Statement of Alan M. Dershowitz

August 21, 1995

I have known Jonathan Pollard since 1988, when I met him in Marion Prison. In recent weeks, I have spoken to him every day by telephone. Jonathan Pollard's case is a difficult and complex one in which he has suffered a terrible injustice in terms of the length of his sentence. Our government broke its promise to Pollard and sentenced him to a disproportionately long prison term. Despite his repeated and genuine statements of remorse, justice has not been forthcoming. It is understandable that supporters may see different paths towards his eventual release, but to challenge his mental or emotional capacity does not comport with what I have seen and heard. Let us return to our unified effort to undo this terrible injustice and put any clash of personality or questioning of motives behind us. Jonathan Pollard's freedom is too important to all those of us who care about justice.

No one can dispute the fact that Jonathan Pollard - who alone is serving the sentence - has the right to chose his route to freedom. Eighty-five members of the Knesset - virtually every member who is not a minister or deputy minister (and, thus, ineligible to sponsor a bill) - have just sponsored a bill to grant Jonathan Pollard's request for Israeli citizenship. That so many Knesset members, who rarely agree about anything, have put aside their differences and supported Jonathan is truly remarkable.

We must recognize that Jonathan's decision to seek Israeli citizenship is motivated by a severe loss of faith in the manner in which the American judicial and political system has treated his case - a loss of faith we can all understand. The time has come for people of good will all over the world to unite and demand with a single voice the release of Jonathan Pollard so that he can move to the country he wishes to call home and accept the invitation of the former Chief Rabbi of Israel, Mordechai Eliahu, who has agreed to become Jonathan's guarantor and to take Jonathan into his custody.