Dershowitz: Pollard Must be Free

Law Prof. Alan Dershowitz, former Pollard lawyer, says, “We must keep up the pressure regarding Pollard… He has served more than he should have.”

Hillel Fendel , | updated: 2:19 PM

Prof. Dershowitz
Prof. Dershowitz
Israel news photo: S. Dershowitz

Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, a former lawyer for Jonathan Pollard, says, “We must keep up the pressure regarding Pollard… he has served more than he should have.”

Winding up a nine-day visit to Israel, Dershowitz says the continued incarceration of Pollard, in his 25th year of a life sentence in the United States, “is a scandal – not only for Israel; it’s a scandal for America.  He was treated so unfairly.  America broke its deal; [it] broke its promise with him.”

Pollard, in jail since 1985, was convicted on one count of releasing classified information to a U.S. ally – namely, Israel. The normal sentence for this crime is 2-4 years, whereas Pollard received a life sentence.

In a message to the Yeshivat Hesder of Sderot in honor of its upcoming annual dinner, Dershowitz said, “We must keep up the pressure regarding Pollard.  I wouldn’t ask for a pardon – I would ask for a commutation. A pardon suggests that he didn’t do wrong, [but] by American law standards, he did. A commutation suggests that he served more than he should have and at this point it’s due to free him.”

"Cruel Hamas" Holding Shalit
Dershowitz also spoke about Natan Sharansky and Gilad Shalit: “We took that attitude [requesting commutation] with Sharansky. I was Sharansky’s lawyer and we got him free, as well as many of the leaders of Israel today who were Prisoners of Zion and served in prison. Sharansky left on his own terms.  When they tried to take away his Book of Psalms that kept him so vibrant in prison, he refused to let them… He was strong, he stood up to them, he looked them in the eye - and I hope that Gilad Shalit is doing the same thing. We have to have all of our efforts behind him, a young boy missing out on his youth because of the cruel, cruel Hamas not allowing proof if he’s alive, not allowing the family, not allowing the Red Cross [to visit him]…”

"Goldstone Didn't Visit Him"
Prof. Richard Goldstone, author of the controversial Goldstone Report accusing Israel of war crimes in defending itself against Hamas terrorism, once again did not escape Dershowitz’s wrath. “Goldstone had an opportunity, when he was in Gaza, to ask to see [Shalit],” Dershowitz said, “or to do something about it - and he did nothing.  I think we all have to keep up our efforts on behalf of Gilad Shalit [and] on behalf of Jonathan Pollard.”

The Affidavit: False Information "Weighed Heavily" in Life Sentence
Prof. Dershowitz filed an affidavit in March 1990 in which he quoted former Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg as having accused the Justice Department of improperly "pandering" to the racial sensitivities of Pollard’s sentencing judge. The affidavit states that this was done by providing Judge Audrey Robinson, a black man, "with false, inflammatory, ex parte information” regarding allegations that Pollard had helped the South African apartheid regime with secret information on nuclear technology.

“Justice Goldberg told me,” Dershowitz stated in the affidavit, “that Judge Robinson had told him that the Pollard-South African connection had weighed heavily in his (Judge Robinson's) decision to impose a life sentence.”

As the website states, “This allegation [that Jonathan Pollard spied for South Africa] is completely false... Jonathan Pollard was never indicted for spying for South Africa.”

US Apologized for Calling Pollard “Traitor”
In addition, the U.S. Government was forced to apologize for allegations that Pollard is a “traitor” to the United States. The Pollard website states as follows:

“Over the years American Government officials and other enemies of the case have falsely accused Jonathan Pollard of treason, and have referred to him as a ‘traitor’. When challenged, they implausibly try to justify their use of this terminology by claiming that they intend the term ‘traitor’ according to some sort of popular usage and not in a legal sense. But even the Courts reject this kind of spurious rationalization, and they categorically reject the Government's attempts to slip-slide on this issue. During the oral arguments of September 1991, the Courts forced the US Government to apologize to Jonathan for falsely identifying him as a traitor in the Weinberger memo and in other statements. The Court notes the Government's apology in its 1992 decision.”