An Urgent Appeal to Prime Minister Netanyahu

February 2, 1997

Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu,

My husband, Jonathan Pollard, is experiencing numerous daily bouts of hemorrhaging. He is waking up every morning with his pillow and shirt drenched in blood. This is the result of a severe chronic sinus condition that has been recently exacerbated by the extreme heat in his cell, and the total lack of humidity in the environment. Jonathan's bouts of hemorrhaging have become so severe that the guards have begun to record them as part of the prison record.

The prison doctor says that Jonathan needs an operation, and prison officials are sympathetic, but

their hands are tied by the U.S. Government's excessive security precautions regarding Jonathan's movements

. This prevents prison officials from taking Jonathan immediately to a nearby hospital, as they would do for

any other inmate

. Prison officials themselves are

extremely frustrated

that they are not able to act in an immediate and timely fashion to secure medical attention for Jonathan outside of the prison.

All of Jonathan's symptoms are exacerbated by his intense frustration, stress and anguish over the Israel government's unwillingness to act decisively to bring this affair to an end. You and the Government of Israel are therefore, in part,

responsible for my husband's prolonged, severe suffering


Jonathan and I noted with anguish your and Minister Kahalani's public expressions of deep concern for the deteriorating health of terrorist Sheik Yassin, and that the government is now considering releasing this terrorist on compassionate grounds.

Would that such deep concern were shown for an Israeli citizen

who has spent the last 12 years of his life languishing in an American prison for his activities on behalf of the Jewish State.

With all due respect, Mr. Prime Minister, if Israel is prepared to honor the United States' "request" with regard to Sheik Yassin, surely the United States can be expected to make a parallel gesture to Israel by releasing the ailing Jonathan Pollard.

We have been given to understand that Jonathan Pollard is a high priority on the agenda for your upcoming trip to Washington this month. Mr. Prime Minister, your own government guidelines state that you will "negotiate with the relevant parties (for Jonathan's release) at every opportunity." Under strong pressure from the United States, Israel has made enormous, dangerous concessions over Hevron.

It is fair and reasonable, "between close friends and strong allies," for the United States to a make a symbolic compensatory gesture - but Israel first has to ask for it!

With the help of the United States, Arafat has succeeded in securing the release of terrorists with Jewish blood on their hands. It is inconceivable that, 12 years later, Israel is unable to secure the release of one of her citizens from the same United States - her ally and "partner" in the peace process.

An extraordinary window of opportunity to secure Jonathan's unconditional release now presents itself, to be exploited in your upcoming meeting with President Clinton.

Mr. Prime Minister, it is incumbent upon you to bring Jonathan Pollard home with you once and for all - home to the land for which he sacrificed everything.

Respectfully yours,

Esther Pollard
(Mrs. Jonathan Pollard )

c.c. Government Ministers