Response to "Not Forgiven, Not Forgotten", The Jerusalem Post: September 6, 1996
September 1, 1996 - Esther Pollard - Jerusalem
The above feature article by Steve Rodan, (August 30, 1996) has the unfortunate distinction of being one of the most damaging articles to appear on the Pollard case since my husband, Jonathan Pollard, was arrested 11 years ago.
Mr. Rodan has arduously collected all the old lies and allegations that were used against Jonathan Pollard then, and has presented them in quotes, unchallenged, leaving the impression that they are facts.
Unsubstantiated allegations are not facts! Here are some of the facts that Mr. Rodan did not present:
After 9 months of intensive polygraphing, the F.B.I. concluded that Jonathan Pollard is "an ideologue". He did not act (as the article suggests) for "fun and profit", but out of deep conviction.
No "Financial Benefit"
Jonathan Pollard did not derive financial benefit from his activities on behalf of Israel. This fact was recognized by the sentencing judge, who accepting the F.B.I. polygraph results and imposed no monetary fine - as is standard procedure in cases where there has been a financial gain.
Legally, "treason" refers to aiding or abetting an enemy state. Israel is an ally not an enemy. Jonathan Pollard did not commit treason, nor was he ever charged on that count.
Only "On Behalf of Israel"
Again, in concurrence with the results of intensive F.B.I. polygraphing, Jonathan Pollard was charged
only with acting "on behalf of Israel" and not
against the United States.
Jonathan Pollard never had a trial. He was sentenced at a closed hearing. The sentence meted out at a closed hearing cannot be appealed.
Broken Plea Agreement
Jonathan Pollard waived the right to a trial in return for a plea agreement which the American Government subsequently violated on every point, including the sentence. (Who plea bargains for a life sentence?!)
Jonathan Pollard tried to appeal on the basis of the broken plea agreement. The appeal was rejected
on a technicality (that it had not been filed on time). Justice Steven Williams wrote a minority opinion, castigating the decision do deny relief in a case which he described as
"a complete and gross miscarriage of justice".
The International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists consisting of 300 members from 22 countries concluded that the sentence meted out to Jonathan Pollard is "grossly disproportionate when compared with others who committed similar offenses, and even in comparison to sentences of those who committed much more serious offenses."
This issue was not addressed at all in the article.
Harming the U.S.
Jonathan Pollard was never indicted for harming the United States, nor will he ever be because there isn't a shred of evidence to support such a charge. Exaggerated allegations of damage that have been bandied about in the press are not support by (non-classified) legally documented accounts, such as the "Victim Impact Statement" which is a key document in Jonathan's "Presentencing Interview".
Jonathan Pollard does not have any information that is of any value to anyone today. In an age of electronic media, the mere suggestion that stale, out-dated information, 11 years old, has any value today is laughable.
No "Desire for Publicity"
After 11 years of living under a microscope, Jonathan Pollard wishes only to lead a quiet, private life as a productive citizen. He has signed legal documents to this effect.
The State of Israel has given Jonathan Pollard citizenship and has accepted full responsibility for him, now and in the future. As America's closest, most reliable ally in the Middle East, that ought to be enough.
The foregoing are some of the more striking facts which ought to have been presented as a counterbalance to the allegations Mr. Rodan served up in quotes. It is puzzling that he did not seek or present counter quotes from knowledgeable sources.
Jonathan Pollard is fighting for his life. In quoting unnamed Israeli government sources, Mr. Rodan hides behind a veil of anonymity which both undermines my husband's fight for his life and raises serious ethical questions about credibility.
It is also troubling that, in lending legitimacy to unauthorized, self-appointed spokespersons - long since removed from the case - Mr. Rodan undermines the legitimate activities carried out by Jonathan Pollard's authorized spokespersons - his attorney, Larry Dub, and his wife, Esther Pollard.
Perhaps most disturbing of all is the timing of this article. It is indeed disturbing that such a damaging article should be published on the eve of the Prime Minister's departure for Washington; and upon the heels of Prime Minister Netanyahu's strong public commitment to me and to HaRav Mordechai Eliahu to seek Jonathan Pollard's immediate release.
It is not clear what purpose this article was meant to serve. But what is clear is that it does not serve the purpose of truth.