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Alan Dershowitz   Letter 11   15-Aug-2001   Third-party interference in the Jonathan Pollard case
"The issue, then, is whether or not Israel forwarded the Pollard information which it had no use for but which the Soviets prized to the Kremlin in exchange for Kremlin permission for a swarm of Soviet scientists and engineers to emigrate to Israel." Lubomyr Prytulak

Jonathan Pollard

15 August 2001
Alan M. Dershowitz
Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law
520 Hauser Hall
Harvard Law School
1575 Massachusetts Avenue
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA   02138

Alan Dershowitz:

In documents to which I refer as affidavit, supplemental, goldberg, and comparison you describe some of your efforts to reduce the sentence of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard.  Upon reading these documents, I came away with an altered view of American justice.  I invite you to inform me whether my altered view is accurate.

American justice, it seems to me now, works something like this.  After an American judge (say Aubrey Robinson) has arrived at his decision concerning some case (the Pollard case), Jewish leaders (like yourself) who may be unhappy with that decision may send a Jewish representative (say Arthur Goldberg) to interview that judge as to the appropriateness of his decision or sentence.  The Jewish representative attempts to elicit during the interview a confession that the target judge harbors some hidden motive for whatever decision he arrived at.  As a matter of habit, the hidden motive that the Jewish representative seeks to discover is the psychiatric affliction of anti-Semitism, though the discovery of some similar affliction that will receive a milder diagnosis will suffice.  Even though no corroboration exists of the target judge's confession (the Jewish representative does not bring a witness, does not have the interview transcribed, does not tape record it, does not get the target judge to sign a summary of it) the Jewish representative will proceed to broadcast the confession, to the detriment of the target judge's professional standing, and to the injury of his career.  Or, where the Jewish representative dies before he can broadcast the remembered confession, some other Jew who says he heard about the confession from the Jewish representative implements the broadcasting and the career destruction.  That's what I didn't know about American justice.

And that is how your involvement in the Pollard case strikes me.  You sent Arthur Goldberg to interview Judge Aubrey Robinson who sat on the Pollard case.  We never learn from Robinson's own lips what he said in that interview.  And we never learn from Goldberg's own lips what he remembers Robinson saying, and now that Goldberg is deceased, we probably never will, but you tell us that Goldberg heard Robinson confess that as a Black man, he (Aubrey Robinson) was outraged that Israel had assisted Apartheid South Africa, and outraged that some of the secret material that Pollard had forwarded to Israel informed Israel of American satellite monitoring of Israeli-South African collaboration.  Aubrey Robinson's outrage constituted his hidden motive in sentencing Jonathan Pollard to life in prison, which you say he readily confessed to the Jewish representative Goldberg, and which you say the Jewish representative Goldberg passed along to you before he died, and which we see you now proceeding to broadcast to the world.

According to you, furthermore, Aubrey Robinson's fault is not merely that of having been motivated by racially-based animosity toward Israel and toward Pollard, but also that some of the information on which this animosity was founded was erroneous that in fact Pollard had never forwarded to Israel any information on American satellite monitoring of Israeli-South African collaboration.

But how could you possibly know what stolen information Pollard forwarded to Israel?  My understanding is that Pollard had refused to disclose to the United States what material he had stolen, and that Israel had refused to disclose what material it had received.  Certainly if this information is known, it has not been released to the public.  You say that you put the question to people who were able to ask Pollard, or who had known Pollard, or who knew people that knew Pollard, people like your brother Nathan Dershowitz, and that the information came back that Pollard hadn't forwarded this particular piece of information to Israel and that it was not listed in damage assessment documents, presumably ones composed by the US government to which I had several thoughts: (1) your statement of who exactly it was that came back with what information is brief and non-specific; (2) that when Pollard stole or copied documents, he might not have had time to scrutinize them and know exactly what they contained; (3) that his memory being fallible, he might not remember exactly what was contained in the material that he did have a chance to glance at before passing along over the years; (4) that as he had lived a life of deception and was now trying to relieve himself of the burden of a life sentence, he might lie about what information he had supplied to Israel; (5) that as you were trying to ingratiate yourself with Israel, and inflate your fee, you might lie about what you knew about the Pollard material; (6) that for security reasons, the government's damage assessment statements might have avoided being comprehensive and exhaustive; (7) if Israel had already been aware of American satellite monitoring, then Israel being informed of it through Pollard would not have constituted damage; and (8) that the story of this trivial, peripheral, inconsequential detail (Israel being told of American satellite monitoring) having aroused the outrage of Judge Robinson possibly was fabricated; more plausibly, Robinson's being apprised of this detail would have affected him inappreciably or not at all; your offering the story as being of pivotal importance amounted to your trying to tie the Pollard sentence to a red herring.

