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Jews Now Believe the Pollards Suffered ‘injustice,’ Family Says

January 20, 1988
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Public opinion in both Israel and the American Jewish community has been shifting in support of Jonathan Pollard and his wife, Anne Henderson Pollard, who are in jail for spying for Israel, members of the couple’s family said Monday.

Jonathan Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, is serving a life term for passing classified documents to a renegade Israeli espionage team, while his wife is serving a five-year prison sentence for being an accessory to her husband’s activities.

At a news conference here sponsored by the National Coalition for Justice for the Pollards, Bernard Henderson and Morris Pollard, the fathers of the two convicts, claimed that in recent months there has been a “turnabout” in the feelings of many Jewish leaders, who now realize that “injustice” was done to the couple. They declined, however to name any of the Jewish leaders who had changed their position.

According to Carol Pollard, Jonathan’s sister, hundreds of letters are sent every month from Israel to her brother and sister-in-law. But prison authorities will not delver the letters, she charged.

She announced that she and David Turner, director for the National Coalition for the Justice for the Pollards, are leaving for Israel this week for a three-week visit “to meet with the Israeli public and Israeli officials” to discuss the Pollard affair.

Asked to name the officials they are going to meet in Israel, and whether they requested a meeting with Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, Turner said: “We still don’t know with whom we will meet. We will see anyone who is willing to see us.”

Morris Pollard said that his son, who is jailed in federal penitentiary in Springfield, Mo., was transferred last week to a hospital room after being held against his will in the psychiatric ward of the prison for the last 10 months.

The father said he does not know why he was transferred to a hospital room, where he is in a solitary confinement, as he has been since his arrest two and a half years ago.

Bernard Henderson charged that his daughter is still denied proper medical care. She claims to be suffering from severe and rare digestive disorders.


“She is very weak and hunched over with pain most of the time,” Henderson said, claiming that she is denied medicine and she has developed recently “internal bleeding.” Asked if there is a danger to her life, he replied in the affirmative.

Henderson noted that a federal district court judge on Dec. 6 rejected his daughter’s request to be treated by her family doctors. He said that his daughter asked if she could be treated by an Israeli doctor, but “this cannot be done, according to the prison rules, since she is not an Israeli citizen.”

Anne Henderson Pollard is serving her prison term in a federal prison in Lexington, Ky.

The National Coalition for Justice for the Pollards demands the immediate release from prison of Anne Pollard, who the groups says “is being held in jail on charges and under conditions previously expected only from Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia during the Stalin purges.”

The group also is seeking “the immediate reduction of Jonathan Pollard’s prison sentence to time served, bringing it into conformity with the norms of punishment typically imposed in espionage cases involving an ally, or other non-Communist state.”

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