Jonathan Pollard – who has spent 16 years in a U.S. prison for spying for Israel, and whose release has for years been a political football with the U.S. and Israeli governments – is in seriously declining health, according to his wife, Esther Pollard.
“Jonathan’s immune system had been destroyed by his years in solitary and his protracted incarceration under harsh conditions,” Mrs. Pollard told WND. As a result, she said, her husband suffers from high blood pressure, digestive and muscular disorders, growths in his sinus cavities, severe chronic headaches, nausea, vertigo, sinusitis, recurrent infections, severe gall-bladder attacks and severe chronic arthritis, serious back and disk problems, as well as early signs of glaucoma and diabetes.
The Pollard spy case, one of the most celebrated of the 20th century, never fails to touch off a firestorm between supporters and detractors:
During the 1998 Wye Plantation Mideast conference, then-President Clinton promised Israeli leaders he would carefully reconsider clemency for Pollard. In the 2000 Senate race in New York, both Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican challenger Rick Lazio stated that they would look into getting Pollard released from prison. Famed Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz even took up Pollard’s case for a time in the early 1990s. Successive Israeli prime ministers have tried to get Pollard – the harshness of whose sentence is unprecedented among those convicted of spying for an ally – released from the prison in Butner, N.C., where he is incarcerated. Pollard’s case has been the recurring focus of pleas for clemency in Israel and among U.S. Jewish groups. A consortium of 55 Jewish groups – The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations – called publicly for Pollard’s release, claiming his spying didn’t amount to treason since Israel is a long-time close ally. Religious organizations, including the Reform Union of American Hebrew Congregations and the Orthodox Union, have also called for an end to Pollard’s incarceration.
But then there’s the other side.
Rep. Porter Goss, R-Fla., a former CIA agent who is chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, authored an unprecedented House resolution urging that Pollard never be freed, saying: “He is one of the worst traitors in our nation’s history. There is absolutely no reason to let this guy out of jail. None.” When Clinton promised to review Pollard’s case, CIA Director George Tenet threatened to resign in protest, claiming it would “demoralize the intelligence community.” Attorney Joseph diGenova, who prosecuted Pollard, told “This Week with Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts” back in October of 1998: “Pollard ranks among the four most serious cases of national security damage in the history of this country. Nothing matches what he did in terms of the compromise of the technical intelligence capability of this country, and he put at risk human lives.”
Who is Jonathan Pollard? Is he, as many Israeli and American Jews believe, a faithful Jew who risked all to save the women and children of Israel when the American intelligence community, inexplicably and perhaps illegally, was intent on denying Israel information about Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction – intended to destroy Israel?
Is he the traitor that Goss, Tenet, diGenova and other U.S. officials claim him to be?
Or is Pollard a much more complex character, filled with both dark and light – a man whose acts of espionage, though illegal, were understandable in the context of the Middle East strategic reality at the time?
No matter what one chooses to believe when considering the universe that is the Jonathan Pollard spy case, there can be no doubt that it is filled with adventure, cloak-and-dagger mystery, multiple betrayals and international intrigue. Add to that a lost romance of childhood days rekindled.
Regarding the latter, there can be no doubt that Pollard’s second wife, Esther -– a Jewish-Canadian school teacher formerly known as Elaine Zeitz -– is his staunchest advocate and ally.
“Yes, Jonathan broke the law. But I wonder if you are aware that the ‘unforgivable’ crime that Jonathan committed was his warning Israel about Saddam Hussein’s plans to scorch the Jewish state. Yet his sentencing does not match the indictment. He was not allowed to challenge the agreements made in secret. No other man has been so betrayed and so slandered. It would never dawn on Jonathan to betray others.”
The indictment against Pollard charged him with violating 18 USC Section 794c, the federal law that makes it a crime to deliver defense information to a foreign government “with intent or reason to believe” that the information is to be used in one of two ways: “to the injury of the United States,” or alternatively, “to the advantage of a foreign nation.”
