Sharon To Ignore Pollard During US Trip

"I've been rotting in jail for 18 years, and want to have Passover in Jerusalem" he tells PM.

Arik Bender - Ma'ariv - March 30, 2004

Ariel Sharon has said, in response to an emotional appeal by Jonathan Pollard that he has no intention of raising the issue with President Bush. He was speaking before the Knesset's foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Jonathan Pollard, the convicted Israeli spy serving a life sentence for espionage has appealed to PM Sharon to get him out of jail. "I don't want to be visited, I want to be released. I am an Israeli agent who has been rotting in a foreign prison for 18 years, come and get me out of here", he wrote in a letter to the PM.

In the appeal, sent via his attorney Larry Dub, Pollard says its time he was released. "You are about to meet President Bush. Ask him what kind of friend keeps an ally's agent in jail for life. Israel recently released hundreds of prisoners in the deal with Hezbollah, while I am left to rot away my life". He mentioned that Israel had already paid the price for his release, referring to the Wye agreement, which Netanyahu signed only after former President Clinton agreed to include Pollard in the deal, but Clinton reneged at the last minute.

Pollard has also demanded that Israel officially declare him an Israeli captive ("shevui"), enabling him to enjoy all the rights and benefits of that status according to international law and conventions. [

J4JP Note

: According to a 1998 official Israeli Government document which defines Jonathan as an Israeli agent, Jonathan is in fact a captive in a friendly country. He is not asking Israel to repeat this declaration, but rather to implement it! The Government has never granted him any of his rights, nor discharged any of its responsibilities as per that 1998 document.]

Yesterday, appearing before the Foreign Affairs and Defense committee Sharon said the issue would not be on the agenda of his talks with President Bush. The Free Pollard Committee said it would demonstrate at tonight's meeting of the Likud convention.

Jonathan Pollard, an American citizen was caught spying for Israel in the 1980s, and sentenced to life without parole. The sentence has always raised controversy, as it was way above the norm for an agent of a friendly country, and the Reagan administration, especially Defense Secretary Weinberger, played dirty pool to ensure he be given the most severe sentence possible.