Your argument does seem to suffer from a lack of corroboration, particularly with respect to the nasty things that Arthur Goldberg was supposed to have said about Aubrey Robinson.  You appear to be the only person to whom Goldberg confided his derogatory appraisal of Robinson, and the only evidence that you offer in support of this appraisal is your letter to Goldberg nominally dated 10-Jan-1990 in which you summarized what Goldberg was supposed to have said.  Had Goldberg written you in reply, this might have constituted evidence of his acquiescence to the accuracy of your summary; however, as Arthur Goldberg died on the night of 18-Jan-1990, it may be the case that he never had a chance to respond.  He may even have died before your letter reached him, or his precarious health during his final days may have led his family to withhold potentially-stressful correspondence from him.  Without some corroboration from your direction, you leave open the interpretation that in order to promote a Zionist agenda, you put words into the mouth of a dying man, a not entirely original trick, as I recollect it having been practiced previously by Simon Wiesenthal as well as by Gitta Sereny.

One issue that I could not find in your discussion is that as Israel does not need to defend against a nuclear strike from the United States, and does not itself need to plan a nuclear strike against the United States, Israel has no use for the strategic information that it received from Pollard.  Any information that did strengthen Israeli security was already being passed on by the United States, and the vast amount stolen by Pollard could only have been of use to others.  What Israel did have use for is Soviet scientists and engineers who either were Jewish, or could claim some sort of Jewish ancestry however small and however doubtful, or who were happy to improve their standard of living by moving to Israel no matter what their ancestry.  The issue, then, is whether or not Israel forwarded the Pollard information which it had no use for but which the Soviets prized to the Kremlin in exchange for Kremlin permission for a swarm of Soviet scientists and engineers to emigrate to Israel.

Your comparison of the life sentence meted out to Pollard with the sentences meted out to other spies appears to overlook that the chief determinant of sentence might be the magnitude of the damage to US security, and that the damage of losing America's most vital military secrets to the Soviets may have been unprecedented.  In view of the magnitude of the loss, some might consider a fitting response to be execution of the spy and cutting off aid to the spying country, in comparison to which no more than imposing a life sentence on that spy might be considered a slap on the wrist.

I also thought that your assertion that Israel was an American ally, and that spying on the United States on behalf of a friend of the United States has traditionally been treated more leniently than spying for an enemy that this assertion needed qualification.  What seemed to be missing was the acknowledgement that a friend that sells American military secrets to the Kremlin has become an enemy.  Missing also was some recognition of the growing view that Israel was a parasite that drained the United States of resources, that Israel worked to subvert Western freedom of expression and Western justice, that from its inception to today Israel has been issuing a continuous stream of disinformation and has been feeding on war crimes and crimes against humanity, that it had earned for itself the distinction of being the most hated nation on earth, and that America's support of Israel was inciting anti-American sentiment all over the globe.  On top of that, Israelis are today among the leading drug traffickers and money launderers in the United States, and Israel leads the world in harboring fugitives from American justice.  With friends like Israel, the United States does not need enemies.  To go easy on Israeli spies would be to condone Israeli misbehavior and to give a green light to the further betrayal of United States interests by Americans of Jewish ancestry:

"Pollard is just another Jewish victim of the existence of Israel because Pollard enacted no more, really, than the Israelis demand of Diaspora Jews all the time.  I don't hold Pollard responsible, I hold Israel responsible Israel, which with its all-embracing Jewish totalism has replaced the goyim as the greatest intimidator of Jews in the world; Israel, which today, with its hunger for Jews, is, in many, many terrible ways, deforming and disfiguring Jews as only our anti-Semitic enemies once had the power to do."
Philip Roth, Operation Shylock: A confession, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1993, p. 81.  Operation Shylock is a novel, and the above words come from one of the characters, and so do not necessarily reflect the beliefs of its author.

The subject of my letter to you of 09-Aug-2001 was third-party interference in Jewish show trials, and in that letter I suggested that such third-party interference may be integral to Jewish culture.  My reading of your involvement in the Pollard case reinforces that view.  Or rather, as the Pollard case was not a Jewish show trial, my reading of your involvement in the Pollard case broadens that view.  What we see in your involvement in the Pollard case is Jewish third-party interference in American justice.  The interference relies on the favorite Jewish tactic of gratuitous career destruction.  From the lack of credibility of the immediate source of information yourself and what you claim is one of the more distant sources Jonathan Pollard and from the lack of corroboration, your accusations against Judge Aubrey Robinson must be dismissed as groundless.  As Judge Robinson is possibly not in a position to amend the sentence which he imposed on Pollard, the benefit of attacking him might be to demonstrate to any others who have it within their power to get Pollard out of jail, and more generally to any others who might be involved in any decision affecting Jews, that the thwarting of Jewish plans comes at a price.  This may be the 20th century Jewish contribution to Western justice with you playing the role of a leading contributor to demand that Western justice do things that it is unwilling to do, and then to attempt to subvert it using the weapon of gratuitous career destruction.

Lubomyr Prytulak

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