The spy who loved me
“Jonathan and I knew each other as kids back in 1971,” Mrs. Pollard told WND. “We attended a youth camp in Israel in the summer. There we discussed our mutual love for Israel. But he went back to America and I went back to Canada and we forgot each other.”
Years later, while teaching English at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, “through a strange series of events I came into possession of an old newspaper which was given to me by a woman I had only recently met,” said Esther. “I put the newspaper in my backpack and then one day I took a bus trip to Haifa. I had nothing else to read.
“There was an ad in this newspaper which spoke about Jonathan and his plight. I always kept a lot of aerograms in my purse, and so I wrote him a letter. At this time, I did not recognize him as my childhood friend from the summer camp in Israel.”
After returning to Canada, she said, “One day I received two envelopes in the mail. One was with information on Jonathan’s case, the other was a personal letter from him. I read over the case information first, then the personal letter. The personal letter was not bitter, but filled with love for Israel, its land and people.”
After meeting with Jonathan in prison between 1990 and 1991, they were married in 1993 – in prison.
“I have no regrets about marrying him,” she said. “I had never lacked for male companionship, dates or attention from men, but I was always lonely till I met Jonathan. And then that terrible emptiness in my life ended. Despite a zillion and one hardships placed on us, including all the privations of simple intimacies all couples enjoy – we can hold hands only, and visits are an accumulation of points, so many for a weekday or weekend – in spite of all of that, Jonathan has made me feel like the most loved, valued and treasured woman in the world.”
Pollard’s health declines
“Jonathan spent the first seven years in solitary confinement,” says Esther of her husband’s 16-year confinement. “When he was finally moved in 1993 to open population prison in Butner, N.C., they wanted to study him because they had never seen anyone do so much time in solitary and come out so clear, so focused and so whole. Jonathan is a deeply religious person and it is clear that God has been with him throughout this ordeal. From the time that Jonathan originally entered USP Marion where he did the bulk of his time in solitary confinement in a dungeon cell three stories underground behind 13 locks and keys, he was constantly told that he would never leave Marion alive. While he was in prison, the Mossad came to him twice and said ‘do the honorable thing and kill yourself.'”
“But Jonathan never accepted that, and he lived to prove them wrong. The plan was for Jonathan to die in Marion during the first year. If he had died, the U.S. would always have their boogeyman.”
Jonathan’s job in prison is cleaning toilets. But that was better than working with chemicals that damaged his health in the past, said Esther.
As a result of his long incarceration, much of it under what she calls “harsh conditions,’ Esther Pollard says her husband’s “immune system had been destroyed.”
After recounting a multitude of serious medical problems, Esther said simply, “He is always sick.”
Unlike other prisoners, Pollard cannot readily be transported to hospital emergency centers during a medical crisis, said Esther.
“Jonathan cannot be moved without special permission from Washington, and only in the company of a convoy of armed vehicles commanded by a heavily-armed, bullet-proof jacketed SORT team,” she told WorldNetDaily.
“This is fabulously expensive, so the prison is unwilling to seek the permission from Washington even when it is appropriate.
“Because of his weakened immune system, medical problems simply keep occurring and compounding each other. Time is running out. Jonathan simply does not have the physical stamina anymore to survive endlessly in a system that does not afford his physical body any respite or any real relief from the numerous ailments he is suffering from.”
What did Pollard do wrong?
The stand taken by the pro-Pollard camp, according to his supporters and his official website, is that, as a civilian American naval intelligence analyst in 1983-1984, he discovered that information he deemed vital to Israel’s security was being deliberately withheld by certain elements within the U.S. national security establishment. Pollard and many other supporters of Israel believe that the Jewish state was legally entitled to this vital security information according to a 1983 Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries. The information Pollard saw as being withheld from Israel included Syrian, Iraqi, Libyan and Iranian nuclear, chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Pollard feared that these weapons were being developed for use against the Jewish state. It also included information on ballistic missile development by these countries and information on planned terrorist attacks against Israeli civilian targets.
