime minister that Kissinger could truly reassert his influence in Israel.
Kissinger seems to have a great deal of power over other individuals as well. In 1994, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres was on his way to South Africa when, summoned by Kissinger, he made a 5,000 mile detour to meet Kissinger for two hours in a Manhattan restaurant.
Ariel Sharon, former defense minister and now national infrastructure minister, alson met privately with Kissinger at the Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan on October 17, 1996; they were spotted by reporters. The Jerusalem Post also published a picture from the Associated Press of the two men shaking hands in its October 18, 1996, edition. Sharon, supposedly in New York for an Israel-North America Business Conference, told reporters at a press conference after the meeting with Kissinger, "There must be sacrifices for peace. Peace, like war, is cruel. It requires concessions."
Sharon's spokesman, Raanan Gissin, later played down the entire affair. "I don't know why everyone is making such a fuss about it," Giffin said. "Mr. Sharon has met Dr. Kissinger every time he's flown to America over the past twenty five years ... Dr. Kissinger and Mr. Sharon have shared a deep friendship that began after the Yom Kippur War."
Gissin refused to give details about what Sharon and Kissinger discussed, saying that only the peace process and "regional details" were involved.
Kissinger continues to control Israel through the latest prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu's contacts with individuals from the Council of Foreign Relations can be traced to an anti-terrorism conference which Netanyahu organized in memory of his dead brother, Yonatan, who died during the raid on Entebbe, Uganda.
Netanyahu returned to Israel after quitting a $100,000 a year job in the U.S. with the Boston Group, owned by Ira Magarzina, a well-known New World Order insider and the person behind the failed Clinton health plan. Netanyahu worked for the Boston Group only eight months, deciding to take a position with a furniture firm in Israel which paid only $25,000. When he held the anti-terrorism conference, the CFR sent its most influential members at the time including George Schultz and George Bush from the Trilateral Commission. It is strange that the CFR would be interested in a conference organized by an unknown, even if it was in memory of an Israeli war hero.
After the anti-terrorism conference, Moshe Arens asked Netanyahu to be his aid in Washington, D.C. when Arens served as Israeli ambassador to the U.S. After a two-year stint working for Arens, Shimon Peres successfully secured Netanyahu's appointment as Israel's U.N. ambassador over Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir's objections. While U.N. ambassador, Secretary of State George Schultz, a former member of the CFR, visited Netanyahu every time he flew to New York City.
Schultz's connections with Netanyahu continue to this day. Before he became prime minister, Netanyahu was opposed to the establishment of a regional branch of the World Bank in the Middle East. According to an article in the August 1, 1996 edition of The Jerusalem Post, Netanyahu changed his mind after meeting with Schultz in the U.S. on his first visit there after his election victory.
Before his death, Rabin related what he thought was a funny story in an interview on Israeli television.
Kissinger told Rabin that Netanyahu had called him in New York and requested he issue a proclamation against stationing foreign troops on the Golan Heights as part of any peace treaty with Syria. According to Rabin, Kissinger told Netanyahu, "Oh, Bibi, stop bothering me with your nonsense, I don't have time."
The next day, Netanyahu confirmed the phone call to Kissinger. However, Netanyahu said that Kissinger did not laugh at him but said he would consider Netanyahu's request.
In spite of Netanyahu's various connections with the CFR and the New World Order insiders, it is clear that he did not know exactly what he was getting involved in until after he was elected prime minister in May, 1996.
On Friday, July 5, 1996, an economic "International Forum for the Middle East" was held in Amman, Jordan. Some of the attendees included Simon Weil, first president of the European Union, Henry Kissinger, and Conrad Black, CEO of Hollinger International and owner of The Jerusalem Post. It is somewhat odd that these men would fly from halfway acrosse the world to Amman, Jordan for a simple economic conference.
The Jerusalem Post described the conference in its July 10, 1996, edition. "The 30 politicians, economists and academics in the forum, including Henry Kissinger, Simon Weil, and Lord Weidenfeld, will monitor the effects of important events on the region and make appropriate recommendations."
Some important questions need to be asked about this conference. First, what authority do Henry Kissinger and these other men have to monitor events in the Middle East and make "appropriate recommendations"? What kind of recommendations will they be making? And to whom?
