Why Pollard Won't Compromise On The Truth

April 16, 1998 - Media Release

The following letter recently sent to a prominent Israeli government official by Jonathan Pollard provides an insider's view and a quick understanding of recent events. Pollard is refusing to compromise on the truth. Here's why:

Dear Limor,

Allow me to preface with my thanks and my profound apology. I am deeply grateful for your on-going support and for the commitment of Prime Minister Netanyahu to securing my release.

I am profoundly sorry if in any of my recent words or deeds you have found reason to take offense. As you surely realize, no offense was ever intended to you, to the Government, to the Prime Minister and certainly not to the Likud Party itself. Limor, I feel certain that if you allow me to review the facts with you, you will see that your anger is being directed at the wrong target.

  1. Limor, the only hope I have of getting out of prison is if the Government of Israel tells the truth. The truth is that I was an agent of the Government of Israel in a sanctioned operation.

    This is not about your honor, or about mine.

    It is simply the only way that the Americans will ever release me.

    Why? As long as Israel goes on lying about her role in the affair, the United States will go on lying about its reasons for keeping me here.

  2. The government's offer to recognize me as an agent in a rogue operation was a disingenuous attempt to appease public opinion.

    It is the American administration that needs convincing, not public opinion.

    And since the American administration knows full well that this is not the truth, that it was not a rogue operation, all that Israel is doing is to antagonize them even more.

  3. If the Israeli Government took flack for this bogus offer of recognition in the media, please remember

    1. the strong public reaction occurred because the government is still not telling the truth
    2. it was your own attorney Shimon Stein whose office leaked this story to the press.

    All I did was to react to the news. And I reacted as any person would react to a life-threatening lie.

  4. Stein did not deal honorably with us.
    1. His divide-and-conquer tactics destroyed our trust
    2. Stein insisted on confidentiality and then blatantly broke confidentiality.
    3. Stein's office was responsible for leaking that bogus offer of recognition.

    Experience has taught me not to deal with people who prove themselves to be untrustworthy. For that reason I have instructed my attorney not to deal with Stein.

  5. With regard to yesterday's fiasco about the proposed letter to the US, please consider the following points:

    1. My wife tried desperately to avoid talking to the media. She placed an urgent call to Dani Naveh, who did not accept her phone call. She explained the urgency of her call, and was promised that Naveh would call her back shortly. The call from Naveh never came, but the calls from the media did.
    2. My first letter to Naveh was an attempt to work quietly and cooperatively with the government on this initiative precisely to ensure that it would succeed and not only secure my release, but also bring honor to the Prime Minister and to the Government.
    3. Right after I sent my letter to Naveh, I learned that the text of the proposed letter to the President had already been set.
    4. Once again I appealed privately to Dani Naveh by having my wife call him and by sending him a memo. Both appeals brought no response.
    5. Again the story was leaked to the media by someone inside the government. Again we had no choice but to respond.

    Limor, this whole fiasco could have been avoided if we had been consulted about the text of this letter. Forgive me Limor, but it is my neck that is in the noose, and the longer I sit in prison the tighter the noose is getting.

    Also, please bear in mind Limor that that the original outcry against this letter came from your own Likud government minister Arik Sharon.

    Had the letter acknowledged the truth, neither Arik Sharon nor I would have had any occasion to cry out in dismay.

  6. It is apparent to us that the Prime Minister has honorable intentions and that this Government is sincere in its desire to see me home.

If this government wishes to succeed where all previous governments have failed, it must not continue the same mistakes as its predecessors or continue the same policy of implausible deniability.

For example, consider the text of the letter that the Prime Minister proposed to send to Mr. Clinton:

What exactly did the Government attempt to accomplish by saying in this letter that there was no disagreement with the US on the harshness of my sentence or my cruel and unusual punishment?

As you are well aware Limor, no one in the history of the United States has ever gotten a life sentence for spying for an ally. The most recent cases got 0 years (Schwartz), and 1 year in a halfway house (Lee), respectively. The most eminent judges and lawyers have repeatedly gone on record calling my sentence "grossly disproportionate".

Only the Government of Israel, so fearful of offending the United States, endorses the lie that my punishment was somehow supposed to fit the crime. Why then should the US let me go?

The proposed text of the letter, gave the US every justification for continuing to keep me and not a single new reason to free me.

If the Government of Israel were to provide the US with the basis for freeing me by:

  1. acknowledging responsibility for me as an agent
  2. acknowledging that this was a sanctioned operation
  3. reassuring the US not only of my remorse but of Israel's apologies as well
  4. acknowledging that the sentence I received has been much harsher than is usual and that it is time to let me go and that Israel's 50th anniversary would be a fitting time to do so.
  5. offering to guarantee any conditions that the US might stipulate for my release and guaranteeing my good conduct

-then all of the old excuses that the US uses to keep me here would no longer be valid. Essentially the old excuses could not stand in the light of truth.

The US needs a way out of this dilemma just as much as Israel does.

As I told Minister Yishai, in our recent visit, fifty years ago our fight for independence was the struggle for physical independence from those powers that physically overwhelmed and controlled us. This Yom Ha'atzmaoot, the struggle is for our psychological independence, to break the bonds of fear that tie us to "the Empire" in ways that are self-destructive.

Limor, in seeking my release, both you and Yuli have shown an unwavering commitment to truth. If the Prime Minister will lead the cabinet down the same courageous path that the two of you have pointed out, we cannot fail and I will be home very soon.

Please Limor, direct your anger at the lies. Direct it at the fear that keeps those lies going. Direct it at the evil that keeps me here. But for Heaven's Sake, don't direct it at me - the one who 13 years later is still paying the price for the all the lies.

I dream of being with my brothers and sisters, this year, in our own land on Independence Day.

I dream of standing with you and Yuli and paying respect to the courageous individuals who took the initiative to bring this ordeal to an end.

I can see myself embracing our Prime Minister and thanking him publicly for the courage and leadership he has shown to make my freedom possible.

That is my dream. Now it is up to the Prime Minister and the Government, to make that dream come true.

You can do it. I know you can.

Yours truly,


c.c. Larry Dub Esq., Prime Minister Netanyahu, Relevant Cabinet Ministers, Cabinet Sec. Naveh

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