When Pollard discovered this suppression of information and asked his superiors about it, he claims that he was told by his superiors to “mind his own business,” and that “Jews get nervous talking about poison gas; they don’t need to know.” Pollard passed this information on to Israeli
In 1985, the FBI caught up with Pollard. When he realized arrest was imminent, he sought instructions from Israel. He was told to seek refuge in the Israeli embassy in Washington. When Pollard and his former wife turned up there, they were at first received and then thrown out into the waiting arms of the FBI.
At the request of both the U.S. and Israeli governments, he entered into a plea agreement, which spared both governments a long, difficult, expensive and potentially embarrassing trial. Pollard fulfilled his end of the plea agreement, cooperating fully with the prosecution. He even signed a confession detailing the spying activities he carried out on behalf of Israel.
Perhaps the biggest accusation of Pollard’s wrongdoing stems from his stealing the Radio Signals Notations manual or “RASIN” — a staple of the National Security Agency’s satellite surveillance system — and passing it on to the Israelis. Israeli intelligence has been accused of passing on that NSA data to the Russians back at the height of the Cold War in exchange for Jewish “Refusenik” scientists held prisoner by the former Soviet Union.
Esther Pollard claims RASIN was only a “frequency manual without the encryption codes pertaining to the frequencies — which my husband had no access to and therefore could not and did not provide to Israel — the manual was virtually useless as a code-breaking instrument.” The former head of the KGB — Vladmir Karyoshkov, a coup leader against Gorbachev — told the Israeli journal Ma’Ariv that the Soviets never received any information from Pollard.
The RASIN manual was extremely important to the Israelis. And the U.S. government, it appears, was outraged that Israeli intelligence would pass it on to the Soviets in exchange for Refuseniks. At Pollard’s sentencing, the government admitted that it had officially provided a large portion of this manual, about one third of it, to Israel. Later, when Adm. Bobby Ray Inman and then-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger instituted an undeclared intelligence embargo against Israel — in the wake of the Osirak strike in June of 1981 when Israeli fighter jets flew under Iraqi radar and took out the nuclear reactor that would have given Saddam an atomic bomb to use in Desert Storm — two-thirds of these manuals that Israel had officially been receiving were suddenly cut off without any explanation.
“From the start of this affair, I never intended or agreed to spy against the United States,” Jonathan Pollard told U.S. District Court Judge Aubrey Robinson Jr. in 1986, in a memorandum submitted prior to his sentencing.
Pollard explained then that he had wished only to “to provide such information on the Arab powers and the Soviets that would permit the Israelis to avoid a repetition of the Yom Kippur War.” He added: “At no time did I ever compromise the names of any U.S. agents operating overseas, nor did I ever reveal any U.S. ciphers, codes, encipherment devices, classified military technology, the disposition and orders of U.S. forces … or communications security procedures. I never thought for a second that Israel’s gain would necessarily result in America’s loss. How could it?”
Pollard’s unusual sentencing
The sentencing of Jonathan Pollard is another conundrum. Having waived his right to a trial and confessed to his spying, Pollard and his attorneys were shocked when then-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger showed up at his sentencing in court at the 11th hour to submit the so-called Weinberger memorandum.
In the heavily redacted version of the “memorandum” that has been released, however, there appears the charge, for the first time, that Pollard had endangered American lives. By disclosing to the Israelis “sources and methods of information acquisition,” Weinberger asserted, Pollard “jeopardized … the sources of that information, by placing it outside of a U.S. controlled security environment.” In addition, “U.S. combat forces, wherever they are deployed in this world, could be unacceptably endangered through successful exploitation of this data.
“This top secret document was submitted to the sentencing judge at the last moment. Pollard and his attorney saw the document for only moments before sentencing, and were never given the opportunity to challenge it. Needless to say, they believe this is unfair and a miscarriage of justice.
