Pollard To Neeman: Israel Has Failed Me

March 24, 1998 - Hillel Kuttler - The Jerusalem Post

Convicted spy Jonathan Pollard accused the cabinet yesterday of failing to act or convene on his behalf, despite a recent promise made to this effect to the High Court of Justice. He also urged the government to unleash "heavy artillery," by mobilizing AIPAC on his behalf, which, he said, would lead other American Jewish organizations to follow suit.

Pollard's spoke in a 40-minute meeting at the Federal Correctional Institution with Finance Minister Yaakov Neeman, Pollard's wife Esther, and journalists from The Jerusalem Post and Israel Radio. Pollard said he was "extremely disappointed" and "quite angry" about the court's 60-day delay of a ruling about whether he is an Israeli agent. He was "extremely relieved" by the formation three weeks ago of a ministerial steering committee on the Pollard case. The efforts are being coordinated by cabinet secretary Dan Naveh. Pollard, 42, said he was "a bit confused, to say the least, over the rather tardy and rather unfocused activity of the committee," and alleged that the forum hadn't met since an initial session.

Yesterday's meeting was Pollard's first with a cabinet minister since the committee was formed. Communications Minister Limor Livnat saw him in December, and Absorption Minister Yuli Edelstein saw him in November. Naveh and Labor and Social Affairs Minister Eli Yishai are also expected to visit Pollard. Pollard said that if the government recognized him as an agent, it would have more authority to seek his release, and that by failing to do so, the US government was made "extremely angry" for "being played for a fool".

Pollard said the American Jewish establishment "will not do anything to help me unless they see Israel engage its lobby. Once that happens, it sends a very clear signal to everybody concerned in this case that the Israeli government is calling up the heavy artillery. This is not a reconnaissance, it's not surveillance of the border. This is a heavy offensive."

The American Jewish Congress, American Jewish Committee, and ADL, he said, "can no longer claim to be neutral...they have my blood on their hands. They also dishonored the State of Israel." But once AIPAC is engaged, he said, and his status ultimately resolved, "these organizations can no longer sit on the sidelines. He alleged that his treatment by Jewish groups "is not the result of just their galut [Diaspora] fears, but also because of the government's political establishment's approach to the case over the past 13 years."

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