Challenging the ADL Policy Background Report (PBR) on the Case of Jonathan Pollard

Posted April 31, 2000

Justice4JP Note:

The following paper was written by Jonathan Pollard's former attorney, Theodore B. Olsen, and submitted to the National Executive Committee of the ADL for consideration at their Spring 1993 meeting in Palm Beach. It was submitted in support of a request to the ADL for the organization's support of the commutation of Jonathan Pollard's sentence by President Clinton. This document is as relevant today as it was when it was written over 7 years ago. There has been virtually no change in the ADL's position on the Pollard case in all the years since then. More importantly, the ADL's conspicuous silence and lack of involvement in the Pollard case continues to do damage to the perception of the case to this very day. Or, in the words of Pollard's attorney "the ADL's silence on Pollard is (still) the loudest voice on the subject."

A Submission To Anti-Defamation League National Executive Committee
On Behalf Of Jonathan Pollard

Theodore B. Olsen Esq.

This paper is submitted to challenge erroneous and misleading statements in the ADL Policy Background Report (PBR) on the case of Jonathan Pollard.

To begin with, the PBR poses a policy question offering three options to the ADL National Executive Committee. The third option, a letter to President Clinton urging a prompt review of the case "without requesting commutation", is puzzling. Mr. Clinton has told the President's Conference he would personally review the case. Why then, an "option" gratuitously reminding the President that ADL is carefully not suggesting commutation? What is ADL suggesting; that the President review the matter and deny commutation?

Even more puzzling, the very first paragraph of the PBR declares that the ADL has previously decided it "would be inappropriate" for ADL to speak out in behalf of commutation for Pollard "in the absence of convincing evidence that Pollard's case was tainted by anti-Semitism or an anti-Israel bias."

ADL's chartered purpose goes beyond fighting anti-Semitism. It explicitly undertakes to oppose human injustice. Over the long years ADL has effectively implemented this profound commitment. "Human injustice" is the foundation stone that underlies countless costly ADL activities, including Resolutions against the imprisonment by the United States Government of Japanese-Americans during World War II, ADL's fifty-year effort in defense of the rights of Blacks, Chicanos, Puerto Ricans, and in recent days, of the Haitians, Bosnia-Herzegovinians and Somalians. Full page ADL ads in support of helping such victims of injustice has become almost the norm. Why is it that in order to justify an ADL effort in behalf of a Jew denied justice (excessive, i.e. cruel and inhuman, punishment), anti-Semitism or anti-Israelism must be shown to be present? Certainly, neither anti-Semitism nor bigotry toward Israel is present with respect to the Haitians, Somalians, Bosnians, Japanese-Americans and other minority American groups who suffer "human injustice". Yet ADL is in there punching.

In the same opening section it is stated that in addition to B'nai Brith and the American Jewish Committee "several other organizations" have moved away from "non-involvement" in the Pollard affair. "Several other organizations" hardly constitutes a balanced portrayal of the groundswell of Jewish organizations who became involved in behalf of Pollard. A modicum of fairness would have included a statement that 560 Rabbis signed the letter to President Bush (copy enclosed) and 176 national and local Rabbinic, Christian and Jewish lay organizations have adopted resolutions calling for the commutation of Jonathan Pollard's excessive sentence. A list of those organizations is submitted herewith.

Instead, the PBR discounts this unprecedented outpouring of support with the statement: "There is no question that Jonathan Pollard's supporters have done a very effective job in arousing sympathy for him and applying pressure on ADL and other Jewish organizations to act on his behalf" (Section IV).

Pollard's supporters have brought the facts to the public's attention. Is the ADL criticizing such actions as improper pressure? The groundswell of support from the grassroots of American Jewry comes less from meager organized activity than from the painful historic experience of the "Sin of Silence" (Elie Wiesel). And Pollard's supporters are not seeking "sympathy." They are seeking Justice which we are commanded to pursue (Deuteronomy 16.20).

