A Most Damaging Piece on Pollard: Response to Steve Rodan

October 26, 1996 - Esther Pollard
The Jerusalem Post - International Edition


"Passport to nowhere" (October 12) by Steve Rodan has the unfortunate distinction of being one of the most damaging articles to appear on the Pollard case since my husband, Jonathan Pollard, was arrested 11 years ago.

Mr. Rodan has arduously collected all the old lies and allegations that were used against Jonathan Pollard then, and has presented them in quotes, unchallenged, leaving the impression that they are facts.

Unsubstantiated allegations are not facts.

Here are some of the facts Mr. Rodan did not present:

  1. After nine month of intensive polygraphing, the FBI concluded that Jonathan Pollard is "an ideologue." He did not act (as the article suggests) for "fun and profit," but out of deep conviction.

  2. Jonathan Pollard did not derive any financial benefit from his activities on behalf of Israel. This fact was recognized by the sentencing judge, who accept the FBI polygraph results and imposed no monetary fine, as is standard procedure in cases where there has been financial gain.

  3. Legally, "treason" refers to aiding or abetting an enemy state. Israel is an ally, not an enemy. Jonathan Pollard did not commit treason, nor was he ever charged on that count.

  4. 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.

  5. Jonathan Pollard never had a trial. He waived his right to a trail in return for a plea agreement which the America government subsequently violated on every point, including the life sentence. (Who bargains for a life sentence?!)

  6. Jonathan Pollard tried to appeal on the basis of the broken plea agreement. The appeal was rejected on a technicality (that it had not been filed on time). Judge Steven Williams wrote a minority opinion, castigating the decision to deny relief in a case which he described as

    "a complete and gross miscarriage of justice."

  7. The International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, consisting of 300 members from 22 countries, concluded that the sentence meted out to Jonathan Pollard is "

    grossly disproportionate

    when compared with others who committed similar offenses, and even in comparison to sentences of those who committed much more serious." This issue was not addressed in the article.

  8. Jonathan Pollard was never indicted for harming the United States - nor will he ever be - because there isn't a shred of evidence to support such a charge. Exaggerated allegations of damage that have been bandied about in the press are not supported by (non-classified) legally documented accounts, such as the "Victim Impact Statement" which is a key document in Jonathan's "Pre-Sentencing Interview."

  9. Jonathan Pollard does not have any information that is of any value to anyone today. In an age of electronic media, the mere suggestion that stale, out-dated information, 11 years old, has any value is laughable.

  10. After 11 years of living under a microscope, Jonathan Pollard wishes only to lead a quiet, productive life as a productive citizen. He has signed legal documents to this effect.

  11. The State of Israel has given Jonathan Pollard citizenship and has accepted full responsibility for him, now and in the future. As America's closest, most reliable ally in the Middle East, that ought to be enough.
The foregoing are some of the more striking facts which ought to have been presented as a counter-balance to the allegations Mr. Rodan served up in quotes. It is puzzling that he did not seek or present counter quotes from knowledgeable sources.

Jonathan Pollard is fighting for his life. In relying on unnamed Israeli government sources, Mr. Rodan hides behind a veil of anonymity which both undermines my husband's fight for his life and raises serious ethical questions about credibility.

It is also troubling that, in lending legitimacy to unauthorized, self-appointed spokespersons - long since removed from the case - Mr. Rodan undermines the legitimate activities carried out by Jonathan Pollard's authorized spokespersons - his attorney, Larry Dub, and his wife, Esther Pollard.

It is not clear what purpose this article was meant to serve. But what is clear is that it does not serve the purpose of truth.

Esther Pollard

See Also:
  • The Facts of Jonathan Pollard's Case