Jonathan Pollard charged Monday that the government was "blatantly lying" in claiming it was providing he and his wife with financial support, and thereby undermining their fight to win his release from prison. Pollard is serving a life sentence in the US on charges of spying for Israel in the 1980s. He was arrested in Washington in 1985.
On Monday, his lawyer, Nitzana Darshan-Leitner, filed an action in Tel Aviv District Court asking for a declaratory judgment stating that neither Pollard nor his wife, Esther, have received monetary support from the State of Israel from the time of Pollard's arrest by American authorities up until the present day.
According to the lawsuit, Pollard stressed that he was not filing the action to receive money from the state and that his sole purpose was "to put an end to the lies being disseminated by the state regarding its treatment of Pollard, lies which are undermining the advancement of a public struggle for his release from imprisonment in the US."
Pollard charged that Israel "has never ceased to state and to claim" that it has provided financial support from the time of his arrest and that it also supports his wife, allegedly providing them with whatever they need.
These claims, according to the lawsuit, "are absolutely false and contain not a grain of truth. Since his arrest approximately 23 years ago and to this very day, Pollard has never received any monetary assistance whatsoever from the State of Israel.
Neither has Pollard's wife received any monetary assistance from the state from the time she married Pollard until the present day. All of the state's claims on the subject are absolutely baseless and severely damaging to Pollard."
Darshan-Leitner provided several examples of the state's alleged claims that it assisted the Pollards. One was a letter from Ruthie Abromowitz, public affairs adviser to the prime minister, written on August 16, 2007. In it she wrote, "The State of Israel supports and helps Jonathan Pollard and his close associates in every possible respect."
According to another example, in response to a High Court petition filed by Pollard in 2005, the state wrote, "The State of Israel has in the past given money to the former wife of Pollard. Money has been given as well to the current wife as reimbursement for various expenses. Additionally, the state has provided funds for the personal needs of Pollard." According to the lawsuit, both Pollard and his wife are penniless.
In summing up, Darshan-Leitner wrote, "The statements and claims of the state, which give the impression it is doing something to help, particularly the impression that it gives money to Pollard and his wife, are nothing more than smoke in the eyes of the Israeli public and courts, while undermining Pollard's struggle for his freedom. The state plants the idea in the heart of the public and in the courts that it is doing everything it can for Pollard, when it is not. The public-at-large gets a distorted sense of Pollard's desperate plight, namely that the State of Israel is taking care of him, doing all it can for him and that beyond that, nothing more is possible."