Anne Pollard: Israel abandoned, betrayed us

Ex-wife of spy Jonathan Pollard says she can barely make ends meet; ‘Give me a chance to live the life I deserve,’ she pleads

Anne Pollard (screen capture: Channel 10)
Anne Pollard (screen capture: Channel 10)

Anne Pollard, the former wife of jailed Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, said Saturday she felt “abandoned and betrayed” by the State of Israel, and demanded her “rights” from the country which she said she had served during years in US prisons.

In an interview with Channel 10, Pollard, who has resided in Israel since 2010, said she could barely make ends meet and demanded justice from authorities, including compensation from the Defense Ministry.

Pollard is currently living in a small one-bedroom apartment which she said was unfit to show on television, and has medical bills she is struggling to pay for conditions she said began during her time in prison.

Jonathan Pollard was a civilian intelligence analyst for the US Navy when he gave thousands of classified documents to his Israeli handlers. He was arrested in 1985 and later sentenced to life in prison. Anne was convicted of collaborating with her husband and sentenced to five years in prison.

Anne Pollard and her elderly father were brought to Israel in 2010 under the instructions of  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after they were found living in New York in dire financial and physical condition.

Pollard reportedly called the Israeli Consulate in New York requesting help and saying that she had not eaten in six days. Netanyahu, upon being apprised of the situation, ordered her to be taken care of.

But more than three years later, Pollard said she had been given very little aid.

“The government owes me at least… they owe me for my medical issues,” Pollard told Channel 10. “I’ve never asked anybody to feel pity. I’m not being a victim. What I’m trying to do is have an ounce of justice.”

Pollard said Israel had turned its back on her and her then-husband Jonathan the moment they were caught. When she came to Aviem Sella — Jonathan’s handler — and told him she believed authorities had gotten wind of their actions, he said everything would be fine and then fled the country with his wife within hours, Pollard said.

“He told me not to worry because, you know, we’re all Jews, we’re all Israelis, we all stick together. And foolishly, then, I believed that,” she said. “I truly believed that one Israeli to another would never leave us behind. But he did.”

“They were all cooperating with the United States government against us,” she said of Israeli officials. “I never heard of a country that betrays their own people. And then cooperates so they’ll be prosecuted.”

Pollard also had harsh words for President Shimon Peres, who was prime minister when the scandal broke and who she said had never spoken to her in the years that followed.

“He’s led a wonderful happy life, a productive life, for the last 28 years,” Pollard said of Peres, “while Jonathan has been rotting away in unbearable conditions in jail. And, of course, he left me in jail: No Israeli official lifted a finger to get me released one day early.

“Still, to this day I’ve never even seen him,” she said of Peres. “He’s never even said shalom to me.”

“They want to pretend nothing happened,” Pollard said. “They need to understand I’m here, I’m not leaving Israel and I want my rights and I want them now as I deserve. Give me a chance to live the life I deserve.”

JTA contributed to this report.

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