Pollard Criticizes Levy For Opposing Official Visits

December 18, 1997 - Hillel Kuttler - The Jerusalem Post

Convicted spy Jonathan Pollard yesterday lashed out at Foreign Minister David Levy for allegedly discouraging meetings by Israeli officials with him. (Note: See related item below.)

Pollard compared Levy to the "idiot" who designed the flawed bridge that collapsed at last summer's Maccabiah Games.

The Foreign Ministry last night issued a statement denying it had any policy against visits to Pollard and asserting it is making constant efforts to effect his release.

Pollard, serving a life sentence at the federal penitentiary in Butner, North Carolina, met for an hour yesterday with visiting Communications Minister Limor Livnat, along with Israel's deputy consul from Atlanta and two Israeli reporters.

Pollard expressed "profound sorrow and remorse" for passing secrets to Israel while a civilian analyst of the US Navy.

"My motives may have been well and good, but they only serve to explain why I did what I did. They certainly don't serve as an excuse for breaking the law," he said.

He also called upon Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Labor Party leader Ehud Barak to send a joint letter to the American Jewish community that would enable Livnat or Finance Minister Yaakov Neeman to come to Washington and officially seek congressional assistance in pressing for Pollard's release.

"[This is] the first time that an Israeli prime minister writes a personal letter to Jonathan Pollard," Livnat told Israeli reporters. "The time has come to stop being quiet and to make open, public efforts to stand by his side - but mainly to bring about his release," she said.

Pollard said there are senators who support him but are reluctant to argue on his behalf, because they believe the Israeli government and opposition "don't ask in a way that suggests they are serious." Therefore, Pollard says they have told him, "Why should we expend the political capital on going to the president?"

But Pollard's harshest words were reserved for Levy. Noting that he heads the Gesher (bridge) Party, Pollard said: "He sees himself as a Gesher. Right now, the type of Gesher that he is exhibiting is like the bridge at the Maccabiah Games. It was designed by an idiot, it was foolishly constructed, and it ultimately collapsed on those people who relied on it to safeguard their lives.

"I don't think that Mr. Levy really wants his Gesher, whether it be in my case or politically speaking within Israel, to be seen as that kind of unstable, self-serving, ultimately disastrous affair. I would like to ask him then, from the bottom of my heart, as we say in America, to please be a team player. There is enough honor... in Israel to go around for everyone. When I come home, he won't have to worry about me anymore."

Foreign Ministry Officials: Visits to Pollard 'Harmful'

December 15, 1997 - News Headlines Summary - Yediot Achronot

Senior Foreign Ministry officials are concerned about what they call the "the festival of minsterial visits" to Jonathan Pollard in prison. A senior Foreign Ministry source told Yediot Achronot that "dealing woth Pollard should be done wisely and not in the media limelight. Sending ministers to Pollard could be seen as Israeli pressure on the U.S. Adminstration and the media visits to his cell are harmful to his best interest."

  • See also: Livnat: Foreign Ministry Remarks Concerning Pollard Visit - "Chutzpa"