Section IV of the Policy Background Report states that it is "intended to help foster a fair, objective and balanced debate" within the NEC. In truth, Section IV reveals its anti-Pollard bias in at least the following 8 respects:

  1. The first erroneous statement is that "the commutation petition for Jonathan Pollard does not mention the enormous volume or strategic importance of the confidential material Pollard compromised." On this subject, Section IV continues: "Additionally with regard to Pollard's sentence, as a legal matter it makes no difference whether confidential material is furnished to an enemy or an ally. Once the confidentiality of information has been compromised, the government must operate under the assumption that it may fall into unfriendly hands."

    Section IV thus equates punishment for spying for an ally (Israel) with punishment for spying for an enemy!

    This is the equivalent of what Caspar Weinberger stated in his still confidential pre-sentencing memo submitted to Judge Aubrey Robinson which falsely charged Jonathan Pollard with the crime of "treason" (spying for an enemy). Jonathan Pollard was never accused of treason! No one can measure the extent to which Judge Robinson was influenced by this outrageous charge.

    To find Weinberger's contention repeated in an ADL Report purporting to assure an objective, fair debate is distressing. No one even contended that Israel passed along any of the intelligence provided by Pollard to any other country. It is paranoid to suggest that the United States "must operate under the assumption that Israel passed along the intelligence to "unfriendly hands" without any evidence to support such an assumption. When Ambassador Meir Rosenne protested Weinberger's exaggerated description of the breach of security, (difficult "to conceive of a greater harm to national security than that caused by [Mr. Pollard]"), Weinberger told Ambassador Rosenne, "Pollard should have been shot." The NEC can easily verify this statement.

    Lawrence J. Korb, Director of the Brookings Institution, Center for Public Policy Education, and Under Secretary Of Defense under Weinberger at the time of the Pollard affair, wrote to Dr. Morris Pollard, Jonathan's father, on October 19, 1990 as follows:
    "I am not aware of exactly what Weinberger told the Court about the impact of the information Jonathan passed to Israel. I do know that Weinberger had an almost visceral dislike of Israel and the special place it occupies in our foreign policy. In my opinion, the sentence that Jonathan received was out of proportion to his alleged offense. I wish there were something I could do to help you, but I am afraid all I can offer you are my prayers and empathy."

    If any member of the NEC entertains any doubts concerning Mr. Weinberger's "objective" feelings about Israel, it is suggested that they check with Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick who sat on the National Security Council with Mr. Weinberger and willingly testifies to his consistent anti-Israel positions.

    Even a cursory examination of sentences handed-down for unlawfully turning over sensitive US documents to foreign governments shows the vast difference between punishment meted out for treason and punishment for sharing information with allied nations. Asserting the contrary as the Background Report does, is false and misleading.

    To everything there is a season (Ecclesiastics). According to The Jewish Forward of January 1992, even Caspar Weinberger "has quietly removed his objections to executive commutation."

  2. The second erroneous claim is that Pollard's commutation petition does not "refer to the significant compensation he and his then-wife received or were promised by the Israelis. According to Court papers filed by the government, Pollard and his then-wife stood to receive in excess of $500,000 over the expected life of the conspiracy."

    There is no basis in truth for the above statement. This so-called "objective" statement is obviously intended to influence the NEC into erroneously believing that Jonathan Pollard was a mercenary and as such is not deserving of any consideration.

    Everyone but the author of that statement knows that Jonathan Pollard did not serve for the State of Israel for money! The representatives of the State of Israel introduced money into the relationship in November of 1984 - five months after the commencement of his activities, using a technique routine in the intelligence community to compromise an agent and thus ensure his continued services. Israel paid Pollard a total of $25,000.00 - less than the cost of operational expenses that Pollard had personally incurred - plus the unsolicited, undesired purchase of a ring valued at approximately $7000.00, given to Pollard as a gift for his wife. The suggestion to the contrary only confirms the anti-Pollard bias of Section IV.

    Pollard spied for the State of Israel solely because he believed the State of Israel required the intelligence concerning nuclear, chemical and biological warfare which he provided to protect the State of Israel from enemy forces intent on the annihilation of the State of Israel.

