The Circle of Betrayal is Complete (YNET Edition)
Esther Pollard - YNET - January 20, 2006
High Court's failure to grant Pollard Prisoner of Zion status shameful, his wife says
The betrayal of my husband, Jonathan Pollard, by the Government of Israel, by the Ministry of Defense, and by the Knesset has now been officially rubber-stamped by the High Court of Justice.
Jonathan and I are deeply disappointed by the decision rendered by the High Court of Justice of Israel denying Jonathan's petition to officially recognize him as a Prisoner of Zion.
History will not need to judge whether or not Jonathan Pollard is a Prisoner of Zion; but it will certainly judge how the High Court of Justice treated him. It is clear to every single Israeli with a heart and a sense of justice, that Jonathan has served the State of Israel for
21 years; that he is a Prisoner of Zion; and that he certainly deserved better than this from the country he served. Even the Prisoners of Zion themselves, through their official organization, have recognized Jonathan and officially count him as one of their own.
Jonathan and I are dismayed by the court's written decision that memorializes deeply damaging Government lies, without a shred of evidence! The written decision falsely claims that the Government of Israel is supporting Jonathan and me financially, paying for his attorneys, and generally taking care of us. This is a complete and utter falsehood! In official documents that we hold, the Government has repeatedly admitted that we are not receiving, nor they have we ever received, any financial support from the Government of Israel. We live in abject penury, dependent on the kindness of a few friends to survive. None of my husband's attorneys, in the US or in Israel, has been paid for work on his behalf.
New ways to duck responsiblity
Jonathan and I deplore the court's suggestion that the government invent a "symbolic status" for Jonathan. In its written decision, the Court facetiously suggested that the Government come up with some new "symbolic status" for Jonathan Pollard, one that would not oblige it in any way. The Court ought to have reminded the Government that Jonathan is officially recognized as an Israeli Agent and that it is high time that the Government of Israel discharge its obligations to him as such; and not help the Government invent new ways to duck its responsibility to him.
We are shocked by the sophistry the court used to deny Jonathan's petition. The Court's written decision claims that Jonathan, an official Israeli agent, who spied for Israel cannot be granted Prisoner of Zion Status because he was not arrested as a Jew; and because espionage is a felony, not a Zionist activity. It further states that only one who is arrested as a Jew for an activity which encourages Aliyah, but which is considered illegal in the country of arrest, can be considered a Prisoner of Zion. This flies in the face of historical precedent and fact.
Israel's best known Prisoner of Zion, former cabinet minister Natan Sharansky is a convicted spy and felon. Sharanksy was arrested, indicted, convicted and incarcerated in the Soviet Union on charges of spying for the US. Yet he is recognized by the State of Israel as a Prisoner of Zion.
So too MK Yuli Edelstein and Rabbi Yosef Mendelevitch. Both Edelstein and Mendelevitch are felons convicted of serious crimes in the USSR. Mendelevitch was convicted of conspiracy to hijack an aircraft and fly it to Israel! Yet these "convicted felons" are recognized by the State of Israel as Prisoners of Zion.
Just like Jonathan Pollard, neither Sharanksy nor Edelstein nor Mendelevitch was arrested as a Jew. They were arrested for the crimes they were indicted for in the Soviet Union -- crimes that had absolutely nothing to do with encouraging Aliyah!
Justice has not been served
The Court essentially dismissed the sacrifice of such great heroes of Zionism as Eli Cohen, Chana Senesh and Sarah Aaronson, in virtually ruling that espionage on behalf of the State of Israel -- for its protection, defense and its very existence - is criminal, not Zionist. A great disservice was done to Israel's intelligence community and to its recruitment services by this judgment.
The Court simply turned a blind eye to Jonathan's documented claims of harsh treatment and abuse and to the anti-Semitic nature of his life sentence. It demonstrated a complete unwillingness to extend the same consideration to him that the Government of Israel routinely extends to murderers and terrorists -- which it is now poised to extend to multiple murderers Marwan Barghouti and Samir Kuntar -- treating them as Prisoners of War, in order to free them.
But the High Court of Israel could not find it in its heart to grant Jonathan Pollard the status of Prisoner of Zion, to which he is fully entitled, not even to save the life of an Israeli agent. Justice has not been served.
Esther Pollard is the wife of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard who is jailed in the United States.