Calculated Move Shuts Pollard Out of Knesset Roll
J4JP Release - November 3, 2003
Justice4JP protests vigorously that the roll of captives and MIAs that was read at its first weekly reading in Knesset today by MK Ruchama Avraham was redefined at the last moment in a calculated move to shut out Jonathan Pollard.
This was originally to be a list of all of those who were taken captive during the course of their service to the State of Israel. It was modified at the last moment to include only those being held in enemy countries, thus ousting Pollard from the list.
The exclusion of Jonathan Pollard's name was such a blatant omission from an initiative designed to remember Israelis who served the State in captivity that Speaker Rivlin found it necessary to mention Jonathan Pollard after thanking MK Ruchama Avraham for reading the official roll.
Rivlin also mentioned Azzam Azzam. This is completely inappropriate. Unlike Azzam Azzam, an Israeli civilian who DID NOT serve the State, Jonathan Pollard is in captivity as a direct result of his service to the State of Israel. Here are the facts:
J4JP strongly deplores the efforts of MK Avraham to establish a distinction between Jonathan and the rest of the MIAs and Captives on the roll, in order to disinclude Jonathan Pollard. Other than the location of their respective incarcerations, no distinction whatsoever exists.
FACT: Jonathan Pollard worked for the Ministry of Defense.
FACT: Jonathan was employed by LAKAM, an authorized Israeli Intelligence Bureau under the auspices of the Ministry of Defense.
FACT: Jonathan became a captive in the course of his service to LAKAM.
That makes Jonathan a captive belonging to the Israeli Ministry of Defense - just like the rest of the MIAs and Captives who served in the IDF, another branch of the Ministry of Defense.
Jonathan was officially recognized as an Israeli agent in 1998, when Israel reversed years of denial and falsehood about his service to the State. In a legally binding document, dated May 111998 delivered to Jonathan Pollard and in a release to the media, the Government issued the following statement:
"Jonathan Pollard was an Israeli agent who was handled by high-ranking officials in an Israeli authorized bureau - LAKAM.
In light of this fact, the State of Israel acknowledges its obligation to Mr. Pollard and is ready to accept full responsibility accordingly."
Jonathan is the only Israeli captive held by an ally, and whose whereabouts is known. His release was promised to Israel numerous times, most recently as part of the 1998 Wye Accords. To date, the U.S. has failed to honor its commitment to release him and Israel has yet to take meaningful action to collect on it.
It is deeply troubling that Jonathan's name has been omitted from a distinguished Knesset roll of captives designed to show the rest of the world the concern that the Knesset has for their return. J4JP calls upon Speaker of the House Ruby Rivlin to correct this blatant omission before the next weekly of this roll by restoring Jonathan Pollard's name to his proper place on it.