Charley Levine Responds to Pollard's Sister

November 17, 1995 - The Jewish Press

I regret upsetting Jonathan Pollard's sister, but I don't feel that her mean-spirited letter to your newspaper had any basis in fact or contributed anything to her brother's release.

Basically she implied I was a Johny-come-lately to the cause (not true, but why wouldn't she welcome me if it were true?); [that] I was seeking fat fees for my involvement; and generally impugned my "compassion and integrity" for what can only be the most mysterious of motivations.

Lady, if this is how you treat people you have


met who are only trying to help your brother, then I have my doubts about your own efficacy in this cause. Here are the facts:

1. I was one of the first sympathetic commentators on Jonathan's treatment, circulating a controversial newsletter through the WZO in the U.S. to top Jewish leaders - within a month of the story's breaking. I received favourable feedback on that from both Jonathan, with whom I have stayed in correspondence over the years, and from your father. In fact, my weekly poker game sent Jonathan a certificate making him an honorary member of our club; we only pray that he will be able to join us soon!
2. Shortly thereafter, I voluntarily helped orchestrate a non-violent disruption of the World Zionist Congress, during then Prime Minister Yizhak Shamir's speech, making the point that all Zionists must demand Jonathan's release now.

3. I have helped local supporters in Israel whenever possible and organized numerous public efforts by people like Rabbi Avi Weiss which attracted significant positive media attention in Israel and the U.S. press.

4. I have voluntarily assisted both Anne Pollard and Esther Zeitz Pollard in Israel for the past three years, contributing untold hours of


professional assistance,


office facilities,


staff support and


PR expertise.

As part of this ongoing commitment, I wrote the article which The Jewish Press and other recently published calling for a new direction to the campaign. I didn't mean to ruffle any feathers, but perhaps one of the reasons that Jonathan has removed his sister from his "authorized call list" in prison is that she has flailed out at one too many individuals who are only trying to do their best to contribute something to his release. I am pleased that Carol feels that "100% of what needs to be done has been done" over the years, but she is missing something ...

he is still in jail, so we must not have done the right things yet.

Carol, I have never met you, and I honestly don't remember that we never had a conversation. In any event, it should be pretty clear to any well-meaning person that everyone genuinely interested in freeing Jonathan Pollard should cease and desist from attacking him, his wife or anyone else involved in the effort - and concentrate on pressuring the powers-that-be in Washington, D.C. and Jerusalem to free him from jail. In short, leave the bitterness and recriminations aside, Carol, and try to welcome everyone who wants to help in this compelling effort.