Media Leak Prompts Pollard Change of Plans

NEW YORK -
Jonathan Pollard, shortly before attending a meeting with of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations on Monday. (Justice for JP)
Jonathan Pollard, shortly before attending a meeting with of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations on Monday. (Justice4JP)

Jonathan Pollard had been scheduled to deliver his first speech in thirty years on Monday morning at a closed-door, off-the-record meeting of members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

After word of his address was leaked to the media, his attorneys warned him that anything he may say at the event will likely be leaked as well, and the media reports — regardless how distorted or inaccurate they may be — could be used against him.

While he was introduced as the keynote speaker at the gathering, Mr. Pollard made only brief remarks, expressing his gratitude to Hashem, and to those who were active in trying to obtain his freedom, and then explained why the leak to the Forward newspaper had forced him to make a change of plans.

Instead, his wife, Mrs. Esther Pollard, who has selflessly dedicated her life to leading the battle to gain her husband’s freedom, used his notes to brief the participants of Jonathan’s current situation.

Pollard’s attorneys are currently waging a legal battle seeking to vacate his severe parole conditions that they say are illegal, unnecessary and prevent him from properly observing Shabbos and getting a job.

Last month, a federal judge ruled that the United States Parole Commission must explain why it has placed such broad and severe parole restrictions on Jonathan Pollard.

These restrictions include a 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. weekday curfew, the wearing of an electronic bracelet at all times for GPS tracking of his whereabouts, which needs to be recharged on Shabbos, as well as the unfettered monitoring and inspection of his computers, along with those of any employer who chooses to hire him. This has effectively prevented him from getting a job.

A new confidential document — a letter which was hand-delivered to President Obama by Israeli President Ruby Rivlin — was revealed during her speech.

Mrs. Pollard also explained to the participants that even if all the severe Parole restrictions were removed, for the next fifteen years — the balance of a 45-year life sentence — the threat of rearrest — for any reason or pretext — and being sent back to prison will continue to hang over Pollard’s head.

In the meanwhile, the legal efforts to have these parole restrictions removed are continuing. The judge hearing the case has declined to vacate any of the restrictions at this time, and instead remanded the case back to the Parole Commission for “further development of the factual basis” behind their reasoning.