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Daily Israel Report

'Everyone Cooperated with the US Against Us'

Ann Pollard, ex-wife of Jonathan Pollard, gives rare interview about her Kafkaesque experiences during the Pollard affair and in US prison.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 3/1/2014, 9:33 PM / Last Update: 3/1/2014, 10:00 PM

Jonathan Pollard
Jonathan Pollard
Yehuda Glick

Jonathan Pollard's ex-wife Ann gave a rare interview to Channel 10 Saturday night giving the public her account of the fateful events of November 21, 1985 - the day Pollard was arrested on charges of espionage. 

"When he [Jonathan] did not return home [from the embassy], I knew something was wrong," Pollard stated to Channel 10. "The entire house was surrounded by FBI agents and we went through hell before we could run to Aviam Sella [the contact person for Israel to whom Pollard passed information - ed.]." 

"I told him [Sella] what had happened and he said, 'Don't worry, we're all Israeli, we're all Jews, and we'll all be responsible for each other,'" she continued. "A few hours later he and his wife had already took off for the airport to flee back home to Israel." Pollard bitterly explained that it was then that she knew that Sella had betrayed them - and that an entire country had "turned their backs" on them.

Within a week, Jonathan Pollard had been arrested - and, according to Ann, Israel took the US's side of events. "Everyone cooperated with the United States against us," Ann fired and noted that she "had never heard of a country that sends spies and then testifies against them."

"The person who broke my heart then [in the Pollard affair] was then-Prime Minister, Shimon Peres, who is President today," Ann stated. "He had a productive life in the past 28 years, while Jonathan has been languishing in a US prison." Pollard added that since then, Peres "has not even said 'hello'" to her - despite being a top government official with the potential to influence the case. 

Pollard noted that a real low was her time in prison for the espionage charges - where everyone was against her. 

"From the first day I was there, everyone saw me as a dirty Jew, dirty Israeli, dirty spy," she recounted, adding, "I was there with members of the Muslim Brotherhood even before they even knew who the Muslim Brotherhood was." 

​Prison conditions were appalling. 

"I had no room, I was locked in a cell with no air ventilation," she stated. "Every week they let me out for ten minutes to shower." 

"I do not even know what was in the food there to this day," she continued. "I just know that it was full of oil and caused me to get sick."

"The toilets would be deliberately broken and not repaired for days, so I was locked in a tiny cell and with a smelly toilet," she said, stressing that "you have to be a monster to even think to do that to a person. They prevented me from getting medical treatment and I just got sicker and sicker and sicker." 

Pollard noted that despite her horrific ordeal, she is still an avid Zionist - but that does not mean that she would do it all over again.

"I'm still an ardent Zionist, but I have changed my mind about what happened," she noted. "If I could go back in time I would change completely and radically."

Jonathan Pollard has recently been subject of a high-profile campaign for his release, now in his 29th year of incarceration in a US jail on spying allegations. He was arrested by FBI agents in 1985 and held ever since. 

Calls for his release escalated since it was revealed last month that the US and UK have been spying on top Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Pollard was arrested on charges far less serious, critics noted, and slammed the Obama administration for "hypocrisy."