JERUSALEM (Mar. 11)
A group of private individuals has established a fund here to raise $200,000 for Jonathan Pollard and his wife Anne Henderson-Pollard, who were sentenced to prison in Washington last week for spying for Israel. The Israelis insist their action is not political.
Pollard, a former civilian intelligence analyst employed by the U.S. Navy, received a life sentence and his wife drew a five-year term as an accessory. According to Joshua Gilboah, one of seven Israelis who initiated the fund, “we heard from the media that they are in need of money” and “decided that this would be a nice thing to do which will also show them our moral support.”
Gilboah said the response to newspaper advertisements his group ran Tuesday was “unbelievable. The telephones have not stopped ringing since the ads appeared.”
He explained, “We established the fund because we felt that this is the only way we can help the Pollard couple without committing ourselves to any of the political sides of the affair. That we don’t want to touch at all.”
Gilboah said that although the Pollards “did something possibly quite stupid, I am sure they had other emotions which pushed them to do it–including the Jewish point–and we felt, as Jews and as Israelis, that even if the government of Israel cannot react, or is unable to, we as citizens should give them some sort of moral support.”
Premier Yitzhak Shamir stated Tuesday that the pollards’ predicament “is not a problem with which the State of Israel has to concern itself.” He said the State “has no connection with Pollard or his family.” It “did not hire him and did not assign him espionage missions,” Shamir said.