Pollard Disputes Sharon's Backing

JTA - September 29, 2004

Jonathan Pollard is disputing Ariel Sharon's claim that he raises the issue of Pollard's imprisonment in contacts with U.S. officials. Pollard, the former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst serving a life sentence in a U.S. jail for spying for Israel, said White House contacts say the Israeli prime minister has not raised the issue of freeing Pollard. Sharon told Israel Army Radio in a Yom Kippur-eve interview that "every effort needs to be made to gain his freedom, and we are making these efforts." He added, "I have brought this issue up in all of my meetings in the United States and I have not missed one opportunity to solve this issue."

Justice4JP: In a letter to Ariel Sharon in response to his interview on IDF radio quoted above, Jonathan Pollard wrote:

"Mr. Prime Minister, if it is true that you are making every effort to secure my release, could you explain to me and to the Nation why:

  • White House contacts say that you have never brought up the issue of my release with President Bush himself;

  • senior American officials say they have never been approached by any senior Israeli official about me, yourself included;

  • all of our contacts in Washington insist that they are unaware of any initiative on your part to secure my release;

  • you refuse to deliver to President Bush an historic petition calling for my release signed by 112 members of Knesset over a year ago;

  • you yourself signed the petition to Bush, yet in this interview with IDF radio, you couldn't recall the petition and claimed you did not know you were supposed to present it to the President;

  • you refuse to honor the Government's obligations to me, which accrue to me by virtue of its 1998 official acknowledgement that I am a bona fide Israeli agent;

  • you refuse to implement my captivity status which governs all of the rights, privileges and protections I am entitled to as an Israeli agent;

  • you refuse to allow the Israeli Ambassador to visit me or to assist me;

  • you refuse to allow the Embassy to assist MKs who want to lobby for me in Washington;

  • you refuse to permit the Ambassador to accompany MKs to lobby for me in the U.S.;

  • you refuse to engage AIPAC to lobby for my release;

  • you refuse to enlist the Conference of Presidents or any American Jewish leaders to support Israel's efforts for my release;

  • you refuse to issue a coherent government policy on my case so that it would be clear to the Americans where Israel stands on the issue;

  • you refuse to issue talking points about my case to foreign ministry staff, to ensure that when called upon they might discuss my case with the media intelligently and constructively;

  • you refuse to commission important opinion-makers to write op-eds for American newspapers of record, explaining Israel's position on my case (which you do for virtually every other Israeli issue under the sun);

  • you deliberately chose not to send an official Israeli representative to be present in Washington for my first court appearance in 16 years;

  • you permitted your spokesperson, the New York Consul General, to slander me - an Israeli agent- in the media on the eve of my court appearance;

  • you failed to protest the brutalization and abuse of an Israeli agent, after it was brought to your attention what I had been subjected to, during my incarceration in Washington;

  • you refuse to alleviate the extreme financial distress that my wife and I endure;

    you refuse to assist me and my wife to receive urgently needed medical attention;

  • you refuse to maintain contact with me, my wife and my Jerusalem attorney - even though coordination is essential if you were really trying to secure my release;

  • you refuse to call in the commitment the U.S. made to free me at Wye, even though you were an eye witness to that commitment;

  • you did not even bother to make a Rosh Hashanah appeal to President Bush to release me as a holiday gesture to Israel.

In conclusion: it is obvious in light of the above that your statement to IDF radio simply does not jibe with reality.

After watching you move Heaven and Earth to secure the speedy release of Elchanan Tanenbaum, it is clear that when you want to get a prisoner home, you know how to do it.

So, Mr. Sharon, on the eve of the 20th anniversary of my incarceration, please explain to me: if you are doing so much to secure my release, why am I still in prison?"

  • See Also: Full text of Jonathan Pollard's letter to Ariel Sharon