Pollard Lawyer: Truth Could Embarrass Government

December 19, 1997 - Herb Keinon - The Jerusalem Post

Jonathan Pollard's well publicized rebuke of Foreign Minister David Levy was not directed at Levy personally, but at the Foreign Ministry in general, his Jerusalem lawyer, Larry Dub, said yesterday.

"For 13 years Jonathan is sitting in prison, about an hour from Washington, and nobody from the embassy has seen fit to visit him, ask he if wants a bar of soap, a newspaper, anything," Dub said. "It takes ministers from Jerusalem to come and visit. It seems kind of strange."

During a meeting with Communications Minister Limor Livnat on Wednesday, Pollard - angry at reports that the Foreign Ministry was discouraging Israeli officials from visiting him - likened Levy to the "idiot" who built the bridge that collapsed at the Maccabiah Games last summer.

Dub said that recent visits by Livnat and Absorption Minister Yuli Edelstein to Pollard in prison, as well as a letter to Pollard sent by Labor and Social Affairs Minister Eli Yishai, are not indicative of any policy change on the Pollard affair, but were done at the ministers' initiative. Livnat also brought a letter to Pollard from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanayhu.

Dub alleged that the government is lying by saying that it has to work quietly to obtain Pollard's release, that Pollard was part of a rogue spy operation, and that he has never expressed remorse.

The government, Dub maintained, still has not claimed responsibility for Pollard.

Pollard, a former US navy analyst, was arrested in November 1985 and sentenced later to life in prison for spying for Israel.

A petition is pending before the High Court of Justice which seeks to force the government to recognize Pollard as an Israeli agent. The three-justice panel has scheduled another session on the petition for next month.

Dub said he is convinced Pollard will not win freedom until Israel publicly recognizes that he worked as an agent for the government.

A Foreign Ministry official said yesterday that although its policy has been to try and win Pollard's release through "quiet channels," away from media attention, the ministry is not opposed to high-profile meetings with Pollard.

Following the visits by Edelstein and Livnat, the official said, it is safe to assume that Pollard's prison in North Carolina will become a pilgrimage site for other Israeli dignitaries. "We have no objections," the official said.

In a recorded conversation released by his wife in October, Pollard alleged Israel's policy toward him was "burying me alive."

"They [Israel] want me here for as long as they [the US authorities] bloody well keep me here. If I die here, the truth will die with me," Pollard added at the time.

Dub contended there are officials in the Foreign and Defense ministries who would end up with "egg on their faces" if lies about the affair were ever exposed.

  • See Also: Foreign Ministry Officials: Visits to Pollard 'Harmful'