After the conference, Kissinger flew to Jerusalem with Conrad Black in Black's private plane. While in Jerusalem, Kissinger held two meetings: one with newly-elected Prime Minister Netanyahu and another with Yehuda Levy, president of The Jerusalem Post.
On July 8, 1996, The Jerusalem Post carried a story about Kissinger's visits to both men, complete with a picture of Kissinger, Conrad Black, and Yehuda Levy together at the Post building. The article was entitled: "Kissinger: PM will learn peace is in Israel's interests."
"Furthering the Middle East process is necessary for Israel and Benyamin Netanyahu will soon realize this, former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger said yesterday.
Speaking to reporters after visiting the grave of Yitzhak Rabin, Kissinger said, 'What he [Rabin] has started grew out of Israel's necessities, and I think any prime minister will come to the conclusion that the [peace] process has to be continued. Of course, each leader has his own ideas.'
"Kissinger, in Israel to visit Rabin's family, met Netanyahu earlier at the prime minister's residence. He said he is confident Netanyahu would take a 'constructive' message to Washington on his maiden visit starting tomorrow.
"Israel and the United States have a common destiny, and their leaders have come to express that common destiny' Kissinger added.
"Kissinger and Conrad Black, CEO of The Jerusalem Post's parent company, Hollinger International, also paid a visit to The Jerusalem Post building for a short, unplanned meeting with the President and Publisher Yehuda Levy.
"Levy updated them on the situation at the Post, focusing on the departure of executive editor David Bar-Illan."
Kissinger held a two-hour private meeting with Netanyahu. According to those who were present, Netanyahu emerged from the meeting white and pale, refusing to repeat what Kissinger had said to him.
It is not too hard to deduce who is behind Netanyahu's meetings with Arafat, his caving in to Arab demands on the Hebron agreement, and the continuing building freeze of Jewish settlements in the territories.
Jibril Rajoub's security men will continue to roam Jerusalem unhindered. Under Netanyahu, Orient House and other PA institutions in the city have not only remained open, they have flourished. According to the February 12, 1997 edition of Ha'aretz, twenty PA institutions and offices are now operating openly in East Jerusalem. Netanyahu claimed only four PA institutions were found in Jerusalem. However, Ha'aretz listed all twenty PA institutions, describing their functions.
It will be amazing if the apartment buildings of Jerusalem's Har Homa are ever built. Netanyahy refused to authorize building the apartments before he left for Washington, D.C. in February, to the great disappointment of Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert and a delegation of coalition members. Although construction on Har Homa was authorized by the cabinet after he returned to Israel, Netanyahu ordered it delayed he says for "technical reasons." These same "technical reasons" were stated when construction for settlements in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) were authorized and stalled.
The amount of control Kissinger now wields over Netanyahu was never more clear than during the prime minister's trip to the U.S. in February. After meeting with Clinton, Netanyahu planned a short visit in New York City, planning to leave on Saturday night after Shabbat was over. But while he was in Washington, he suddenly announced he would stay in New York for an additional 24 hours.
An article in Ha'aretz on Friday, February 14, 1997 reported that Netanyahu had decided to spend an extra day there in order to meet with various Jewish leaders on Saturday night and hold press conferences on Sunday. Among the additional meetings Netanyahu scheduled was one with former secretary of state Henry Kissinger.
Netanyahu did not suddenly "decide" to stay in New York an extra 24 hours; he was ordered to do so by Kissinger.
When Yasser Arafat declares a Palestinian state, Netanyahu will not say or do anything to prevent it, no matter how much he protests to the contrary right now. Indeed, he cannot do anything, for he is powerless.
Israel has a hidden leader that they did not choose or vote for, and one they do not know anything about.
Henry Kissinger is the real prime minister of Israel.
Joseph Alsop, a noted columnist who witnessed Dr. Kissinger's rise to political prominence, wrote in his editorial column:
As secretary of state, Kissinger will be acting upon a view of the political historical process so somber that it is close to anti-American.
(Daily Oklahoman 9/10/73 -- emphasis added).
Dr. Henry Kissinger is a political survivor. Her continues on to pursue the "cruel road to peace" at the expense of singular nationalism, biblical morality; and God's standard for human government. The odds are fantastically high as to preclude his present status as having been arrived at through chance.
