Israel Supreme Court Expresses "Confidence" in Barak
Media Release - February 6, 2000
The Supreme Court of Israel today expressed its complete confidence in
the Government of Ehud Barak to secure the release of Jonathan Pollard
in the very near future, and excused itself from ruling on the other
issues in Pollard's petition.
Justice Michael Chesin read the decision of the Court:
"The Court believes that the Government will fulfill its obligations to
take care of the needs of the petitioner, and do what is necessary to
secure his release from prison. The Court shares in the hope that the
Government's way will be successful and that the petitioner will be
freed from prison in the very near future. Along with that, from a legal
standpoint, the Court does not see fit to intervene in the action being
taken or planned by the Government in this case. Accordingly, our
decision is to reject the (Pollard) petition."
Pollard's attorneys call the Court's confidence "baseless" and the
decision "troubling" not only for Jonathan Pollard, but for all those
who serve the State. They point to a documented history of negligence
and breach of promise on the part of the Government of Ehud Barak, that
the Court seems simply to have ignored.
Pollard's lead attorney Larry Dub, pointed out that ever since Ehud
Barak took power, Jonathan Pollard and his representatives have been
completely cut off from all contact with the Government. "In all this
time, the Government has not made any attempt to fulfill any of its
obligations to Jonathan Pollard - legal, moral, financial or medical,"
said Dub. As for seeking his release, Dub said, "The statements of the
new Israeli Ambassador to Washington, David Ivri, that he knows of no
new initiative for Pollard, nor of any plan to help Pollard at all, have
been simply dismissed." Dub added, "It is puzzling to consider on what
- other than wishful thinking - the Court is basing its confidence."
Pollard's attorney Baruch Ben-Yosef noted that, "While both the Court
and the Government affirm Jonathan Pollard's legal rights as an Israeli
agent, the Court is not willing to provide the legal framework to ensure
that the Government does more than pay lip service to its obligations."
Ben-Yosef said that the Court in fact affirmed the validity of the
issues raised in the Pollard petition but suggested that the case be
pursued in other legal forums. "This," he said, " is tantamount to the
Court simply ducking the issues."
Dub and Ben-Yosef plan to confer with Jonathan Pollard to formulate the
next legal steps to be taken in the case.
Jonathan Pollard's wife, Esther, who attended the Court proceedings on
behalf of her husband, said that she was deeply dismayed by the Court's
cavalier attitude towards her husband's plight and its unwillingness to
intervene to protect the legal rights of an Israeli agent.