Pollard's Wife: Israel's Payoff Offer Rejected

Etgar Lefkovits - The Jerusalem Post - November 26, 2001

The Israeli Government has offered convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard nearly $2 million to relieve Israel of its responsibility to seek his release, according to his wife, Esther Pollard.

The offer, made by an unnamed Israeli official during a November 14 prison meeting with Pollard, was rejected out of hand by him, she said.

"My husband is being treated like a piece of meat, bought or sold alive," Esther Pollard said in a telephone interview with The Jerusalem Post from North Carolina today.

A spokeswoman in the office of Minister without Portfolio Danny Naveh, who is dealing with the issue on behalf of the government, said she could neither confirm nor deny the offer.

A former US navy intelligence analyst, Pollard has served more than 16 years of a life sentence for spying for Israel. Successive US administrations have rejected requests for clemency.

Esther Pollard said her husband was deeply disappointment by the inaction of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the repeated "empty publicity stunts" of Naveh, whose "corrupt attempt to throw money at the problem" exemplified what she termed "the corruption of the political establishment."

She quoted her husband as saying: "Sharon's silence and inaction are in fact what is now truly sealing my fate."

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