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December 11, 2016 / 11 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan Pollard’

Court Rejects Pollard Appeal of Parole Terms

Friday, August 12th, 2016

Convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, 62, who was released on parole last November on Thursday lost his appeal to ease his stiff probation conditions. Pollard served out a 30-year sentence, the longest prison term imposed on a spy from a friendly country in US history. Manhattan federal judge Katherine Forrest rejected Pollard’s request to ease his release requirement to wear an electronic tracking device and to have his computer be monitored by the authorities.

Pollard’s attorneys told the court their client was not a flight risk and that whatever secrets he knew of thirty years ago couldn’t possibly have any value to anyone. In addition, they said the arbitrary required for monitoring his computer meant Pollard couldn’t get a job with an investment firm.

The judge cited the facts that Pollard received an Israeli citizenship while behind bars meant that he was a flight risk, and a letter from James Clapper, the director of US National Intelligence, stating that the secrets Pollard learned in the 1980s were still secrets today.

David Israel

Pollard Praying for Miracle of Chanukah in Appeal on Parole Conditions

Friday, December 4th, 2015

Jonathan Pollard is appealing to the U.S. District Court in New York on Wednesday for easing conditions of his parole that make it impossible for him to work and require him to violate Jewish law on Shabbat.

HaModia reported that the presiding judge at the hearing, on the third day of Chanukah, will be Katherine B. Forrest, who was appointed to her current position four years ago by President Barack Obama.

A New York financial institution had offered Pollard a job after his recent release from prison following 30 years in jail.

However, the parole’s conditions require Pollard to remain under house arrest 12 hours a day, from 7 in the evening until 7 in the morning, preventing him from attending synagogue on the eve of Shabbat and Jewish holidays.

Attorney Jacques Semmelman, acting on behalf of Pollard, previously has filed a brief stating that he cannot find work because he is required to wear a GPS bracelet, which needs re-charring at least once and sometimes twice within 24 hours.

Moreover, he has to remain seated for two hours while the battery for the monitoring system is being re-charged.

His parole conditions also require him to violate the Shabbat by answering the phone if his probation officer calls on the Day of Rest.

Turning on the electricity on Shabbat for the re-charging system is a violation of Jewish law, and even if he uses a “Shabbos clock,” he cannot move from his seat for two hours.

Rabbi Pesach Lerner, executive of the National Council of Young Israel, told the court in an affidavit that when there is a two-day Jewish holiday, which occurs four times day and sometimes if it immediately followed by Shabbat, it would cause more violations of Jewish law.

Rabbi Lerner, according to HaModia, also pointed out that the parole conditions disturb the meaning of Shabbat. He explained:

Lest anyone think the Sabbath is merely a collection of prohibitions, that is not the case at all. The Sabbath is a special day which, if properly observed, provides spiritual respite and growth.

 

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

The NY Times’ Moment of ‘Rishus’

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

(JNi.media) Some words really do work best in Yiddish, and “Rishus,” which roughly means nastiness mixed with hate (the Hebrew original is a pale “wickedness”), and the NY Times radiated that special kind of mix in a Nov. 22 editorial titled, “No Exception for Jonathan Pollard.”

Written by the Times editorial board, the piece combats the popular notion that recently released convicted spy Jonathan Pollard was some kind of hero, a “cause célèbre in Israel.” They argue that “the narrative of the selfless spy is unfounded. In the charges against him, Mr. Pollard was portrayed as a flaky operator who tried to peddle secrets to Israel but also to Pakistan, South Africa and other countries for the money, of which Israel paid him a lot. … the known facts do not warrant special consideration.”

But Pollard did receive “special consideration.” On June 4, 1986, Pollard pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to deliver national defense information to a foreign government. The prosecutor, in compliance with the plea agreement, recommended that Pollard receive “only a substantial number of years in prison.” But Judge Aubrey Robinson, Jr., who received a personal note from Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger—without the defense’s knowledge—imposed a life sentence.

It is commonly agreed that what irked Sec. Weinberger so much about Pollard, then and in years to come, when he continued to thwart every presidential attempt to pardon the Israeli spy, was the Wolf Blitzer interview. Three weeks before his sentencing, Pollard gave Wolf Blitzer, the Jerusalem Post Washington correspondent, a jail-cell interview which also ran in The Washington Post (February 15, 1987), crowing him “Israel’s Master Spy.” Pollard told Blitzer about the information he provided Israel: reconnaissance satellite photography of the PLO headquarters in Tunisia; specific capabilities of Libya’s air defenses; and “the pick of US intelligence about Arab and Islamic conventional and unconventional military activity, from Morocco to Pakistan and every country in between. This included both ‘friendly’ and ‘unfriendly’ Arab countries.”

The stated reason for Pollard’s harsh sentence, which ignored his plea bargain was violating his plea agreement, which came down to the Blitzer story, which made the Reagan Administration look bad, for holding back vital information from its ally, Israel, which stung Caspar Weinberger.

One wonders how the NY Times editorial board would have opined this week had Blitzer peddled his interview on 41st Street instead of to the Post.

The other “special treatment” Pollard received was in being kept behind bars for the duration of his sentence, which had never been done to any other spy working for a friendly country. Dennis Ross said in 2004: “Pollard received a harsher sentence than others who committed comparable crimes.” Stephen Fain Williams, a Senior Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit stated: “Jonathan Pollard’s life sentence represents a fundamental miscarriage of justice.” Former US assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb wrote: “We believe that his continued incarceration constitutes a travesty of justice and a stain on the American system of justice.”

