Ne'eman: We've Failed Jonathan Pollard

Week of March 27, 1998 - Steve Walz - Excerpt from Jewish Press Interview

Israeli Finance Minister Yaakov Ne'eman was nearly brought to tears earlier this week when he visited convicted American spy Jonathan Pollard in his cell in North Carolina. He said that both American and Israeli Jewry had failed to do enough to bring about Pollard's release.

"It was a difficult day for me because of my emotional meeting with him. To see a person who has been in jail for so long and see how his health is deteriorating... He's paid a heavy price and should be able to go to Israel and start a new life," the emotionally spent Finance Minister told Anglo-Jewish journalists earlier this week.

"We should do our utmost to influence President Clinton to have Pollard released. This is a humanitarian act and it is within Judaism to be human. We have not done enough for him at this stage. I was almost crying when I saw how he keeps his senses. He is upset at the way he has been treated by the Jews here and in Israel. There must be an end to this grave situation. I'm trying very hard to mitigate the problems involved. One doesn't pursue a person until he dies.

"I do not agree with every view he expresses and I'm not trying to account for the past. I just want him to be released from jail!" ...

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