Jonathan Pollard Sues the Israeli Government

Shurat HaDin - Israel Law Center Media Release
For Immediate Release - May 8, 2005

Imprisoned Israeli Agent Petitions High Court to Review Twenty-Year History of Betrayal and Abandonment by The Jewish State.

Jonathan Pollard, an Israeli intelligence agent in his 20th year of a life sentence in the US, will file a petition in the High Court of Justice in Jerusalem today, to compel the government of Israel to officially declare him a "Prisoner of Zion." This status bestows important rights upon the PoZ and imposes specific legal obligations upon the government.

The petition asks the Court, in making its determination, to investigate the United States' violation of Pollard's plea agreement, his unprecedented life-sentence, and the cruel and unusual punishment to which he has been subjected.

The lawsuit also seeks a judicial review of the Israeli government's calculated mishandling of Pollard's case for the last two decades; and its consistent refusal to mount an effective campaign to secure his freedom, as it has done for agents captured in other countries - Cyprus, Switzerland, Jordan, and New Zealand, among them.

Pollard is represented in the High Court by Israeli attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner. Attorney Larry Dub is 'of counsel'. Pollard, a former civilian analyst for the US Navy, was arrested in Washington, D.C. on November 21, 1985, on charges of having passed classified information to Israel. He is the only person in the history of the United States to receive a life sentence for spying for an ally.

Pollard's previous petitions to the High Court resulted in the Government of Israel first recognizing Pollard nationally, as a citizen (1995); and then recognizing him militarily, as an agent who served the security services of the State under the auspices of the Ministry of Defense (1998). The current petition completes the circle by forcing the Government of Israel to recognize him morally, as a Prisoner of Zion.

The High Court petition argues: "The unprecedented and disproportionate life-sentence that was imposed upon Jonathan Pollard . . . the stubborn refusal of the United States to release him from jail . . . the torture and afflictions that Pollard has endured and continues to endure in various penal facilities, and the denial of his legitimate and basic human rights are all derived from the fact that he is a Jewish soldier in the service of the Jewish State."

According to his attorney, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner: "We are asking the High Court to review the Israeli government's 20-year policy of betrayal, willful deceit and cowardice in the case of this captured intelligence agent. The government's denial of "Prisoner of Zion" status to Jonathan Pollard is symptomatic of its fear of the Americans and permits it to continue to ignore judicial misconduct and physical mistreatment of our agent by the United States. Israel must be compelled to treat Pollard as it would any other captured agent and to spare no effort in achieving his immediate release."

For more information:
  • U.S.: 212-591-0073
  • ISRAEL: 972-523-837020
  • Web:
  • Email: [email protected]

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