Esther Pollard's response to The Wall Street Journal article of January 25, 1996

January 27, 1996

Equal justice is the issue that lies at the heart of the Pollard case. Jonathan Pollard is currently serving his 11th year of a life sentence for one count of passing classified information to an ally. This is the longest sentence is the history of the United States ever meted out to anyone convicted of a similar offence; the median being 2 to 4 years. This sentence was the result of a broken plea agreement and the interference of (former) Secretary of Defence Caspar Weinberger. Pollard was sentenced at a closed hearing, with the proceedings shrouded under a veil of secrecy.

For 10 years American officials have continued to hide behind that veil of secrecy,

alleging via the media

that Jonathan Pollard did serious harm to U.S. national security. What is never pointed out in the media is that

Jonathan Pollard has never been indicted for any of these unsubstantiated allegations

, nor will he ever be indicted.

In more than 10 years, America has failed to produce one shred of hard evidence that Jonathan Pollard's activities harmed the United States. In the meantime, the CIA has been totally discredited; Casper Weinberg, himself, required a presidential pardon; master spy Aldrich Ames has been found guilty of those crimes that Jonathan was alleged to have committed, and the Gulf War has come and gone, showing America's immediate role in arming Iraq and making it clear to the layman why Jonathan Pollard risked his life to warn Israel.

The fight for Jonathan Pollard's freedom is the fight to restore the principle of equal justice to the American system of justice. It is the fight to guarantee equal treatment for all citizens before the law.

Equally critical, the fight for Jonathan Pollard's freedom is the fight to re-establish America's credibility as a reliable ally and an "honest broker" in negotiating peace in the Middle East.

Compare and contrast the extraordinary sensitivity recently shown by the United States to another of its allies, Saudi Arabia, when it declined to pursue charges against Lt. Cmdr. Michael Schwartz. Schwartz (a non-Jew), was an officer in the U.S. Navy, who, for two years, spied for the Saudis. Schwartz, who confessed and was indicted, will never stand trial nor will he ever serve a day in prison. The United States dropped criminal proceedings after Schwartz "agreed" to accept the "punishment" of being discharged from the navy with loss of rank and Navy pension. This, in spite of the recommendation of an official Navy investigator that Schwartz be brought to trial for serious crimes he had committed on behalf of the Saudis.

In the face of what clearly appears to be a double standard of treatment of allies, how can America be relied upon to act as an honest broker in delicate and dangerous peace negotiations? Moreover, an ironic footnote is not lost on some: Pollard's own offence 10 years ago was the direct result of an undeclared American intelligence embargo of Israel!

There is massive popular support for Jonathan Pollard's release, not only in Israel but also in the United States, of which President Clinton is well aware. The President has more than overwhelming grounds to commute Jonathan Pollard's sentence immediately to time served, including a broken plea agreement; a grossly disproportionate sentence; Pollard's deep remorse; a discredited American intelligence community; clear evidence that Jonathan Pollard was scapegoated by the traitor, Ames; a last request of the late Prime Minister Yizhak Rabin. And the fact that the United States is required to administer, and Israel has the right to demand,

equal justice for all its citizens!

In spite of the disinformation that dogs the Pollard case, it is a matter of record that Jonathan Pollard has expressed deep remorse for his actions - both orally and in writing - on many occasions, beginning on the day, 10 years ago, when he was sentenced.

Israel has made Jonathan Pollard a citizen and accepts full responsibility for him and his actions, now and in the future. Between close friends and reliable allies, that should be enough.