“The Weinberger memorandum charged Pollard with treason and recommended a life sentence, which violated the plea bargain agreement Pollard and his lawyers had set up with the U.S. Justice Department,” says Esther Pollard.
On March 3, 1987 – the day before Pollard was to be sentenced – Weinberger submitted a supplemental declaration to the court, which stated, in part:
“It is difficult for me, even in the so-called ‘year of the spy,’ to conceive of a greater harm to national security than that caused by the defendant in the view of the breadth, the critical importance to the U.S., and the high sensitivity of the information he sold to Israel … I respectfully submit that any U.S. citizen, and in particular a trusted government official, who sells U.S. secrets to any foreign nation should not be punished merely as a common criminal. Rather the punishment imposed should reflect the perfidy of the individual’s actions, the magnitude of the treason committed, and the needs of national security.”
Much of the document remains classified and unavailable to the public. Yet Weinberger has gone on record saying that others have read the report and discussed it. Who are these people and how did they get access to the report? If they did, is this not a criminal breach of security and intelligence?
In an interview with Middle East Quarterly published in late 1999, Weinberger is quoted as saying, “Others seem to have seen it (the Weinberger memorandum) and talk about it very freely; I don’t.”
Says Esther Pollard, “Government officials who have leaked information to the media from the classified memorandum have in fact committed a criminal offense. Yet, the government has never investigated or charged those government sources who have done so, in spite of repeated requests by Jonathan’s attorney. Moreover, since the government has never allowed even those with security clearance on the Pollard defense team to see the Weinberger memorandum, there is no one in a position to rebut the vicious leaks.”
“The full document is in the hands of lawyers with redactions [blacked out words and sentences]. It is not that difficult to reconstruct. The lawyers got security clearance. Eliot Lauer said to the government, ‘Let me go in and read it. The government will trust us, there is no danger to national security. The judge agreed. Both of our lawyers went to North Carolina to the prison and talked about the Weinberger Memorandum with Jonathan to discuss the document. They could do so because now they both had security clearances. They were all blown away by how little [damaging evidence] was actually in them. Jonathan said that there are two reasons why documents are kept classified. One, they really do threaten national security. Two, there is nothing there [within the documents].”
Interestingly, back in the mid-1980s, Weinberger reportedly thought the reason the CIA agents in Russia were being assassinated was because of Pollard. However, when Aldrich Ames was exposed, Pollard was cleared of that accusation.
The making of a spy
How did Jonathan Pollard get his hands on the sensitive information he admittedly passed on to Israel? By June 1984, Pollard worked in the Anti-Terrorist Alert Center at Suitland, Md., in that unit’s Threat Analysis Division, which focused on intelligence concerning the Middle East. Soon after his arrival at Suitland, however, Pollard was recruited by Israeli intelligence. But not the Mossad. Rather, he worked for LAKAM, the Hebrew acronym for the intelligence arm run by Israel’s defense ministry.
“The Mossad has a reputation for taking care of their own,” Esther Pollard told WorldNetDaily. “They turned on Jonathan because he embarrassed them. He showed up the Mossad by getting intelligence that they should have been getting. They were not doing their job [in finding out the true extent of Saddam’s weapons programs].”
Pollard was arrested in November 1985 along with his first wife, Anne, whom he had married that same year. Convicted of unauthorized possession and transmission of classified defense documents, Anne was given a five-year sentence.
“Their marriage was having troubles to begin with [without the added stress of the spy activities],” said Esther. “The incarceration hurt Anne. Yet it also brought them closer together, but it could not make up for the huge cracks in their relationship. Anne was not directly involved with Jonathan’s activities. Consider the case of [accused FBI agent-turned-spy Robert] Hanssen. … Why isn’t she [Hanssen’s wife] on trial?”