  3. The third unwarranted statement in Section IV is the suggestion that Pollard will obtain parole when he becomes legally eligible to apply for parole in November 1995. If there was any sincerity in this suggestion, it would include a statement that the ADL intends to support parole at that time. The reason no such statement is included is because it would be indefensible to require 2 more years of imprisonment when Pollard is already in his 8th year of incarceration, which already far exceeds the term of imprisonment of any other person who spied for an ally, and in solitary confinement. More relevant to the subject of statutory eligibility date to apply for parole is the statement of the prosecuting attorney on the Court House steps the day Jonathan Pollard was sentenced that "this fellow would never see the light of day," - meaning parole would never be granted. Coupled with the opposition of the Defense and Intelligence communities, parole is a virtual impossibilty for Mr. Pollard.

  4. The fourth unwarranted claim in Section IV is that Jonathan Pollard's plea for commutation is based on allegations of mistreatment in prison. The commutation petition makes no such claim. The essence of the commutation request is equal justice, and proportional sentencing. The members of the NEC are implored to read the commutation petition and the letters supporting it which are annexed to it.

  5. The fifth unwarranted claim of Section IV is so incredible that it must be restated in full:
    "Some members of the NEC may also be aware that questions have been raised in official circles as to whether there is any connection between the Pollard affair and the scandal involving a former Israeli Air Force General, Rami Dotan. Dotan is presently in prison after confessing to skimming millions of dollars of U.S. military aid from American defense contractors, including General Electric, which say they were duped. The individual alleged to have facilitated Dotan's activities, attorney Harold Katz, also owned the Washington, D.C. apartment in which Pollard's stolen documents were copied, and Katz has not been available to explain his role in either case. To ADL's knowledge, a connection between the two has never been established. A Congressional investigation and a Department of Justice inquiry into the Dotan affair are pending."

    Will the NEC decide Pollard's fate on the basis of unspecified questions raised in unidentified official circles whether the Pollard affair is connected to Dotan's actions because Harold Katz, who is alleged to have facilitated Dotan's activities, owned the apartment in which the Pollard documents were copied during the period from June 1984 through November 1985 when Pollard was arrested? Is this evidence of Pollard's complicity with Dotan? Or merely fantastic, irrelevant speculation?

    The above quoted PBR statement is a mean-spirited innuendo reminiscent of McCarthyism. The last sentence in the quote implies, but does not say because it would be false, that the pending investigation into the Dotan affair is somehow tied in with the Pollard matter. This sly suggestion is made without any foundation and has been made solely to achieve the biased objective of Section IV. It is shameful to read this in what purports to be an "objective" Background Report.

  6. The sixth unwarranted claim of Section IV is the false suggestion that Jonathan Pollard has not expressed his remorse. A copy of his letter of remorse to his parents is submitted herewith. This letter has been in the possession of the ADL since 4 days after it was written. The failure of Section IV to even mention Jonathan Pollard's letter of remorse when discussing the subject of remorse further confirms that Section IV is part of a continuing biased effort to keep Pollard in prison.

  7. The seventh misleading claim of Section IV is the inference that the ADL has not yet intervened in the Pollard case. On the contrary,

    ADL's silence on Pollard is the loudest voice on the subject

    . ADL has cooperated fully with NJCRAC in its blind-sighted organized opposition to Pollard's commutation.

  8. The eighth claim is that of omission. Is a Background Report on Pollard fair which omits any reference to the fact that the current Prime Minister of Israel, his immediate predecessor and the current President of the State of Israel have requested President Bush to commute Pollard's sentence? Is the support (most of which developed since the ADL's last consideration of the matter) for Pollard's commutation by the 2 Chief Rabbis, 80 members of the Knesset, the Knesset Caucus, all the Mayors of Israel, and the Heads of State so irrelevant as to be excluded in a balanced Background Report?

Submitted February 1, 1993.

See Also:
  • Facts Page and Related Links on Page
  • Combating Jewish Source Disinformation
  • Refuting (NJCRAC's) "Myths and Facts" of the Pollard Case