Pollard Considering Legal Action to Get Answers from FM Shalom

J4JP Release February 9, 2004

To: FM Silvan Shalom
From: Jonathan Pollard 09185-016 / FCI Butner, Butner NC 27509

February 8, 2004


Dear Silvan:

Is it going to be necessary to file a bagatz in Supreme Court to compel you to answer the questions in my letter of 6 December 2003?

I have just received a letter from your office dated 21 January 04, which you yourself did not have the courtesy to write. This letter demonstrates a blatant disregard for truth and callous insensitivity to the plight of an Israeli agent in captivity. It is a loose collection of insincere statements of support, coupled with outright falsehoods about your ongoing efforts for me behind the scenes. Most importantly, it does not respond to a single one of the questions that I posed to you in my letter of 6 December 2003.

As an Israeli agent in captivity who has spent the last 2 decades of his life in prison on behalf of the State of Israel, I deserve the courtesy of your personal response and I have a right to insist upon detailed and specific answers to all of my questions.

Here are my questions again as copied directly from the text of my 6 December letter:

QUESTION 1: A year ago, on December 3, 2002, my wife and my Jerusalem attorney, Larry Dub, met with the previous foreign minister. In coordination with the Prime Minster's office, he ordered the Israeli Ambassador in Washington to come and see me. We were repeatedly assured that it was merely a question of coordinating the date with us. We received this same assurance even after you took over the office of Foreign Minister. A year has passed, and still no date has been set. We would like to know, Silvan, who gave the order to kill this visit?

COMMENT: Please specify a date certain that I can expect to receive a visit from the Ambassador. This week is a suitable time for me. The Ambassador - unlike other Israeli officials - may visit me any time he wishes without undergoing extensive clearances, so there is no excuse for any further delay.

QUESTION 2: Why is it, Silvan, that in spite of your frequent travel to the United States, you never took the time to sit down with my American attorneys, Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman, to receive a briefing on my legal case, nor did you ever instruct the Ambassador or any of the Foreign Ministry staff to be briefed?

COMMENT: Please state your intentions. When specifically should my attorneys expect to speak with you, and to meet with you for a briefing?

QUESTION 3: Why did the Israeli Foreign Ministry boycott the court appearance of an official Israeli agent who has been held in captivity for 18 years by a "friendly Government" for his service to the State of Israel? Why was the Ambassador NOT ordered to be present at my September 2, 2003 court date? Why was no Israeli representative at all present in court?

COMMENT: Please provide a specific response to each of the questions posed in question 3 above.

QUESTION 4: How is it that at the time of my first court appearance in 16 years (September 2, 2003) after 18 years in prison for service to the State of Israel, not a single word of support was expressed publicly on my behalf by any Foreign Ministry official?

COMMENT: Please specify who was responsible for this egregious failure of the Foreign Ministry, and state what steps you have taken to correct this. When may I expect the Foreign Ministry to issue a position paper on the case for the elucidation of Israeli representatives and officials traveling abroad? Please specify plans to distribute and publish a position paper on the Israeli Government web site and in the media.

QUESTION 5: On the eve of my court appearance, the New York Consul General, Alon Pincus, speaking as an official of the Foreign Ministry, appeared on American national television. Who gave the order, Silvan, for Pincus to savage me and undermine my legal case by declaring that I am a "rogue agent" whose activities "put Israel in a bad position"? Who gave the order for him to slander me at such a critical time?

COMMENT: Why is it that neither the Embassy nor any Israeli consulate has ever been given constructive talking points reflecting a coherent government policy on my case?

Please specify a date certain by which the Foreign Ministry will formulate and make available talking points to all Foreign Ministry officials and installations.

QUESTION 6: If Pincus' slander was not official and not calculated, why didn't the Foreign Ministry issue an immediate, unequivocal correction? Why was there no official declaration that I am an Israeli agent in peril and the Government of Israel regards my release and repatriation as a matter of national priority?

COMMENT: Please explain why it is that in spite of my numerous requests to the Government to formulate an official policy on my case, to this day no such policy exists. I have repeatedly submitted key points to assist in the formulation of such a policy and my attorneys have graciously offered to assist in this endeavor.

Please specify a date certain by which you intend to formulate and disseminate an official government policy on my case to Israeli officials, to American legislators, to journalists and opinion makers and, not least of all, to my jailers who might be induced to treat me with civility if Israel showed the slightest interest in me.

