Why Esther and Jonathan Pollard Will Have Nothing To Do With The Forward (N.Y.)

February 29, 1997

The following letter, sent to The Forward on January 26, 1997, makes it clear why Esther and Jonathan Pollard will have nothing to do with The Forward:

Regarding your ongoing attempts to reach Mrs. Pollard in order to explain what you termed the Pollard's "misperception" of the The Forward's handling of the Pollard case, I have been asked to convey the following message to you:

According to our documented file, over the years The Forward has been consistently irresponsible in their presentation of the Pollard case. The tone of articles has ranged from sarcastic to downright insulting. The choice of subject matter has consistently been towards the irrelevant, the distractions, the side issues and the gossipy type, yellow tabloid journalism, unworthy of a serious newspaper.

Major issues of the case, such as the equal justice issue, equal treatment of Israel as an ally, the U.S. Government's withholding classified information, the double standard of justice as witnessed by the Schwartz case and other cases, have been consistently ignored in favor of the former irrelevant above-named issues.

Front-page treatment of Rabbi Balkany's unauthorized, unwarranted intrusion into the Pollard case; Doug Feidan's mean-spirited personal attacks through spurious and false issues on the Pollards themselves; and editorials that presume to sit in judgment on Jonathan Pollard's agony in prison by declaring "unmanly" his response to life-threatening prison conditions, are all documented in our files and have hardly been misperceived, neither by the Pollards nor by your readership.

Some two years have elapsed since your editor, Lucette Lagnado, contacted Mrs. Pollard and engaged her on the telephone for some 90 minutes. Mrs. Pollard has kept extensive notes of that conversation. At the end of that conversation, Ms. Lagnado apologized for her own and the newspaper's mean-spirited and unprofessional treatment of the case, and promised to redress in print the wrong committed by The Forward against Mr. and Mrs. Pollard and the harm done to his case.

Ms. Lagnado promised to be back in touch with Mrs. Pollard in a matter of days. She never called, nor did she respond to Mrs. Pollard's repeated attempts to make contact.

Therefore, in light of the foregoing, any contact you wish to make with Mr. and Mrs. Pollard should be made,

in writing

, though this office. The Pollards' level of confidence in The Forward and its staff is so low, that any communication to be taken seriously will require written endorsement of the editor in chief.

Under these conditions, I will be happy to pass along your communications to Mr. and Mrs. Pollard.

Nomi Winkler
For: Justice for Jonathan Pollard

  • See also: Jonathan Pollard on "Reciprocity For Jonathan Pollard"