Rafi Eitan Vows To Bring Pollard Home

Jonathan Pollard and Rafi Eitan Renew Contact After A 13 Year Hiatus

July 6, 1998 - Ben Caspit - Ma'ariv
Front Page Cover Story

After more than 13 years of separation, contact was renewed yesterday between Jonathan Pollard and Rafi Eitan, his direct commander and control officer, former head of LAKAM. Pollard's wife, Esther met yesterday with Rafi Eitan at his home in Tel Aviv. The meeting was initiated by Cherut Lapid, who has recently been active on behalf of Pollard.

Pollard brought a message from her husband, who has been incarcerated in the United States for more than 13 years: "Rafi, a commander does not leave his men in the field. The State has finally acknowledged that I was her agent, that I was your soldier. I am asking you to bring me home."

Eitan who made no attempt to hide his emotions answered, "I will do everything in my power to help bring you home to Israel as quickly as possible."

Eitan told Pollard that he had continued to try throughout the years t to help Jonathan but had done so behind the scenes because of the sensitivity of the issue. "I will not rest and I will not remain silent until Jonathan is home," he said.

Eitan requested to keep a low profile and not be interviewed until he coordinates his actions with those Government officials who are dealing with securing Jonathan's release.

Pollard relayed to Eitan his disappointment with the lack of results and the lack of real initiative to secure his release. "In spite of all the promises," said Esther Pollard to Eitan, "in spite of all of the Government's fine words and pronouncements, nothing is really happening and Jonathan continues to rot in prison."

Pollard pointed out that in similar cases - like the arrest of Israeli agents in Jordan and Switzerland, the Government acted swiftly to protect these agents and to rescue them , "while I continue to languish here."

"Rafi, you more than any other person know exactly what Jonathan did for the State of Israel," said Esther Pollard to Eitan towards the end of the meeting. "True," responded Eitan.

"Do you think he deserves to be treated this way , to be abandoned for nearly 14 years?" she asked.

"No," replied Rafi Eitan, "he does not deserve to be treated this way. "Jonathan did everything only to help Israel. He did not hurt the United States at all."

After the meeting, Esther Pollard said, "It was a difficult meeting and a successful one. The recognition of Pollard as an Israeli agent has also redeemed Eitan. As long as Jonathan was still a questionable son of the State, Eitan was treated like a leper. Now it is finally clear that Pollard worked for Eitan and that they both worked for the State of Israel. From here on in we are all in the same boat and Rafi has vowed to work for Jonathan's release."

JUSTICE FOR JONATHAN POLLARD notes that Mrs. Esther Pollard will be meeting with Israeli Government Officials in Jerusalem this week .