Jonathan Pollard Media Release

Re: "Betrayed By Bibi Once Again" - September 15, 1996 (Motzei Yom Tov)

"Esther and I are always the first to pay the price for the Israeli government's indifference, irresolution and deceit, and the last to know what - if anything - is being done to bring an end to our ordeal."

Jonathan Pollard

Jonathan Pollard reacts:

I am absolutely outraged by the fact that Prime Minister Netanyahu has blatantly betrayed the promises he made to my wife and to HaRav Mordechai Eliahu to seek my immediate release during his recent trip to Washington.

According to reliable sources who met and spoke with the Prime Minister, Mr. Netanyahu's main goal was to suppress any mention of my name and case for as long as possible, so as not to be under pressure to deal with the matter at this time.

What was particularly unsettling, though, was the fact that my wife and I were kept in the dark by the Prime Minister's office throughout the course of his visit, and were not even allowed to speak with him.

Given Mr. Netanyahu's absolute refusal to discuss my case with President Clinton during his previous visits to Washington, his unprincipled behaviour on this occasion was not all that surprising. To fully understand our disappointment, one must bear in mind the fact that Mr. Netanyahu had made a very strong pre-election pledge to handle my release as a national priority.

Unfortunately, his subsequent actions did nothing to reassure me that he had any intention of honouring his promise. Indeed, the divergence between word and deed seemed to have become a trademark of Mr. Netanyahu's attitude towards my case. However, in view of the many public and private assurances of support which the Prime Minister made in response to my wife's hunger strike this past summer, I was guardedly hopeful that this signaled a new willingness on his part to act decisively on my behalf. But once again, Mr. Netanyahu shirked his responsibilities and failed to carry out any promises. The Prime Minister didn't even both to address a number on minor initiatives which he had acknowledged to my lawyer were essential and long overdue.

In disappointing Esther and me, Mr. Netanyahu not only betrayed the office he holds, he also betrayed the trust and confidence of the entire people of Israel as well. But now matter how hard the Prime Minister tries to distance himself from me, he can't avoid the fact that I am now an Israeli citizen whose immediate release is a goal his government is legally obliged to work towards, according to its own guidelines. Refusal to carry out this policy will not cause my case to disappear - it will only call into the question the integrity of Mr. Netanyahu.

I can only hope, then, that Prime Minister Netanyahu will finally decide to honor the commitment he himself is sworn to uphold, by immediately negotiating an equitable resolution of my affair.