According to multiple media reports, the Jewish state this week secretly requested the U.S. grant imprisoned Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard special leave so he can visit his “dying mother-in-law” in Montreal, Canada.
Just one problem: His mother-in-law has been dead for two weeks.
Yediot Aharonot, Israel’s largest daily, claimed yesterday, “Israel has discretely filed a request with the Bush administration to grant … Pollard a special vacation so he may visit his dying mother-in-law. … There was no immediate comment from U.S. officials.
“Israel had decided to push the U.S. government to allow the request following a letter Pollard had sent to [Israeli] Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom in which he asked for the minister’s personal intervention in what he referred to as ‘a matter of life and death,’” reported Yediot.
Multiple other press accounts, in Hebrew and English, echoed the Yediot report.
But Pollard’s “dying” mother-in-law, Rose Zeitz, passed away July 18.
WND had learned the media accounts originated with officials in Israel’s Foreign Ministry, who told reporters they were trying to secure Pollard’s temporary release.
Pollard’s wife, Esther, said she places the blame for the false reports on the Israeli government for “exploiting” her family tragedy “to make it appear as if the government is doing something for Jonathan.”
“The Israeli government has no shame. No honor. To show such brazen disrespect for the dead, for my mother, reflects a level of moral depravity beyond the imagination of normal people,” Esther Pollard told WND.
Pollard explained one week before Zeitz’s death, a personal appeal from her husband was hand-delivered to Shalom and also sent to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
“I am asking you to intervene on my behalf with the U.S. without delay to arrange a furlough for me – the first in 20 years – so that I can travel to Montreal to lend support to my wife and to see my dying mother-in-law and say good-bye before it is too late,” Jonathan Pollard wrote in a letter.
“I have been told that if the request for a furlough on compassionate grounds comes from the Highest levels of the Israeli Government and is made at the highest levels in the U.S., it will be granted.”
Officials at the Bureau of Prisons in Washington are reportedly unaware of any request by Israel to secure a leave for Pollard.
Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, was convicted in 1985 of one count of passing classified information to an ally, Israel, and sentenced to life imprisonment in spite of a plea agreement that was to spare him a life sentence.
Pollard’s sentence is considered by many to be disproportionate to the crime for which he was convicted – he is the only person in the history of the United States to receive a life sentence for spying for an ally. The median sentence for this particular offense is two to four years.
Said Esther: “This latest episode reflects the entire history of Israel’s so called ‘efforts’ to secure Jonathan’s release. There are no efforts. There never have been any. All that the Israeli government ever does is to plant lies in the media about their so-called ‘efforts.’ With their lies and profound disrespect to both the living and the dead, this government is trampling on my mother’s grave.”
Pollard’s Jerusalem attorney, Larry Dub, added, “The anguish that this publication caused could easily have been avoided if the Israeli media would have contacted us to do a simple fact check before publishing this story.”