"Ill-conceived, Doomed to Failure" - Initiative on Capital Hill
Arutz 7 Interview with Esther Pollard

September 9, 1998

Esther Pollard, Jonathan Pollard's wife, told Arutz Sheva today that while she and her husband appreciate Minister Edelstein's good intentions, the entire initiative is ill-conceived, doomed to failure, and can only do more damage than good.

Segments of an interview between English Radio News Editor Ron Ami Meir and Mrs. Pollard follow:

ARUTZ-7: What is your reaction to Minister Edelstein's trip to the U.S?

MRS. POLLARD: Minister Edelstein is not in a position on his own to pressure anyone. If indeed they were serious about having Jonathan returned, then Minister Edelstein would have been sent with the full backing of AIPAC [The Israel Lobby] which has not happened, and with Jonathan linked to some initiative, either domestic or international, that would give the Americans incentive to release him.

But as it is, he has been sent to a series of low-level, polite meetings with no teeth, and no proper backing -- to basically make good public relations for the government in Israel and perhaps for the minister. He has not been given the power, the authority, or the proper negotiating support to actually make any impact for Jonathan. This ends up being damaging to us because it simply shows Israel's lack of resolution and weakness of intent.

ARUTZ-7: What would you like to have done?

MRS. POLLARD: ...A quiet serious initiative fully backed by AIPAC, properly armed with full power of negotiation at the appropriate level is what's needed. Not public grandstanding...

ARUTZ-7: Would AIPAC respond to the Israeli government [on this matter]?

MRS. POLLARD: Sir, AIPAC has never refused an official request of the Israeli government. The Israeli government has not officially requested that AIPAC be involved here, and that broadcasts a very strong message to the people on Capitol Hill that Israel is not serious. On every initiative where Israel is serious, whether it is the defense budget or the peace process, AIPAC is fully engaged at Israel's request. Why is it that Israel has totally ignored AIPAC except for perhaps to inform them that Edelstein is coming. That's such an empty posture that no one on Capitol Hill has missed the message.

Later in the interview, Mrs. Pollard made an impassioned plea for prayer for the release of her husband Jonathan (ben Malka) and for social action on his behalf. The full interview will be available in audio format on the Selected Radio Programming page by tomorrow.