What did the NY Times have to say about this “stain on the American system of justice?” There was this April 1, 2014 editorial board piece titled, “Bad Move on Jonathan Pollard,” which opened: “The emergence of the convicted spy Jonathan Pollard as a bargaining chip in Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations is a lamentable sign of America’s desperation to keep both sides talking.”

In other words, when choosing between peace talks and keeping Pollard in — for the Times it’s Pollard all the way down.

On Jan. 14, 2014, in “Don’t Trust This Spy,” by M. E. Bowman, a former deputy general counsel for national security law at the F.B.I. and a former deputy of the US Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive He wrote: “At the time of Mr. Pollard’s sentencing, federal law did not permit the death penalty, and a life sentence meant a maximum of 30 years. As such, Mr. Pollard is close to release, counting time off for good behavior. That release, however, should occur when his sentence expires and not, as four former directors of naval intelligence have put it, as a result of a ‘clever public relations campaign.’”

JNi.Media

Pollard’s First Wife Suing Israel

Sunday, November 22nd, 2015

Anne Pollard, the “forgotten” Pollard who was jailed along with her husband Jonathan but for a shorter time, is suing the Israeli government for millions of dollars for allegedly abandoning her.

Anne Pollard served 3 years and 4 months in prison, out of a five-year term, while her husband’s life sentence in jail was curtailed Friday.

She is arguing in her suit that the Mossad abandoned her and for defamation and Jonathan from the day the Israeli Embassy refused to allow them asylum.

Jonathan Pollard divorced her from his jail cell after she left prison. He then married Esther after Anne moved to Israel. She returned to the United States and then moved back to Israel in 2010.

 

 

Jewish Press News Briefs

Jonathan Pollard’s First Picture as a Free Man

Friday, November 20th, 2015

(JNi.media) Jonathan Pollard and his family posted a notice on the Justice for Pollard website, asking his supporters to refrain from public activities regarding his release (from US parole), saying it may be harmful to his cause.

In keeping with this request, Pollard’s close circle has decided to find a way in which “the dear public who acted, prayed and fought for Jonathan’s release through the years, could send him directly a huge hug which would empower him and Esther to face the complicated challenges that still remain in their path.”

To this end, they established an mail account: Letters4pollard@gmail.com, intended to receive letters (in Hebrew, too), which will be printed in the US by the staff and be personally delivered to Jonathan as soon as possible. “You are welcome to send Jonathan all that’s in your heart, tell him about your activities and your prayers for him over the years, and it is also possible to attach a photo.”

The group has also asked people to pray for his complete recovery using his Hebrew name: Yehonatan ben Malka.

JNi.Media

Pollard Freed from Prison But Not from US

Friday, November 20th, 2015

Jonathan Pollard, 61, was released from prison in the pre-dawn hours Friday morning, 30 years after having been incarcerated for handing over classified Pentagon information on behalf of Israel.

Many of America’s media still report that he was a spy even though he never was convicted for espionage.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Friday:

The people of Israel welcome the release of Jonathan Pollard. As someone who raised Jonathan’s case for years with successive American presidents, I had long hoped this day would come.

After three long and difficult decades, Jonathan has been reunited with his family. May this Sabbath bring him much joy and peace that will continue in the years and decades ahead.

His freedom is limited by his having to report to a parole officer. Pollard’s release is conditioned on good behavior. He is not allowed to leave the United States for five years, but lawyers are lobbying federal officials to lift the restrictions. One report is that he might be able to leave the country on condition that he renounces his American citizenship.

Both the Obama and Netanyahu administrations are keeping his release low key. Officials purposely released him in the pre-dawn hours to lower the level of publicity.

Prime Minister Netanyahu told ministers and Knesset Members to keep a low profile over Pollard’s release and not to meet him as he left prison, probably in order to hurt his chances of winning a cancellation of conditions on his release.

He will undergo medical examinations, and an investment firm reportedly has promised him a job as an analyst.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Obama Won’t Make It Easier for Pollard to Go Home

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

(JNi.media) Under the terms of Jonathan Pollard’s release, due this Nov. 20, he must remain in US territory for five years, under supervision, which would preclude any plans of making aliyah—he already received his Israeli citizenship some 20 years ago. According to the Washington Post, Pollard’s supporters have asked Prime Minister Netanyahu to ask President Obama at their Monday meeting—which was reportedly better than expected and lasted 45 minutes longer than scheduled—to use his executive power to waive the parole condition and allow the released spy to go to his new home.

Last week, Obama’s deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters he “wouldn’t be surprised” if Netanyahu raised the Pollard issue with Obama, but Netanyahu would not confirm or deny when reporters asked him after the meeting about Pollard.

Pollard’s attorney said last week that his client was going to live in New York, where he had a job and a home waiting for him, but, if he could, he would have preferred to join his wife, Esther, in Israel. “He wants to make a contribution, he has lots of significant ideas,” the attorney said.

But, judging by Netanyahu’s silence, the official White House line and the absence of leaks to the contrary from the White House, it appears President Obama will not intervene to let Jonathan Pollard skip his parole period and go home. Pollard is 61, which means that, after serving out his 5 halfway years, he could start collecting Israeli social security. He did contribute quite a bit to Israeli security, after all.

Meanwhile, Gail Berman’s The Jackal Group is developing a feature film about the Pollard’s case, based on Martin Blank’s play “The Law Of Return,” about Pollard’s work for the US Navy, and the process of his becoming a spy. Blank will write the script, Berman and SVP Film Development’s Rory Koslow are producing for Jackal Group. Perhaps the released Pollard could be hired as consultant.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-wont-make-it-easier-for-pollard-to-go-home/2015/11/10/

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