Therefore, if not by chance, it must be by design. Whose design? The CFR has a plan for a One World Order. The Devil pursued his plan to exalt his throne above the stars of God. God has a plan to bring all nations into Israel at the battle of Armageddon. God's plan includes ruling "... in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth over it the basest of men" (Daniel 4:17).
Is Spying For A Democratic Ally The Same As Spying For A Totalitarian Regime?
Imagine it is 1940, and Great Britain is fighting Hitler's Nazi Germany almost alone. Imagine further that an American who loved both America and England and hated the Nazis worked in American Intelligence and had access to secret files concerning Germany that, for whatever reason, the United States had not shared with Great Britain. This American gave the secrets to England and was caught.
This spy had, of course, violated both American law and the trust that its intelligence agencies had placed in him. Now, the question is what should be done to him? Specifically, should we regard him morally or legally as the same as an American who spied for Germany?
The answer is so obvious that only in a morally confused age such as ours would the question even be entertained. Yet this is precisely the question to be asked with regard to Jonathan Pollard, the American who spied for Israel.
Let us review the parallels to the imaginary situation outlined earlier. Israel has been at perpetual war for its survival (a threat that England never faced against Germany, which wanted to vanquish, not end, its existence). An American who loved both America and Israel, used his access to American intelligence on those Arab regimes and passed it on to Israel. He spied on behalf of America's most loyal allies, not on behalf of any of America's enemies, and he gave away secrets about Arab regimes devoted to Israel's destruction not, to the best of our knowledge, about America. And, unlike spies whose espionage cost the lives of American and pro-American foreign agents, we know of no American and pro-American foreigner who lost his life because of Pollard.
Yet Jonathan Pollard was given a life sentence in prison - more punishment than some Americans who have spied on behalf of America's enemies, and certainly more punishment that nearly all the murderers in America; and he has now languished in prison, often in solitary confinement, for 12 years.
The argument that Pollard was a spy, and that is all that matters, may be legally valid, but it is not morally valid. The argument that "spying is spying" is no more moral than "killing is killing". Circumstances always determine the morality of an act. Just as most of us distinguish morally between terrorists killing innocents and anti-terrorists killing terrorists, most of us morally distinguish between spying on a democratic ally, especially one fighting for its existence, and spying for an anti-democratic enemy such as the Soviet Union. Furthermore, the United States spies on Israel and probably on most of its other allies.
Last year, for example, Germany expelled an American for spying on Germany.
None of this is meant to defend what Jonathan Pollard did. Unless he actually saved Israel from something as awful as an Iraqi biological or nuclear attack what he did is unjustifiable. As Rabbi Irving Greenberg recently wrote, "Pollard's good intentions paved the way to political hell." I am writing only to morally evaluate what he did in light of the suffering he has endured, and to compare his punishments with those given to other American spies and to violent criminals.
He is largely a broken man who suffers alone, and who, for reasons that are not our business but that compel our compassion, has also suffered family crises. His continued suffering serves no good purpose. Again as Rabbi Greenberg, one of the most credible voices in American Jewry, and someone for who, in his own words, "was not one of those who expressed sympathy for him when the case first broke," wrote, "I have come to the conclusion that enough is enough...It is time to extend mercy to Jonathan Pollard .... (There has been a) relentless parade of parallel cases in which far more damaging and dangerous spies received milder sentences."
We quickly learn of the damage done to America by those who have spied on behalf of America's enemies, and no damage has been revealed in Jonathan Pollard's case. It makes one wonder why former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger so vociferously sought to keep Pollard in prison. Two reasons suggest themselves. One is that, for whatever reason, Mr.Weinberger has a particular loathing for Pollard; the other is that he may fear that if Pollard is released, Pollard will reveal how much sensitive data about Israel's enemies the Weinberger Defense Department kept from Israel. I have no proof for either claim - I hope they are untrue. But neither Mr. Weinberger nor anyone else, including the entire American Media has offered any data that argue for the treatment Pollard has received.
Enough is enough. As I watch America release thousands of murderers and child molesters after a few years in prison, and give a spy for Saudi Arabia no prison term at all, I get progressively more disturbed and curious as to why Jonathan Pollard is still in prison.
Justice for Jonathan Pollard
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