Netanyahu Thwarting Pollard Again

February 9, 1997

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
The Knesset
Jerusalem, Israel

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

We are counting on you to fulfill your promises to us and to the nation as per your government guidelines, during your trip to Washington to meet with President Clinton. We are counting on you to bring Jonathan Pollard home with you once and for all.

We are dismayed that you have elected

to reject the help of American Jewish leaders

who offered to accompany you to the White House to support your initiative with President Clinton to secure Jonathan's release.

The leaders, who have offered their help, and who have put together this delegation on their own initiative, are all prominent persons who were high-profile supporters of the president during his first term in office, and all have figured prominently in Mr. Clinton's re-election campaign.

While securing the release of Jonathan Pollard is the expressed obligation and responsibility of the government of Israel, it is also a matter of great concern to the American Jewish Community, and the American Jewish leaders do have a responsibility in a unified effort to make it clear to the American president that this time the Jewish people will not take "no" for an answer.

Your suggestion that the American Jewish leaders make their own appointment to see the president on the matter is extremely disturbing.

Fragmented efforts in the past have always failed.

A former Israeli ambassador not long ago publicly castigated the American Jewish leaders for not doing their part in assisting Israel in this matter. Now that the American Jewish leaders are willing to shoulder their responsibility, they are essentially being dismissed. Even more troubling, Mr. Prime Minister, is that we understand you have turned down the American Jewish leaders' help

in spite of your own advisors favouring it


Israel has shown unending responsiveness (almost to the breaking point) to American "requests" regarding redeployment in Hebron, and the release of Palestinian terrorists with blood on their hands; there never has been a more opportune moment to press for the release of Jonathan Pollard from an American prison.

Given that there is such solid ground for seeking Jonathan's release, (including his poor health,) it is puzzling and troubling that you would reject the extra strength that the mere presence of a delegation of prominent American Jewish leaders would lend to your case. Surely, Mr. Prime Minister, there is a way to overcome the "scheduling difficulties" you referred to in rejecting the delegation.

Mr. Prime Minister, your actively choosing to dissipate efforts at this late date strongly suggests a lack of resolve to bring this affair to an end. Allow me to suggest that many may view your spurring of the America Jewish leaders' delegation to accompany as an unwillingness to have witnesses to yet another abandonment of Jonathan Pollard by the government of Israel.

Mr. Prime Minister, while history will be the ultimate judge, it does appear that all the factors are in place to favour your success, if indeed you elect to take advantage of them. We trust that you will use every means at your disposal to accomplish Jonathan Pollard's immediate release.

Respectfully yours,

Esther Pollard
(Mrs. Jonathan Pollard)

c.c. All government ministers