An Overview of the Pollard Petition to Supreme Court
Pollard Sues Barak for Protection and Release of Documents
Yated Ne'eman - September 9, 1999
In a lawsuit brought before the Israeli Supreme Court (filed Sept. 7,
1999), lawyers for Jonathan Pollard accuse Prime Minister Ehud Barak and the State of Israel of
withholding documents that could aid in securing Pollard's release from a
federal prison in North Carolina. The documents referred to in the
lawsuit are in Pollard's file at the Israeli Defense Ministry. Pollard
obtained them while spying for Israel, using his access to American secrets
as a civilian intelligence analyst for the United States Navy.
Pollard contends that the
documents show the United States to be an unreliable ally to Israeli and
Syria to be an untrustworthy negotiating partner. Pollard was caught and
convicted of spying for Israel in 1985 and has served 14 years of a life
sentence in federal prisons.
Pollard's attorney also petitioned the Supreme Court to compel Barak to
fulfill the commitments made by his predecessor, Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu, to obtain Pollard's release and to see to all his medical and
Pollard's attorney claims that his Defense Ministry file contains a
detailed list of all the documents he supplied to Israel while working as a
spy. Pollard contends that the documents will prove that accusations by the
U.S. security establishment that he passed on to Israel information harmful
to U.S. national security are false.
Pollard's attorneys, Larry Dubb and Baruch Ben Yosef, say that the Israeli
Defense Ministry and intelligence agencies refuse to release the documents
because they reveal that the U.S. knowingly concealed information from
Israel concerning Syrian violations of the 1974 disengagement agreement
through 1984. According to Pollard, the same documents show that the U.S.
withheld information on Syrian war plans against Israeli positions on the
Golan, plans that specifically detailed planned chemical attacks on Israeli
civilian and military targets.
Pollard also claims that, when they are released, the Defense Ministry
documents will reveal for first time the names of Israelis who are trying
to undermine efforts to obtain his release.
Two years ago, following a previous lawsuit filed by Pollard's attorneys
in the Supreme Court, then-prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu officially
acknowledged that Pollard was an Israeli agent. Pollard claims, however,
that since taking office, Prime Minister Ehud Barak has completely violated
all of Israel's legal and moral obligations to Pollard, cut off all contact
with Pollard, and refused to meet with Pollard's wife or attorneys. Pollard
also accuses Barak of ignoring the government's financial
obigations to him, including the payment of his legal fees the securing of
adequate medical attention.
Pollard condemns Barak for referring to his case as "an internal American
problem, best left for American internal deliberation," during the prime
minister's visit this summer to the U.S. Pollard claims that Barak has
ignored his officially recognized status as an Israeli government agent and
his right to protection by Israel according to the rules of government
procedure in security matters.
Critics of Barak's attitude note that as recently as 1997 Israel went to
great lengths, including the release of the founder of Hamas from an
Israeli jail, to secure the release of two of its agents after a botched
assassination attempt on a Hamas official in Amman, Jordan. They argue that
Pollard, as an acknowledged Israeli agent, deserves an equally earnest
effort on the part of the Israeli government to secure his freedom. They
also point out that Pollard's harsh sentence may well be due to the fact
that he was wrongly accused of responsibility for serious American security
breaches that were really the caused by a highly-placed Soviet mole in the
CIA, Aldrich Ames, who was in a position to shift the blame for his own misdeeds to Pollard after Pollard was arrested.
See also: The Facts Of The Pollard Case