Galei Tzahal (IDF) Radio Interview
December 26, 1999
Yael Dan's interview of Esther Pollard on Galei Tzahal Radio took Israelis
by surprise. They were not expecting her confident statements contradicting
recent Israeli news reports that Prime Minister Barak is actively negotiating
her husband's release as part of the peace process.
Pollard disabused listeners of the notion that Jonathan Pollard's release
is currently being negotiated with the Americans at any level. Barak,
she said, is cynically misinforming the Israeli media about Pollard in
order to serve his own political purposes - exactly what he accused
former P.M. Netanyahu of doing.
She indicated that there is no substance to the officially-leaked rumors
that Jonathan is a part of the deal with the Syria. This, she said, is
Barak's calculated means of deceiving both the Supreme Court of Justice
which is about to hear the Pollard petition, and the Israeli people who
want to believe that a complete withdrawal from the Golan Heights will
at least bring Jonathan Pollard home. Jonathan, she said, is not any part
of the deal, and the whole story is nothing but politically-calculated
[The text of the Galei Tzahal interview follows.]
Yael Dan: Esther Pollard, shalom!
Esther Pollard: Shalom, Yael!
Yael Dan: How are you Esther? You're back in the country?
Esther Pollard: Yes, Yael, I 'm back.
Yael Dan: Why? What brought you to us now?
Esther Pollard: There are several reasons. First of all the Supreme
Court is about to hear the petition that my husband filed against Ehud
Barak. That is is the first reason.
Yael Dan: His petition against Ehud Barak which accuses Barak of abandoning
him? You know that sounds really strange. After all, according to recent
media reports, your husband's case in particular is the subject of secret
negotiations - according to what has been published- between Israel
and United States, throughout the process of negotiations with Syria.
Esther Pollard: I am very sorry to disappoint you Yael, but there
is no basis in fact for any of these stories in the media. I must also
tell you Yael, that not very long ago Ehud Barak accused Bibi Netanyahu
of exploiting Pollard to make noise in the media to further his own political
interests, while doing real damage to Pollard's chances for freedom. The
truth is, this is not what Bibi was doing back then. On
the contrary, this is exactly what Ehud Barak is now doing. He is making
lots of noise in the media about Jonathan so as to give the impression
that he is doing something for him, when in fact there is no substance
to it at all.
Yael Dan: How do you know this? How do you know that Barak is
not holding secret meetings. After all he has always claimed that things
should be done for Pollard secretly, and he has all these secret contacts...
perhaps what he is doing is so secret that you just don't know about it.
Esther Pollard: First of all, people must understand that this
whole business of secret negotiations is false - nothing but smoke and
mirrors. Bill Clinton is able to grant clemency - according to the powers
bestowed upon him by the American Constitution - to whomever he wishes,
whenever he wishes, for whatever reason he deems appropriate, without limitation.
So if he really wants to free Jonathan, and if Barak is as close with Clinton
as he claims to be, all Barak has to do is to ask and Bill will do.
- Exactly as he recently did for 14 FALN terrorists responsible for bombings
throughout the United States and for the deaths and injuries of scores
of Americans. All of Clinton's government agencies and advisors were opposed
to their release, but Clinton simply said, " It is my constitutional right
to free them." Period.
Yael Dan: It is possible Esther, that contacts are being made
and negotiations are going on (for Jonathan's release.)
Esther Pollard: No. Wait a minute. No!
Yael Dan: No? Why not?
Esther Pollard: No. Not just that we know so from our own
high-level sources in Washington. But there are a couple of other reasons
as well. Even the Israeli Embassy in Washington has stated clearly that
there is no new Israeli initiative for Pollard's release currently in the
United States. The Embassy also stated that the visit of an Israeli Defense
Ministry official to Washington regarding Pollard was simply a "get acquainted"
meeting and that - and I am quoting now - that it "did not signal any new
initiative on the part of Israel."
If indeed - Yael, it is so important that people understand - when you
start to hear noise in the media about Pollard (before you first see it),
you should know that there is nothing to it. No substance. The minute that
really wants Pollard home,
he will first be here,
then you will hear the noise in the media. When the noise in the media comes first, you know that it is not going to happen - it is just posturing.
Yael Dan: How is your husband doing?
Esther Pollard: He is very disappointed. He says... Look, tomorrow
is my birthday. It is another birthday that we won't be spending together.
No anniversaries. No birthdays. No holidays. Every important date passes
and is just one more landmark in time that we won't be together. We are
never able to celebrate together - ever - because we are still battling
for our life, and who are we battling ? The Israeli Government
- which abandoned Jonathan!
Yael Dan: Tell us how you are. We understand that you have not
Esther Pollard: I went back to Canada for medical treatment.
We do not receive any support from the Government - not financial, and
not medical, not for Jonathan and not for myself. We are in very very
dire straits. And it is even harder on us Yael, to know that they are (falsely)
exploiting Jonathan's situation to soften domestic opposition to a withdrawal
from the Golan Heights - as if Jonathan were a part of the plan- and it
is nothing but a lie!
Yael Dan: Esther Pollard, I thank you very much. Thank you so
Esther Pollard: Yael, thank you.