Naveh to Visit Pollard

March 9, 1998 - Batsheva Tsur - The Jerusalem Post

Cabinet secretary Dan Naveh, who is in charge of coordinating efforts to secure Jonathan Pollard's release, is planning to visit the convicted spy in his Butner, North Carolina jail in the next few weeks.

Naveh informed Pollard's wife, Esther Zeitz-Pollard, that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has given the go-ahead for such a visit and that further visits could be expected.

Zeitz-Pollard met yesterday with Absorption Minister Yuli Edelstein and Communications Minister Limor Livnat of the ministerial steering committee on the Pollard case, as well as Naveh and other government officials. She said later that the meeting was "good."

Livnat had pointed out that all aspects of Pollard's case are being affected by the issue of his official recognition as an Israeli agent - an issue which Pollard's lawyers last week took to the High Court of Justice. Zeitz-Pollard added that she had presented the steering committee with a list of requests from her husband.

Pollard said, through his wife, that "ministerial visits are the most effective way of getting across the message of the seriousness of the government's intentions." He stressed that time is of the essence since his health is deteriorating.

Over the weekend, Yitzhak Oren of the Israeli Embassy visited Pollard. "My orders are to deal with your release in the most intensive way," he reportedly told Pollard. "I am doing for you what I would do for an agent."

According to Zeitz-Pollard, Naveh also confirmed that a meeting last week between B'nai B'rith President Tommy Baer and Pollard had been at the behest of the Prime Minister's Office. Baer said later that, if the US did not release Pollard soon, it would be "a second Dreyfus case," she said.