Jonathan Pollard's Letter to President Katsav
October 10, 2000
To: President Moshe Katzav
From: Jonathan Pollard 09185-016
FCI Butner POB 1000
Butner North Carolina
[Delivery by Attorney Larry Dub at October 12, 2000
meeting with President Katsav at Beit Ha'Nasi]
Dear President Katsav,
In the mid 1990's, then-President Ezer Weizman summoned my brother Harvey
Pollard to a meeting at the president's mansion. Harvey is an American
doctor whose work in medical research is world renowned. Harvey described
his meeting with President Weizman to me and my wife Esther when he visited
with us in prison some months later.
President Weizman offered words of condolence to Harvey and said how
deeply he and his wife empathized with the "loss" of his brother,
Jonathan. The President spoke of the loss of his own son in a car
accident and said he appreciated how difficult it must be for Harvey and
the family to come to terms with my tragedy. He asked Harvey to convey
his sympathies to my parents. Weizman did not anticipate Harvey's indignant
response: "With all due respect, Mr. President, my brother Jonathan is
Weizman's attempt to convince my brother and my family to consider me
dead (G-d forbid) merely reflects the Israeli establishment position on
my case. Over the years my wife and I have had numerous confirmations from
highly-placed officials in both Israel and America, that my precipitous
death in prison (G-d forbid) was not only planned but eagerly anticipated
by both the Israeli and the American governments and a corrupt Defense/Intelligence
community that saw this as the most expedient solution to the "Pollard
In the same year, my wife Esther, unaware of Harvey's earlier meeting
with Weizman, also met with the President. Weizman at first welcomed Esther;
but within minutes he was verbally attacking her - in front of witnesses
- and threatening to throw her out. Why? Because Esther had been trying
to tell Weizman that I was being singled out for "special treatment", that
I virtually had no shoes, and that representatives had come from Israel
to tell me to kill myself. Weizman accused Esther of lying; but it
is clear that he knew she was telling the truth.
Suddenly, without warning, he changed directions, calmed himself, and
"promised to look into it." To show good faith, Weizman immediately
began to make phone calls to top Israeli Intelligence officials in Esther's
presence. But he again became enraged when they would not deny Esther's
A week later I received a visit from Israeli representatives, ostensibly
to check out Esther's story. The Israelis asked me about my shoes. I put
my feet up on the table and showed them my shoes, torn to tatters, with
gaping holes in the soles which flapped open as I raised my feet. The Israelis
responded by threatening me. They told me that if I did not silence my
wife she was going to be hurt. They threatened us both with death. These
threats were made in front of an American NSA agent. Later the death threats
were repeated by telephone. I reminded my Israeli threateners that the
line was being monitored. They did not seem to care. [The Israelis never
did help me to get new shoes...but thanks to my wife's persistence, an
American senator finally intervened and demanded that I be allowed
- like any other prisoner - to purchase new shoes in prison, without needing
special approval from Washington.]
I have since learned that President Weizman was a member of a special
committee appointed shortly after my arrest, not to rescue me but to manage
the case so that it would not interfere in relations with the United States.
Weizman was therefore always a part of the problem, not part of the solution.
Some time ago, through the Freedom of Information Act, I acquired documents
from the American government that show the direct involvement of Ehud Barak
in my case from the start of the operation. It is well known that as head
of Israeli Military Intelligence -AMAN- Barak signed off on
all of my tasking orders. We learned from the FOIA documents that Barak
held the first meetings with the Americans after my arrest and set the
tone for the next twelve years. He buried me alive as the Government of
Israel espoused a policy of "implausible deniability", lying so much about
the Israeli Government's involvement in my case that absolutely no one
in the American Administration believed them. Instead Israel's lies just
infuriated the Americans, who took their anger out on me.