Esther also told WorldNetDaily: “When Jonathan and Anne were both in prison, the feds brought in horrendous Polaroid photos of Anne in pain in her cell. They would say to Jonathan, ‘If you don’t tell us the name of an accomplice’ then she [Anne] won’t get any medicine. They wanted Jonathan to name names. Any name. The government did not care. They just wanted the name of another Jew. Jonathan could not appeal his sentence until Anne was out of jail.”
Pollard and Israel
The state of Israel has granted Jonathan Pollard citizenship and accepted full responsibility for him, now and in the future. Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went so far as to ask President Clinton to release Pollard into his personal custody.
Clinton actually promised Israeli leaders he would free Pollard before leaving office. Some believed Clinton had incentives for such a bold move.
Pollard was never charged with treason. Legally, treason refers to aiding or abetting an enemy state in time of war. Pollard had helped a friend of the United States and, his supporters say, not at the expense of the U.S.
Some say Clinton himself did much more to help enemies of the U.S. – at the direct expense of U.S. national security.
“This is why Clinton lobbied hard to call China a ‘strategic partner’ of the U.S.,” Mossad intelligence officer Avi Rubin told WorldNetDaily. “This was done to protect Clinton legally from a treason charge when he sent the sensitive satellite, missile technology, warhead designs and supercomputers to communist China during his time in office.”
Esther Pollard reminds those who will listen that “Israel is an ally, not an enemy of the United States.” Pollard also confessed to his misdeeds and expressed his remorse.
“Again, in concurrence with the results of intensive FBI polygraphing, Jonathan Pollard was charged only with acting ‘on behalf of Israel’ and not against the United States,” says his wife. “Jonathan Pollard never had a trial. He waived his right to a trial in return for a plea agreement which the America government subsequently violated on every point, including the life sentence.”
Why then is Pollard still languishing in a North Carolina prison? Is his sentence – an unprecedented life term for spying on behalf of Israel – justified? Pollard was sent to prison in 1987, and for the first seven years of his imprisonment he was kept in solitary confinement, three stories below ground, in a basement cell.
Why has the Israeli government seemingly turned its back on Pollard? And is there any hope to have the sentence commuted for Esther and Jonathan Pollard? Will their new attorney, Larry Dub fare any better than the old one, Moshe Kochanovsky?
Esther Pollard, whose health has been harmed by a recent bout with cancer, cites an article, “Crime and Punishment,” published April 3, 1998, in the L.A. Jewish Journal, written by J.J. Goldberg.
“This article quotes sources in the Pentagon who explained to Goldberg that the treatment of Jonathan Pollard was specifically contrived by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to send a message to Israel and the American Jewish community,” she told WorldNetDaily.
The article states, among other things, that “high-ranking sources say that it was the Joint Chiefs of Staff who urged the judge, through then-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, to ignore the plea agreement and throw the book at Pollard. … Pollard is still in jail, these sources say, not because his crime merits his lengthy sentence – it doesn’t – but because too many American Jews still haven’t gotten the message.”
Fighting the odds
How does one wife, with little money at her disposal, take on the combined might of the American and Israeli military-intelligence complex?
Mrs. Pollard told WorldNetDaily that she went to the top.
“I met the current Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, when he was the leader of the opposition. At that time,” says Esther, “Sharon promised to write a letter on behalf of Pollard, but to this day has not.”
“I am at a loss to understand this kind of attitude on the part of the government of Israel. We are talking about a bona fide Israeli agent who has done so much for Israel, including spending the last 16 years of his life in an American prison on behalf of the Jewish state, and I, his wife, have to plead for a meeting with the prime minister? Something is just not right here.”
After frantic negotiations in October of 1998, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to have backed off from his refusal to sign a peace deal unless he could take Pollard home with him. It was the kind of hard-line political brinkmanship Netanyahu was criticized for by liberals in Israel. From a diplomatic standpoint, Israel has sought to “de-link” the issues, and thus give Clinton the space to release Pollard at a later point.
