Jonathan Pollard Begins 16th Year In Prison Today

Justice4JP Release - November 21, 2000

Statement Released by

The Office of the Prime Minister:

November 21, 2000

"The State of Israel has not forgotten and has not abandoned Jonathan Pollard. Many efforts have been made in the past, and are being made in the present to secure his release, which for understandable reasons may not be made public."

(Source: Kol Yisroel Radio News. Translated from Hebrew)

Justice4JP Release


Today, November 21, 2000, marks the start of Jonathan Pollard's 16th year of a life sentence for his activities on behalf of Israel. To this day, Jonathan Pollard receives no assistance whatsoever from the Government of Israel - medical, moral, financial, or legal.


Sixteen years ago this week, the then-head of Israeli Military Intelligence, Ehud Barak, met with his American counterpart to discuss the case of the-newly arrested Israeli agent, Jonathan Pollard. At that meeting, Mr. Barak established the policy of abandonment of an Israeli agent that continues to this day.

Israel returned the Pollard documents to the US after securing a promise that these documents would not be used to prosecute him. As soon as the Americans had the documents in hand, they proceeded to violate their commitment by using them to extract a guilty plea from Jonathan. Israel did not protest this betrayal. Israel never even informed Jonathan of their legal undertaking with the US, and thereby deprived him of the opportunity to defend himself.

In all the years since, Israel has never protested the harsh treatment and unjust sentence that was meted out to Jonathan Pollard without benefit of trial.

Under Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Israel continues to pay lip-service to the case to appease domestic public opinion, but has never undertaken a serious initiative to secure the release of her agent from the hands of her alleged closest ally, the United States.


Without any assistance from the Government of Israel, Jonathan Pollard and his new attorneys, Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman of New York, have filed a new legal case in America. The case clearly demonstrates how Jonathan Pollard was railroaded and unjustly sentenced on the basis of falsehood and lies.

On the basis of these legal documents alone, the Prime Minister of Israel would be more than justified in asking the President of the United States to free Jonathan Pollard at once. Although a case could easily be made for correcting a travesty of justice and for equitable treatment of Israel as an ally, Mr. Barak has, to date, failed to do so. [See the legal documents and related articles on the Court Case 2000 Page.


In approximately 60 days, President Clinton will be leaving office. Even though he has received a copy of all the new legal documents, he is set to duck the Pollard issue again - with no protest from the Government of Israel or the American Jewish community. Mr. Clinton broke faith with Israel 2 years ago when he committed to release Jonathan Pollard as an integral part of the Wye Accords and then reneged at the last moment. He then promised a speedy review of the case. There has been no speed and no review.

No change in attitude is anticipated if a new administration is elected. The indifference of the Government of Israel and the apathy of the American Jewish leadership to the fate of an Israeli agent unjustly imprisoned in America enables successive American administrations to continue the exploitation of the case of Jonathan Pollard for political aims.


By accepting and tolerating the Israeli Government's long-standing abandonment of Jonathan Pollard, a paradigm for, and the acceptance of, a government policy of expendability has been established that potentially threatens all of Israel's five million Jews - one by one. An end must be put to this unJewish attitude of indifference to the value of a Jewish life.

In response to the statement above, issued today by the Prime Minister's office - and in the absence of any evidence, public or private, that he is acting in good faith - Justice4JP calls upon Prime Minister Barak to secure the release of Jonathan Pollard without further delay.

  • See Also: Kol Yisrael Interview with Esther Pollard