Reverend Al, Pollard's Pal

Adam Dickter - NY Jewish Week - November 30, 2001

Jonathan Pollard, all but forgotten amid ongoing Mideast violence and the U.S. war on terrorism, may be in for some new publicity this month.

The Rev. Al Sharpton who always seems to have a camera crew or two in tow, is considering a visit with the Israeli spy at the federal penitentiary in North Carolina.

Pollard recently began his 17th year in captivity for giving U.S. secrets to Israeli intelligence.

Although no plan has been finalized, Rev. Sharpton and his "Kosher Sex" sidekick, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, have discussed a Dec. 12 visit to Pollard, who has been denied clemency by four presidential administrations.

"This will highlight the universality of this issue," said Rabbi Boteach, who said he was asked by Pollard's wife, Esther, to visit him. "It has been portrayed as a Jewish issue, but it's a civil rights issue."

Rev. Sharpton, who recently spent 90 days in a federal prison for civil disobedience on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, has previously supported Pollard's release on humanitarian grounds.

Rev. Sharpton was traveling in the Dominican Republic Tuesday and unavailable for comment, but a spokeswoman here said he would consult with leaders of the Jewish community before deciding whether to make the trip.

A visit with Pollard, on the heels of Rev. Sharpton's recent Israel trip, would suggest that the activist and presidential hopeful is leaving few stones unturned in his quest to erase bad blood with the Jewish community ? short of issuing an apology for past behavior during racial flashpoints.

Meanwhile, The Jerusalem Post reported Monday that the Israeli government offered Pollard nearly $2 million to publicize his latest legal appeal. [

J4JP Note

: this is a misrepresentation of the facts. See *J4JP clarification below.] Esther Pollard characterized that offer as an attempt to relieve Jerusalem of its responsibility to free their agent.

Government spokesmen declined to confirm or deny the offer.

*J4JP Note to Clarifythe NY Jewish Week's Misrepresentation of the $2 Million Offer

The NY Jewish week (Rev.Al, Pollard's Pal 11/30/01) misquotes the Jerusalem Post in reporting: "Meanwhile The Jerusalem Post reported Monday that the Israeli government offered Pollard nearly $2 million to publicize his latest legal appeal."

Contrary to what the NY Jewish Week claims, Israel's offer of $2 million was not offerred to publicize Jonathan Pollard's new legal case. Rather the $2 million - up from the original offer of $1 million which Pollard had rejected - was an offer of blood money to Pollard personally, and intended to relieve Israel of any further efforts on his behalf.

As the original Jerusalem Post article indicates (copy below), included in the $2 milllion offer was an offer of $100,000.00 to publicize Pollard's new legal case. This fact was also misrepresented by the Jewish Week.

The Government refused to confirm or deny this offer only because confirming would be a PR disaster for the Sharon government, and denying the offer is impossible since written documentation exists and there were witnesses present when the offer was made. Therefore the government's refusal to confirm or deny the offer is in effect a confirmation.

It is not clear whether the Jewish Week's misrepresentation of the $2 million offer made to Jonathan Pollard was due to sloppy reporting and a failure to read the material being cited, or a deliberate attempt to trivialize the issue. Either way, the New York Jewish Week owes Jonathan Pollard an apology and it owes its readers the facts.

See the The Jerusalem Post article to which the Jewish weekreferred: Wife Says Government Offered Pollard $2 Million

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