Pollard Appeals to Israel Court
April 30, 1997 - Gwen Ackerman - The Jerusalem Post
JERUSALEM (AP) -- Convicted spy Jonathan Pollard petitioned the
Supreme Court today to force Israel to recognize him as an Israeli
agent and step up efforts to win his release from an American jail.
"We hope to light a fire under the Israeli government to
fulfill their commitments and their promises to Jonathan Pollard,''
his lawyer, Larry Dub, told The Associated Press.
Pollard, 42, a former U.S. Navy analyst, is serving a life
sentence for passing U.S. military secrets to Israel. The former
South Bend resident has been in jail in the United States since
Pollard's wife Esther told Israel's army radio that Israel has
not done enough to release her husband, who is suffering from
arthritis and developing glaucoma.
"He has been sitting there for 12 years. There has been no
progress. The situation is one of helplessness. They promise and do
nothing,'' she said.
Pollard's appeal asks the court to order Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu to publicly name Pollard as an Israeli agent and specify
what is being done to get him released.
Netanyahu said in a statement today that he has worked for years
to win Pollard's release and brings up the subject during every
visit to Washington and at every meeting with U.S. administration
"The prime minister will continue to do all he can to bring
Jonathan Pollard to Israel,'' the statement said.
Pollard's petition also accuses the Israeli government of
"breach of promise'' for refusing to continue funding Pollard's
defense and supporting his wife, Dub said.
"We hope that the result of filing this appeal will be that the
government will take his case more seriously and will fulfill
commitments to bring about the release and to discuss his release
with the American officials at every opportunity,'' Dub said.
Pollard is currently being held at the Federal Correctional
Institution in Butner, N.C. President Clinton rejected a clemency
plea by Pollard in July 1996, citing the enormity of Pollard's
crime, his lack of remorse and the damage he caused U.S. security.
Before his election, Netanyahu promised Mrs. Pollard he would
prod the Americans to free her husband. But Mrs. Pollard said the
prime minister has disappointed her.
In trips to the United States and in meetings with Clinton, "he
didn't even whisper his name,'' she said. "When we asked his
advisers they said it is not the right time. It is never the right
time to talk about Jonathan Pollard.''
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