Understanding The Supreme Court Decision

A New Larry Dub Esq. Letter

Rabbi Pesach Lerner,
Executive Vice President
National Council of Young Israel

February 7, 2000

Dear Pesach,

Let me assure you that the report you read in the Jerusalem Post today about the Supreme Court's Decision on Jonathan's petition was completely misinformed. Although the petition was rejected, much has been achieved by this lawsuit.

The major gains made by filing this petition are:

  1. For the first time, the Government of Israel formally recognizes that it has specific legal obligations to Jonathan.

  2. The Supreme Court Decision, for the first time, affirmed Jonathan's entitlement to the specific rights that he requested in his petition.

  3. For the first time, the Government of Israel made specific promises to Jonathan in a legal document filed with the Supreme Court.

  4. The Court Decision placed the onus squarely on the Government to stand and deliver.

Let me explain:

Until this petition was filed in September of 1999, the Government of Israel not only failed to fulfill any of its obligations to Jonathan, it also never acknowledged that it had any obligations to him. The Court forced the Government to respond to Jonathan's petition for the fulfillment of his legal rights.

On October 7, 1999 the Government responded, for the first time acknowledging its obligations to Jonathan as an Israeli agent. The Government's response covered those points that Jonathan had raised in his petition, and promised to fulfill its obligations to him medically, legally, financially, morally etc. The Government promised him that a concerted effort would be made to secure his release, and in the meantime, he and his representatives would be routinely briefed.

Since it made these commitments to Jonathan via the Court, the Government then felt justified in asking for the petition to be dismissed. We disagreed. The Government has a very poor track record on the case, so we wanted the Court to take a more active role in supervising and enforcing the fulfillment of these commitments.

The Court rejected our request that it be actively involved in directing the Government's efforts. It did however recognize our lack of confidence in the Government, and the Court's Decision pointed out other legal avenues that we may pursue, should the Government fail to make good on its stated obligations to Jonathan.

Perhaps the most significant thing about the Court's Decision was its stated belief that this Government can quickly make good on its promise to bring Jonathan home. In other words, the Court stuck its neck out supporting Ehud Barak's credibility, thereby raising the level of public expectation for Jonathan's release.

By dismissing the petition in the way that it did, the Court gave the Government the opportunity to act on its stated intention to quickly and quietly bring Jonathan home, without being compelled to do so. Now it is up to the Government to deliver, or face further legal action consistent with the Supreme Court's recommendations.

Obviously, we would prefer not to have to institute new legal proceedings, but we will not shrink from taking whatever action is necessary, now or in the future, to ensure that Jonathan's legal rights are protected, and that his release and return to Israel is secured, as the Supreme Court said, "in the very near future."

Jonathan joins me in thanking you for your constant support and consistent efforts on his behalf.

Very truly yours,

Larry Dub, Esq.