Photo: AP
Jonathan Pollard
Photo: AP

Court refuses Pollard prisoner of Zion status

Petition by Jonathan Pollard demanding prisoner of Zion status turned down by High Court of Justice

The High Court of Justice ruled Monday that jailed spy Jonathan Pollard is ineligible for prisoner of Zion status. Pollard, jailed in the U.S. since 1985 for spying for Israel, filed a petition to the court demanding that he’d be recognized as a prisoner of Zion and be repatriated to Israel.


Pollard was granted Israeli citizenship in 1996 as the State of Israel recognized his status as a spy and pledged to fund his legal expenses.


Pollard, an American Naval Intelligence analyst, was convicted in 1984 of passing classified information to an ally country and was sentenced to life imprisonment.


The petition argued that Pollard deserves the status of prisoner of Zion since he was jailed in the United States for committing a Zionist act that is forbidden in that country.


The government argued that Pollard cannot be granted the status because Zionist organizations and activities are not banned under U.S. law.


'The High Court of Justice abandoned Pollard'


The High Court’s ruling supported the government position that Zionist activities are legal in the United States, which is not an enemy country.


"The life-sentence that was imposed upon Jonathan Pollard was unprecedented and disproportionate,” the High Court petition read, adding, "The stubborn refusal of the United States to release him from jail...the torture and afflictions that Pollard has endured and continues to endure in various penal facilities, and the denial of his legitimate and basic human rights are all derived from the fact that he is a Jewish soldier in the service of the Jewish State."


Nitzana Dershen-Litner, Pollard’s attorney in Israel said: “There is no doubt that Pollard is practically a prisoner of Zion. He has been held in jail under tough conditions for 20 years and the United States refuses to release him because he acted for the benefit of the State of Israel.


“The High Court of Justice abandoned Pollard despite the fact that it could have helped him. Pollard has been shunned by the State of Israel, the Knesset and today by the High Court,” she added.


פרסום ראשון: 01.16.06, 12:26
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