Minister Yishai Visits Pollard

March 31, 1998 - IINS News Service

Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Eli Yishai this week became the fourth government minister to visit convicted spy Jonathan Pollard in his US prison cell.

Yishai has joined his colleagues in stating Israel has an obligation to openly admit that Pollard was acting as an agent of the State of Israel. He called Israel's action to date, "a mistake."

Pollard has been calling upon Israel to officially admit he was acting as a government agent and not on his own. This would open the door for official Israeli requests to senior US government channels, to obtain his release after serving over 13 years in harsh prison conditions.

During his meetings, Pollard once again spoke of Michael Schwartz, a non-Jewish naval officer, who was convicted of spying for Saudi Arabia. Schwartz was sentenced to 2 years in prison while Pollard pointed out he received a life sentence for spying for Israel. Schwartz has not served one day of jail time for his actions.

(Justice for Jonathan Pollard correction: in deference to the Saudi ally, Schwartz was not sentenced to even one day in prison! Schwartz's only punishment was dismissal from the Navy: see the Schwartz Case Page.)

Pollard also spoke of the efforts of the late Yitzchak Rabin, who he said made three appeals to President Bill Clinton for his release, in exchange for Israel's release of Arab terrorists. "The assassin's bullet ended this process," stated Pollard.

Pollard called upon Minister Yishai, a member of the Shas Party, to enlist the support of the party's spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, on his behalf.

Minister Yishai presented Pollard with a Passover Haggadah with an inscription from Rabbi Yosef. The rabbi wrote, "this is the month during which the Jews were redeemed."

  • See also: The Lee Case