Firestorm Over Reports Of Pollard Release Date

Justice4JP Release - November 1, 2005

Justice4JP telephones and emails have been swamped ever since a story broke in the Israeli media this morning claiming that a date for the release of Jonathan has been set for November 21, 2015.

The media claims that the setting of a release date for Pollard --10 years from now -- is a new development, and that it is an indication that the US Justice Department has had a change of heart towards the Israeli agent, jailed in America for the last 20 years. Pollard's representatives reject these claims as baseless and untrue.

Jonathan Pollard's wife, Esther, responded by explaining that the "projected date of release" which is shown on the US Bureau of Prisons interactive web site (when you type in Jonathan's name and register number) is NOT NEW and it does NOT apply specifically to Jonathan Pollard. Instead, she explained, the date is nothing more than a theoretical release date according to BoP Guidelines which determine approximate sentences for ordinary prisoners serving life sentences. Again, it is not specific to Pollard.

Because Jonathan Pollard is a political prisoner, she said, none of the Bureau of Prison Guidelines or Justice Department precedents have ever applied to him. His life sentence is unprecedented -- no other prisoner in the US has ever gotten a life sentence for spying for an ally. The conditions he has been incarcerated in (including 7 years in solitary confinement) and the treatment he has received (including repeated and protracted affliction and tortures) are also NOT part of the US federal guidelines for prisoners. Similarly Pollard's date of release does not and will not follow the guidelines shown on the BoP interactive web site.

According to Pollard's wife, the only ones who stand to benefit from parlaying this meaningless date into top news, are Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the Israeli Government who have done nothing to secure the release of the Israeli agent.

Esther Pollard accused the Israeli Government of planting this story as a means of distracting attention because it is struggling to respond to Jonathan Pollard's latest lawsuit in Israel's Supreme Court. She charged that the Government is using dirty tactics to influence the judges.

"Supreme Court judges read newspapers and listen to news reports," she said. "And while no one would think that another 10 years in prison is an achievement, the Israeli media is presenting the 2015 release date as if it were something new, and as if it represents some kind of "progress." This alleged "progress" gives the judges the cover they need to delay Jonathan's hot-potato legal case -- which is exactly what they have done. Instead of hearing the case yesterday (Oct 31st) as scheduled, the Court has now postponed the hearing for months."

When asked why Jonathan's new Bagatz (lawsuit) is so problematic for the Israeli Government, Esther responded: The Government of Israel is in an untenable position, particularly since the evidence Jonathan's lawsuit provides is both official and irrefutable. His case is based on an official Israeli Government report -- The Eban Commission Report. The Eban Report documents that Israel was directly responsible for the life sentence which Jonathan received, and it obliges the Supreme Court, at a minimum, to order the Israeli Government to demand Jonathan's immediate release from the US, based on the facts contained in the report.

Justice for Jonathan Pollard would like to underscore another of Esther Pollard's statements given to the media today: "After surviving 20 years of the harshest treatment that the US Federal system can mete out, it is a miracle every time that Jonathan survives another day in prison. Therefore fabricated "news" of a release date 10 years from now is not only irrelevant, it is outrageous! Even if it were true, it would not absolve the Government of Israel of its responsibility to secure Jonathan Pollard's immediate release."

On November 21, 2005 Jonathan Pollard will enter his 21st year of a life sentence for his activities on behalf of the State of Israel. His continued incarceration is a stain upon the honor of the Jewish State, and an apt indicator of the true state of relations between the two countries.

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