But releasing Pollard, concluded the poll-loving Clinton, “would not be a popular act,” the Mossad’s Rubin told WorldNetDaily. Indeed, a Time poll of 13,580 respondents taken in fall of 1998 found fully 82 percent responding “no” to releasing Pollard. Only 16 percent said “yes,” while 2 percent answered “don’t know.”
And, as previously mentioned, CIA director George Tenet threatened to resign if Pollard was released from prison.
The Pollard case turned up again during the final days of Clinton’s presidency, this time in regard to Clinton’s mass pardons – particularly billionaire Marc Rich. Former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres called Clinton to lobby for Rich’s pardon. And then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, already lobbying for Pollard’s pardon, also lobbied for Rich’s pardon. Avner Azulay, Rich’s point man in Israel, suggested to counsel Mark Quinn that a pardon for Rich might make it easier for Israeli officials to accept the rejection of a pardon for the jailed Pollard.
As one might expect, this particular brand of political football did not please Esther Pollard.
“On his last day in office, Clinton granted clemency to 140 people. Many who received executive clemency had been convicted of very serious offenses, including murder, robbery and drug dealing. Some of those pardoned had served no prison time at all before being pardoned. Among those pardoned were Clinton’s brother, and a former head of the CIA,” Mrs. Pollard said.
President Clinton’s ongoing reference to “the considerable damage that [Pollard’s] actions caused our nation” and “the damage done to our national security” were cited as prime factors in his refusal to grant Pollard clemency.
“The unavoidable conclusion to be drawn,” says Esther Pollard “is that they simply do not want Jonathan out of prison. Why the Americans feel this way is simple: Jonathan continues to be a convenient tool for those elements within the administration who have no use for the U.S.-Israel special relationship. These officials routinely exploit the case as a means of calling into question both Israel’s reliability as an ally and the American Jewish community’s loyalty. As well, successive administrations have found the case useful for squeezing dangerous concessions from Israel.”
“But the big question is: Why is Israel cooperating?” said Esther. “Why doesn’t Israel want Jonathan out? For example, Jonathan’s release was obtained at Wye as an integral part of the Wye Accords. According to Netanyahu and other officials who negotiated the deal at Wye, Ehud Barak was well aware of this when he released the 750 murderers and terrorists who were the price paid for Jonathan’s release. When Barak released the murderers, why didn’t he insist that the U.S. live up to its end of the deal? Sharon was an eyewitness to the deal made at Wye. Why isn’t he insisting on Jonathan’s release?”
Pro-Pollard people in Israel are growing tired of the government’s position, which goes something like this: “Owing to the sensitivity of the Pollard case, silence is the best approach. Any publicity given to the matter can only hurt Pollard’s chances.”
“For many years,” said Esther, “successive prime ministers have claimed that they were secretly working for Pollard’s release – secret initiatives that failed.”
As such, Pollard’s many supporters in Israel, according to Esther, are “wondering why the government doesn’t state publicly for all the world to hear that it has not abandoned Pollard, that it has not forgotten him and that, in spite of any embarrassment that his case caused the state of Israel, Israel owes him a debt of gratitude.”
“Jonathan’s warnings which he gave to Israel helped the Israelis to prepare years and years into the future [against their enemies],” Mrs. Pollard told WorldNetDaily.
In one instance, Pollard showed pictures of chemical factories in Iraq to his handler in Tel Aviv. The same day, the Israelis had asked the Americans, was there any such factory in Iraq. They were told, “No, there isn’t.” Jonathan’s handler put his head down on the desk and said, “Oh my!” He then looked up at Jonathan and said, “Sometimes better a reliable enemy than an unreliable ally.”
Asked about her dealings with current Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Esther Pollard told WorldNetDaily, “Sharon is not who he claims to be. He talks right wing and Zionist. He was elected because 60 percent of the electorate believed he would increase security for Israelis. But under him things are the same as Barak or worse.”
Not all spies treated equally
Was the sentencing of Jonathan Pollard fair when compared to similar spy cases? Esther Pollard does not believe this to be so and has compared her husband’s and other convicted spies’ sentences on her website.