QUESTION 7: Who gave the order not to raise any official protest over the way I was mistreated in Washington? As you well know, Silvan, I was subjected to severe sensory deprivation, and physical and psychological abuse, for an extended period of time while I was held in Washington, pending my appearance in court on September 2, 2003. Who saw to it that the Israeli Foreign Ministry raised no objection, nor protested this treatment of her agent?

COMMENT: Please specify a date certain by which I may expect to receive written confirmation that official protest has been registered.

QUESTION 8: Why is it that no Israeli official from your Ministry has contacted me or my wife since that time to find out how I am or what our needs are? Your ministry sends Israeli teams around the world to offer humanitarian assistance wherever and whenever a tragedy or a mishap occurs. Who gave the orders, Silvan, that even after being so brutalized the Pollards should get NOTHING, not even a phone call?!

COMMENT: Given the abject poverty that my wife and I live in and our lack of the most basic services, including Health Insurance coverage, there is no credibility whatsoever to the claims of concern and support for us in your letter of 21 January.

Please specify a date certain when we may expect to hear from you and what specific steps you plan to take in order to assist us in our on-going ordeal.

QUESTION 9: Why is it, Silvan - contrary to Ambassador Ayalon's claim that there are ongoing low profile efforts on my behalf - Congressmen and Senators repeatedly tell us that the Israeli officials with whom they meet NEVER mention my name. Similarly, in dealings with the executive branches of the American administration, my legal team meets with the same response: Israel has NEVER made its position on the Pollard issue known. In the past Israel has invoked a policy of implausible deniability. But you are now the Foreign Minister, Silvan. How much longer will you perpetuate the dishonorable practice of denying any official interest in or responsibility for my fate?

COMMENT: Please supply verifiable proof of ongoing efforts behind the scenes to secure my release including specific initatives undertaken to lay the groundwork.

Please provide copies of op-eds you have written or caused to be published; the names of opinion makers you have reached out to; specific examples of public education you have undertaken; and specific examples of the kind of outreach to American officials you have instructed the Foreign Ministry to undertake.

QUESTION 10: On November 13, 2003, after the judge dismissed my legal cases on flimsy technicalities, AP and Reuters noted in their reports that they called the Israeli Embassy for official comment. The Embassy refused to take or return their calls. After 18 years who gave the order to throw me out of the Embassy again?!

COMMENT: Please specify the steps you have taken since I first called this to your attention 6 December, to ensure that this never again occurs.

QUESTION 11: Perhaps the most disturbing question of all, Silvan, is who instructed YOU to undermine support for me and to sabotage efforts to assist me? As Deputy Minister of Defense in the Netanyahu Government, you had full access to my file. You know my case thoroughly, and you know full well that the intent of my sentence is to keep me incarcerated for the rest of my natural life (G-d forbid!). Why then, do I continue to receive reports that privately you are assuring Israeli officials that my sentence is nearly over? You claim that within a year I will be out anyway, so there is no need for anyone to lift a finger to help me. Why are you saying this when you know it's a lie?

COMMENT: May I remind you, Silvan, that your own response to this question and to the other questions posed here is owed - not the response of some flunky assigned to write artful evasions like your letter of January 21, 2004.

Personally formulating and supplying the answers to the foregoing 11 questions, which I originally posed to you months ago, is the very least that you, the Foreign Minister of Israel, owe to an Israeli agent in peril who has served more than 18 years in prison for activities on behalf of the State of Israel.

I await your personal and prompt response.

Jonathan Pollard

P.S. On 4 February I was informed by the vice consul that you were preparing a letter for me which would be ready shortly. That letter arrived at the Atlanta Consulate by diplomatic mail on 6 February and was faxed to us immediately. The letter itself was dated 21 January, as if to give the impression that your response had, in fact, been written weeks previously. We were not deceived.

cc Larry Dub
Eliot Lauer
Jacques Semmelman

A Justice4JP Call to Action

Supporters are invited to call or fax FM Shalom to insist that he respond to Jonathan Pollard without any further delay. Jonathan has waited long enough for some answers!

Here are FM Shalom's contact numbers: Phone: 02-530-3531, Fax: 02-530-3506

  • See Also: PM Sharon: I instructed the Ambassador to visit Pollard