Pollard Not Eligible for 'Prisoner of Zion' Status

The Jerusalem Post - January 7, 2005

The members of the Committee to Bring Jonathan Pollard Home failed in their most recent effort in the battle for the freedom of Pollard, who has been imprisoned in the US for over 20 years for espionage on behalf of Israel. This week, The Ministry of Immigrant Absorption denied the petition submitted by the committee to get Pollard recognized as a Prisoner of Zion, Army Radio reported.

Adi Ginzburg, a member of the committee, said that after Israel recognized Pollard as an agent that worked on its behalf, and committed to work towards his release, it was time that he has a status that reflects this assessment. "A man like this who worked on behalf of the State of Israel, deserves this assessment, particularly in light of the fact that we see how he does not receive the minimum of the minimum that he deserves."

This week, he received an answer from the appeals committee, according to which Pollard cannot be defined as a Prisoner of Zion.

The ruling stipulated two reasons; one was that "the law states that a Prisoner of Zion is a person who carried out Zionist activities and it is doubtful that espionage is considered such an activity." [J4JP: See Commentary: Is Espionage A Zionist Activity.] The second reason given in the decision was that "the applicant must be a citizen of Israel." [J4JP: the ruling conceded that Jonathan is a citizen of Israel but then disqualified him on the grounds that he is not resident in Israel.]

An additional reason was that it is unlikely that Pollard will move to Israel if he is freed. [J4JP: The Ministry cited the treatment which Jonathan had received from the Government of Israel as mitigating against his ever wanting to come to live in Israel, and then used this as an excuse to disqualify his application for Prisoner of Zion status!]

Those who submitted the application are planning to appeal.

See Also: