Pollard Says Israel Lets Him Rot In US Prison

International Herald Tribune - July 16, 1998


- Jonathan Pollard, an American Jew convicted of spying for Israel and jailed for life, accuses the Israeli government in comments broadcast on Wednesday (15/07/98) of abandoning him while his health deteriorates in an American jail.

"Nobody gives a damn that I am just dying by inches here," Mr. Pollard, 43, said in a tape played by his wife Esther on Tuesday to an Israeli parliamentary committee lobbying for his release.

"You think they care, Esther. They don't give a damn. I'm just a stinking North American zhid," Mr. Pollard said, using a slur for Jew.

"This charade must stop now," he said in the tape broadcast on Israel's army radio.

Israel in May admitted that Mr. Pollard, was its agent 13 years after he was convicted of passing information on Arab countries to Israel and jailed for life. He said that the United States had withheld the information from its ally.

Israeli Ministers have met Pollard in his North Carolina prison, and the government has pledged to work for his release. But Mr. Pollard's lawyer accused the government of foot-dragging.

"The government says that they are in negotiations with the Americans, but we don't see any support for that," said his attorney, Larry Dub. He said Pollard needed emergency surgery for nasal polyps.

The parliamentary committee plans to present President Bill Clinton with a petition signed by lawmakers across the political spectrum calling for Mr. Pollard's release.

  • See also: Statement of Cabinet Secretary Dani Naveh