“Jonathan received the harshest sentence possible. This is not fair when one looks at the cases of other spies – especially those who spied for allies of the U.S.,” she said.
For instance, Michael Schwartz, a navy commander caught selling secrets to Saudi Arabia from 1992 to 1994, received an “other-than-honorable” discharge from the military. No fine, no prison.
Comments Esther Pollard, “This is a spy case that both Israel and the U.S. keep pretending never happened. Same crime as Jonathan, same indictment. Different ally – radically different treatment. Shwartz never served a day in prison.”
And Steven Lalas, a U.S. embassy employee in Athens, was convicted of disclosing classified military documents to Greece that identified CIA agents operating in the Balkans. Lalas entered into a plea agreement – the terms of which he subsequently violated – yet was sentenced to only 14 years. “This is one of the most serious offenses imaginable, and for one of the basest motives – greed,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark J. Hulkower said at Lalas’ sentencing hearing in the U.S. District Court in Alexandria.
Peter Lee, convicted in 1998 of having passed highly classified nuclear information to China, was fined $20,000.00. No prison time. He was sentenced to 12 months in a halfway house.
David Boone, a U.S. Army code-breaker who pleaded guilty to selling the Soviets highly sensitive documents (including code manuals and data about U.S. nuclear targets) for $60,000 in the late 1980s and early ’90s – and for whose crimes Jonathan Pollard is being still being scapegoated in the media by U.S. officials – was sentenced just last month to 24 years.
Asked about how she felt about the Wen Ho Lee spy case, Esther Pollard told WorldNetDaily, “The world was shocked about the treatment of Wen Ho Lee. The handling of his case was done to sent a special message to a specific community. As it was with Jonathan. No one said, “Stop the prosecution now and show the evidence.”
“Both experienced an extreme abuse of the legal system.”
She then added; “While America has a history of routinely betraying its allies, Jonathan is the only spy of an ally to receive such harsh treatment and such a draconian sentence, with no evidence to support such a sentence. This has been verified by such notables as Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. Anthony Weiner who have both received CIA briefings and seen the Pollard secret files. They are both on record that nothing that they saw in the file or heard in the briefings supports the sentence Jonathan received.”
“Nobody outside of the intelligence world knows the whole inside story of this very sensitive issue,” said Rabbi David Eidensohn, who serves as a consultant to Knight Ridder News Service on Jewish Issues. “Those in the government, including President Clinton, who judged him and his chance for parole, are not known as anti-Semites, to say the least. True, some who were involved did not like Jews, but this is not a country where those kind can railroad an innocent person in such a public issue. When somebody is paid to do a job and violates the contract; when somebody is pledged to honor their country and violates their word, we don’t defend this. True, he may have achieved some important things by notifying Israel of threats, but can we accept a standard whereby any person can violate his duty to America because of some perceived benefit to somebody?”
“If Jews are free to violate their promises and their countries of birth, to help Israel, no Jew could ever work for the government. The harm that Pollard did to Jews and Israel is far greater than any good he did. If he did what he did out of idealism, he was wrong. If he did what he did out of greed, he was wicked. I don’t know why he did it, but anyone who defends him, who demands that he be treated with clemency, must know the entire story, which I don’t, and be sure that they are right. The Jews, indeed the whole world, have suffered from idealists more than from the brutes. No Orthodox Jew, no Jew who appreciates what America means for Jews and Israel, would ever have done what Pollard did. Those who defend him have bleeding hearts, and compassion and kindness are good traits, but there are more important things, like honor and not shafting your best friend.”
Adds Esther Pollard, “When I pray I sometimes pray Kadish – it is the Jewish prayer of the highest praise for God. I praise God for making someone as wonderful as Jonathan.”
“Those who have and seek the truth will recognize it. Our hope relies on this fact: Everything built on a lie will crumble. The lies told about Jonathan are too big to be sustained.”
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