What kept Pollard going during 30 years in prison?

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner speaks with Arutz Sheva about Jonathan Pollard's plans following the end of his parole and why Israel is in his debt

Yoni Kempinski ,

עו"ד ניצנה דרשן לייטנר
עו"ד ניצנה דרשן לייטנר
צילום: ערוץ 7

The State of Israel owes former spy Jonathan Pollard following his three decades behind bars and should welcome him home, said attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, one of Pollard’s attorneys.

Darshan-Leitner, the founder and head of the Shurat HaDin organization, spoke with Arutz Sheva about Pollard’s plans following his release from parole restrictions last week, as well as the controversy in Israel regarding whether the Jewish state should embrace or distance itself from the man who was at the center of the greatest crisis in US-Israel relations during the 1980s.

“You’ll hear all the so-called good people saying that Jonathan shouldn’t come to Israel. We had Ehud Olmert saying that in a speech… that he just will cause damage to Israel. It is a controversial issue.”

“However, Pollard made the mistake and he admits and has remorse for violating the law in the United States. But the State of Israel was the one who accepted the information he gave and slowly, slowly required more. They came to him and they employed him and asked him to give more and more – thousands at a time – for an entire year.”

“In the end, the relationship turned - he was not a volunteer, he didn’t come just to give one piece of information that he thought the US did not provide Israel with. It was the State of Israel that employed him and asked him to provide more information and actually used him as an agent in the US.”

“When people say he violated the law, he did. But the one that really is responsible for this failure, for this affair, is the State of Israel. No one in the State of Israel can come and say ‘he did this damage, he shouldn’t not come to Israel’.”

“He was a soldier for 35 years [on Israel’s behalf], now has to be repaid for what he did.”

The Pollards “are very, very excited. They’re actually a little bit in shock from this decision finally allowing him to be free.”

“They are in preparation for terminating their existence in New York and coming to Israel.”

“They want to live in Jerusalem, they’re trying to arrange accommodations to live in the city of David.”

Regarding how Pollard is planning to spend his time now that he is free of all parole restrictions, Darshan-Leitner said Pollard is interested in using his technological talents on Israel’s behalf.

“He’s got brilliant ideas for hi-tech matters that he wants to solve and wants to improve once he comes to Israel.”

“He is a very smart guy, very intelligent, very sharp and very creative.”

“His dream is to come and contribute to the State of Israel with his brilliant ideas.”

Turning to Pollard’s more three decades in prison, Darshan-Leitner said the former spy told her what “kept him going” while behind bars.

“One was my wife, Esther, who fought for me and stayed with me the whole way.”

“The second one is the people of Israel. The Jews – and Christians – who supported me, who encouraged me and told me that they did not forget me.”

“The third was God in heaven.”