I was forced to spend many years fighting the lies of the Israeli Government
in Israel's Supreme Court. With the the help of my wife Esther and my
attorney Larry Dub, I finally won Israeli citizenship in 1995, and recognition
as a bona fide Israeli agent in 1998. These gains have yet to be used by
the Government of Israel in any serious attempt to secure my release.
Two years after I won recognition as an Israeli agent, you took over
as President of the State of Israel. Everyone wanted to believe that you
would be true to your word when you promised to be "the President of all
Israelis". From the way that you have avoided all initiative relating to
my case to date, it appears that you have forgotten to include me.
I have been told by mutual friends that you have insisted that you must
consult with Prime Minister Barak before you would do anything to assist
me. Given his record on my case, why would you want to consult with him?
And if you insist on being directed by Barak, then how are you any
different from Ezer Weizman?
Mr. Katsav, I do not have to remind you how many times since your election
I have made personal appeals to you via your colleagues in the Knesset
- people who are close to us as well. In every case, the personal messenger
returned with assurances that you really do want to help me, and that you
would be doing something for me very soon.
Those who are unaware of my private appeals to you, have been trying
to put the blame for your unresponsiveness and your unfulfilled promises
on your chief of staff, Aryeh Schumer. It is true that Schumer has never
behaved honorably towards me, but how can he be held responsible,
when you yourself were repeatedly personally approached on my behalf by
For example you repeatedly promised to send a letter to President Clinton
BEFORE THE HIGH HOLIDAYS. We sent you two English texts - at your request
- in order to assist you and to expedite the task. The High holidays have
come and gone - no letter was sent to Mr. Clinton - and you have
yet to help me, in any way.
Here is the English text of our suggested letter from you to Mr. Clinton
which is based on my new legal case:
Dear President Clinton:
As you are aware, Jonathan Pollard was sentenced on March 4, l987, to
life in prison for passing classified information to Israel, an ally of
It has come to my attention that on September 20, 2000, attorneys for
Mr. Pollard filed a motion in the United States District Court for the
District of Columbia, seeking to have Mr. Pollard resentenced.
The motion documents a number of fundamental and serious deficiencies
that occurred in connection with Mr. Pollard's sentencing proceeding, in
violation of Mr. Pollard's constitutional right to be sentenced on
of truth, not falsehood, and in violation of Mr. Pollard's constitutional
right to have the United States government honor its commitments under
its plea agreement.
Mr. Clinton, I respectfully urge you to consider the serious constitutional
deficiencies and fundamental unfairness in Mr. Pollard's sentencing
proceeding, and to commute Mr. Pollard's sentence forthwith.
We invited you to add to or modify this letter in any way you saw fit
- but only to please just send it. That never happened.
History will show that the Government of Israel has repeatedly avoided
its responsibility to free me. Not only has the government failed to make
any serious effort to secure my release, it has also failed to discharge
even its most minimal obligations towards me to secure medical care, financial
help, legal assistance, and equitable treatment in prison.
It is now up to you, President Katsav, to decide what will be the final
chapter of the historical record of the Israeli Presidency in this case.
I have asked my attorney Larry Dub to use his October 12, 2000 meeting
with you to discuss certain new and easy initiatives that can now be carried
out to compensate for the loss of opportunity that the High holidays
naturally represented. For your convenience, I shall reiterate these
initiatives in a separate addendum, duly attached.
I end by underscoring the time-sensitivity of this, my final appeal
to you. Today is the day after Yom Kippur, 5761. Fifteen years have
passed since my Israeli brethren threw me into a pit and left me to die.
The G-d of Israel has been with me, and contrary to all expectations -
both American and Israeli - I am still alive. Today in Israel the
fires of hatred have been ignited and there is an undeclared state of war.
The tomb of Yosaif Ha'Tzadik has been wantonly destroyed by our enemies
and abandoned by those sworn to protect it. Meanwhile, in America, I am
still crying out to my Israeli brethren from the pit in which they abandoned
me 15 years ago...
See Also: Pollard Attorney Meets with Israeli President