Bill Would Pressure U.S. to Free Pollard

Sarah Katz - Jerusalem Post - August 4, 2003

*See J4JP Letter to the Editor below.

After members of Knesset return from the summer recess, which began last week, Likud MK Gilad Erdan will present legislation to pressure the United States to release Jonathan Pollard, or risk compromising the success of the road map peace plan.

Pollard, a US Navy intelligence agent arrested in 1985 on charges of selling (J4JP:not true! See letter below) classified material to Israel on nonconventional weapons capabilities of Iraq and other Arab countries, remains imprisoned after serving 18 years of a life sentence.

Erdan's bill declares that Israel will not be bound by any political agreement between Israel and Arab governments where the US is the main mediator of the agreement, unless it includes a condition that Pollard be released. It refers specifically to the current negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority being refereed by the US.

"The US puts a lot of pressure on both the Palestinian and Israeli sides," Erdan said. "This pressure forced the Israeli government to support the road map, and now the US is forcing Israel to take steps toward support for the Palestinian Authority - for example, the release of prisoners, including Hamas and Jihad [terrorists]. I think we should also demand what is important to us. Everyone should pay something for this agreement, and this includes the US."

In recent dealings with the US, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon consented to the release of 540 Palestinian prisoners - including Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and Fatah members, as well as prisoners convicted of criminal offenses - as an Israeli concession for peace.

Eli Yosef, one of the organizers of "Free Jonathan Now Action," said he is outraged that while "terrorists being released will organize the next wave of terrorism against Israel," Pollard remains imprisoned.

According to Yosef, the Israeli government is acting with an attitude based on "immediate interests" to satisfy the US, and not on "love and caring."

*Letter to the Editor RE: Bill Would Pressure US to Free Pollard

By Email - August 7, 2003

Dear Editor,

RE: Bill Would Pressure US to Free Pollard
Sarah Katz - Jerusalem Post - August 4, 2003

My husband, Jonathan Pollard, was not charged with "selling classfied information" to Israel but with PASSING classified information to Israel. In 1998 Israel formally admitted that Jonathan always was a bona fide Israeli agent. It is absurd for the Jerusalem Post to claim that Israel had to buy information from its own agent! Moreover, even the sentencing judge who was in no measure disposed to any kind of leniency recognized Jonathan as an ideologue, not a mercenary and did not fine him, which would not have been the case had Jonathan profited monetarily from his espionage. One would think that 18 years into a life sentence the Jerusalem Post would be a little more careful with its facts, particularly when reporting on Jonathan Pollard, an Israeli agent in peril. To avoid future such mistakes, we once again encourage you to make use of the Facts Page on the Justice for Jonathan Pollard Web Site.

May I remind you that not long ago a Jerusalem Post article mistakenly claimed that Jonathan was convicted of treason. I wrote to you to correct the record and to ask for a published correction. In response, the author of the erroneous statement wrote to apologize for his error and regretted that his editors had not caught the mistake. No published correction was ever made. Let us not repeat that error. We have no need of yet another PRIVATE apology from yet another author. As I wrote you at the time, an error that is made PUBLICLY needs to be corrected PUBLICLY, not privately. A published correction is in order.

Yours truly,

Esther Pollard
Mrs. Jonathan Pollard

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