Setting The Toronto Star Straight On The Facts

Re: "Spy Stores a Matter of Perspective", The Toronto Star, October 24, 1996

To: The Editor
The Toronto Star

When Martin Cohn fails to mention that Mordechai Vanunu received an


sentence for committing


against Israel, as opposed to Jonathan Pollard's

life sentence without parole

for the lesser charge of


, the credibility of his whole article is destroyed.

It would seem that failure to mention such as gross disparity in sentencing is a deliberate omission. Mr. Cohn also misrepresents the rest of the facts with regard to my husband's case. I would like to set the record straight with regard to the following:

Jonathan Pollard did not commit treason

, nor was he ever charged or indicted on this count (unlike Vanunu, who was).

Jonathan Pollard was not a "paid spy"

, as Cohn indicated. Nine months of polygraphing by the FBI proved conclusively that Jonathan Pollard was an


, and this fact was recognized by the sentencing judge.

Not only does Cohn fail to point out the gross disparity between my husband's sentence and Vanunu's, but also that

Jonathan Pollard' sentence is grossly disproportionate when compared with any other American in the history of the United States charged with a similar offense.

The median sentence in the United States for the one count of passing classified information to an ally, which was the charge against my husband, is

two to four years.

No one in the history of the U.S. has ever before received a life sentence for spying for an ally!

Indeed, in the recent case of Michael Schwartz, an American non-Jew caught spying for Saudi Arabia, the case was dismissed even after the man was indicted and about to stand trial, rather than risk offending the sensibilities of their Saudi allies. Compare and contrast this with Jonathan Pollard, indicted on the same charges as Schwartz, who is now in his 12th year of a life sentence without parole.

Another point Mr. Cohn fails to mention is that

Jonathan Pollard never had a trial.

He received his sentence at a closed hearing as a result of a broken plea agreement with the American Government. Twelve years later the American Government still hides behind a veil of secrecy and refuses to explain or justify the grossly disproportionate sentence Jonathan received, or the harsh and unusual circumstances of his incarceration.

And, of course, Mr. Cohn never does mention that Mr. Vanunu


Israel's nuclear secrets to the highest bidder - a British newspaper!

Last but not least, Mr. Cohn never addresses the reason why my husband, Jonathan Pollard, risked his life to help Israel. Namely that certain elements within

the America Administration were willfully violating a bilateral agreement to share vital security information with Israel

which threatened the very existence of the State of Israel.


Esther Pollard
Mrs. Jonathan Pollard