"PM Sharon Wants My Husband To Die"

Lenoy Bar Gafen - Yediot Achronot (Ynet) - May 8, 2001

Esther Pollard, wife of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard incarcerated in the United States, has launched some harsh criticism at the Prime Minister.

In a meeting this morning with MK Ophir Pines (Labor) Pollard said that Ariel Sharon wants her husband to die. She said that Jonathan is in such extreme poor health that there is immediate life-and-death danger. "Sharon's refusal to do anything for him has also severely affected him and resulted in a serious decline in his health. This too could result in tragedy," said Esther Pollard. "The current government seems to prefer that Jonathan simply die in prison - that would solve the problem for them. Then they can bring him home in a box and eulogize about how sorry they are that he died."

She said that Sharon had given her husband - an Israeli agent in his 16th year of incarceration on behalf of the State - 15 minutes of his time. Since then he refuses to meet with her or with his lawyer and others who represent him. "Sharon has turned his back on my husband. He refuses to do anything to help him. Sharon knows how desperately ill Jonathan is. The way he is acting leads one to the inescapable conclusion that he wants Jonathan to die in prison. I am fighting as hard as I can to save my husband's life. As long as there is still a chance, I will not stop fighting."

Esther Pollard was briefed today by MKs Ophir Pines and Mickey Eitan on their recent prison visit with her husband. They expressed concern that Jonathan has stopped taking medication to deal with his chronic health problems that he suffers from as a result of his long and harsh incarceration. Nevertheless, Esther Pollard responded that the medication that is available to Jonathan in prison does not address his life-threatening situation in any meaningful way and said she fears for his life.

Esther Pollard also spoke about the couple's extreme financial distress. She said that they simply do not have the money to finance the legal and political campaign needed to secure Jonathan's release. She said that Jonathan's attorneys in the US and in Israel are all working "pro bono". "We do not receive any assistance whatsoever from the Israeli Government," she said.

MK Pines stated that he would confer with Minister Shimon Peres and Knesset Speaker Avrum Burg and request that they authorize a delegation of the Knesset Law Committee to meet with their American counterparts in the Congress and Senate. The American lawmakers (who along with their Israeli counterparts would receive a full briefing by Pollard's attorneys) would be in a position to recommend to the President that he release Jonathan Pollard. Pines also promised to hold a special session of the Knesset Law Committee and to invite Esther Pollard to participate.

The Prime Minister's office relayed the following in response to Esther Pollard's statements: "The Government of Israel headed by Ariel Sharon is working on the Pollard issue and because of the sensitivity of the issue it is not possible to provide any further details."

See Also:

  • An Emblematic Failure by Dr. Aaron Lerner
  • No Excuse For Pollard To Die In Prison by Mody Kreitman
  • "Then and Now" by Professor Paul Eidelberg
  • Jonathan Pollard's Letter to Sharon