Pollard Protests Initiative

September 8, 1998 - Letter to the Editor - Mrs. Jonathan Pollard


"Edelstein to Press for Pollard Release" (Jerusalem Post, Sept. 8, 1998)

Dear Editor,

The quotes attributed to me in Batsheva Tzur's article "Edelstein to Press for Pollard Release" (Jerusalem Post, Sept. 8 1998) are not entirely accurate.

What I did tell Tzur was that the meetings for Minister Edelstein were set up in Washington by the Israeli Embassy, not by AIPAC. The fact that AIPAC has not been officially engaged by the Israeli Government to press for Jonathan's release sends a clear message to all on Capitol Hill about Israel's lack of serious intent. Moreover, Israel's repeated failure to link Jonathan to any initiative, domestic or international, provides no incentive to the Americans to release him.

The recent meetings of "Vice President Al Gore and National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, with senior government officials to discuss the possible release of ...Jonathan Pollard", were neither recent nor were they specifically held for this purpose. Rather, these meetings were on other business and the Pollard issue was incidental. Reporting otherwise is to stretch the truth so badly that it bears no relation to anything that actually occurred.

If the Government of Israel were serious about securing Jonathan Pollard's release, then the last thing that is needed is this kind of public grandstanding. What is needed is a quiet serious initiative, fully sponsored by AIPAC, and backed with full powers of negotiation, at the appropriate level. The fact that Government of Israel is once again lobbying the American Jewish Organizations instead of pressing the White House to release its agent underscores the futility of this initiative.

While Jonathan and I deeply appreciate Minister Edelstein's good intentions, we question the Government's motive. As I asked Tsur, if the Government of Israel deliberately sets out to fail in this initiative to bring Jonathan home, and succeeds, has it failed? Or succeeded?

Esther Pollard
(Mrs. Jonathan Pollard)

See Also:
  • Edelstein to Press for Pollard Release