A Sad Day For Israel When An Agent Has To Sue

Yated Ne'eman - September 8, 1999
[Translated from Hebrew]


- "If Ehud Barak doesn't understand that it is his responsibility to secure the release of Jonathan Pollard then the Supreme Court will force him to accept that responsibility nonetheless," said Esther Pollard, the wife of Jonathan Pollard, yesterday after his petition against P.M. Ehud Barak was filed in Israeli Supreme Court.

In the petition, Pollard asks, through his attorney, Larry Dub, that the court order P.M. Ehud Barak to explain why he has not taken any steps to secure Pollard's release, and why as an Israeli agent Pollard is not receiving any help whatsoever with health issues or monetary expenses.

Attached to the petition is a copy of a letter signed by the Prime Minister's legal counsel Shimon Stein, and dated May 11, 1998 which reads:

"Jonathan Pollard was an Israeli agent who was handled by high-ranking Israeli officials in an Israeli authorized bureau - LAKAM. In light of this fact, the State of Israel acknowledges its obligation to Mr. Pollard and is ready to assume full responsibility accordingly."

As well, a copy of a personal handwritten letter from former Prime Minister Netanyahu to Pollard, assuring him that he will be taken care of and committing the State to working for his immediate release, is attached to the petition.

In the petition Dub states that ever since Barak took office, Pollard's fight for freedom has been badly damaged. This is especially so after Barak's recent statements on his last trip to the United States where he referred to Pollard as "an American internal problem". According to the petition all contact with Pollard has been cut off, including visits from the Embassy. Barak has refused to meet with Pollard's wife or attorney, and has also refused to update his attorney.

"Israel agreed to free 750 security prisoners because Netanyahu was given a solid commitment by Clinton that Pollard would be released and returned to Israel. Then Barak cut Pollard loose and unlinked him from the peace process. Barak is now going to pay the price (for Pollard) and won't get anything in return. Does that make any sense?," asked Mrs. Pollard. She stated that as she sees it, "It is a sad day in the history of the State of Israel, when for the first time, an Israeli agent has to sue the Prime Minster in order to save his life."

Mrs. Pollard said, "The time has come for the Israeli people to understand that we are not talking about some humanitarian effort on behalf of some private individual, but rather we are talking about saving the life of an Israeli agent." She compared the speed with which Israel had recently secured the release of agents in Jordan (days), in Switzerland (weeks) and in Cyprus (months) as compared to the 14 years her husband has sat in prison in the U.S. with no end in sight. "They tell us that they are still working on it," Esther Pollard said bitterly.