Response to The Jerusalem Report Cover Story
The Jerusalem Report cover story, "Pollard's Chance for Freedom" (October 19, 1995), is riddled with distortions, errors and omissions. Following are several examples.
(Statements from the Jerusalem Report appear in quotations marks and italics.)
"...Pollard will have to convincingly express remorse for his activities. And it is by no means certain that (he)...will be willing to do so."
Fact: Jonathan Pollard's remorse is a matter of record. At sentencing he provided a detailed statement of remorse and he has reiterated that statement both verbally and in writing on numerous occasions since. This statement forms part of the official documentation of his parole file.
The remorse issue continues to be exploited as an opportunity by some to keep moving the goal posts, and as an excuse by others to withhold support, since no expression of remorse is ever enough.
"To his wife, Esther, a hero is precisely what he is, and she thinks his heroism should be shouted from the rooftops."
Fact: Jonathan's "heroism" is irrelevant to the case and to all discussion of it. Therefore, neither he nor his wife has ever consented publicly to discuss it beyond the statement that "Jonathan does not see himself as a hero."
Like the "remorse" issue, the "heroism" issue is a smokescreen used to distract attention from the true issue of the case, namely,
equal justice for all under the law.
"An impressive performance by Pollard when he finally appears before the parole board may well hold the key to his winning presidential clemency."
Fact: The parole board's function is strictly to review the material and recommendations in the parole file and and to arrive at a decision on that basis. The hearing is not an audition and "performance" plays no role, no matter how impressive.
"Pollard has twice postponed pre-parole appearances."
Fact: There is no such thing as a "pre-parole hearing". The concept is pure fiction.
"... the latest strategics pursed by...wife Esther Zeitz-Pollard may have put the parole board in even less of a mood to be understanding."
Fact: The parole commission is an independent body unaffected by the actions or statements of outsiders. Its decisions are based exclusively on the weight of official documents in the parole file. Public statements and private letters of support do not form part of the parole file.
"Then-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger characterized his (Pollard's) crime as 'treason'."
Fact: The American government formally apologized during the appellate court hearings. The U.S. attorney admitted Caspar Weinberger's use of this word was inappropriate, and called it "regrettable".
"The bid for citizenship was ill-advised ... There's a contradiction in terms between expressing remorse and seeking the citizenship of the country you were spying for."
Fact: There is no contradiction in terms between saying "I am sorry for what I did" and trying to save your own life. As previously stated, Jonathan Pollard's remorse is a matter of record. Israeli citizenship is a means towards effecting his release - a means that has been so carefully considered that it has been endorsed by a virtual majority of eligible Knesset members. Jonathan and Esther Pollard remain committed to securing Israeli citizenship and to pursuing the matter in Supreme Court.
"Explaining his new dependence on his second wife ... (the Pollards) say the long years of isolation have made him "emotionally fragile"."
Fact: Calling Jonathan Pollard "dependent" or "emotionally fragile" flies in the face of the findings of the Justice department. Their latest (September 5, 1995) report by Dr. Jim Hilkey, head of the department of Psychology at F.C.I. Butner (and recently cited by the Hebrew News Daily Ma'ariv), describes Jonathan Pollard as fully in command of his situation and his environment, with a well-rounded emotional affect, and quite brilliant in analytical ability and expression.
"Pollard calls these kind of comments (about his wife) 'cruel attacks...designed to hurt me'."
Fact: The demonization of Jonathan Pollard's wife by attributing false quotes to her and making false allegations about her will not stop Jonathan Pollard from speaking out through his wife. To quote Mrs. Pollard, "Our only goal is to tell the truth. If the truth is less pleasant than some would prefer, then remember that Jonathan's day-to-day reality, for the past ten years, is far less pleasant and certainly far more painful than any ordinary person could bear."
The issue of
equal justice under the law is the central issue at the heart of the Pollard case. Jonathan Pollard received "a grossly disproportionate sentence" (as it was termed by the international association of Jewish lawyers and jurists, comprised of 300 lawyers and jurists from 22 countries). The issue was not addressed at al in the article "Pollard's Chance for Freedom".
The role that the Jewish media played in this case bears careful scrutiny. Far too often, certain Jewish publications have printed in a manner that is unprofessional and unethical. They have played up the more sensational, irrelevant aspects of the case while obscuring and distorting the true issues and facts. This kind of self-serving press has seriously undermined Jonathan Pollard's fight for his life.