Sharon Didn't Promise To Ask Bush To Pardon Pollard
Arutz7 News - November 26, 2001
Prime Minister Sharon did not say last week that he plans to ask U.S.
President Bush to pardon Jonathan Pollard during his upcoming trip to
Washington. Contrary to that which was reported on Army Radio on Friday -
and consequently also here and in other Israeli media - Sharon said
nothing more than, "I have raised the issue and I continue to raise the
issue." In fact, Pollard's wife Esther told Arutz-7 today that Sharon is
not only doing nothing about securing her husband's release, and has never
made a specific request to Bush on the topic, but his government has even
offered Jonathan close to $2 million in order to wipe its hands of the
The offer was brought to Pollard and his wife in his North Carolina prison
cell by an Israeli envoy armed with official documents. It included the
sum of $100,000 to pay a public relations firm to publicize Pollard's new
American legal case and to "leave the Israeli government out of it." Mrs.
Pollard said that her husband immediately rejected the proposal, saying he
could not countenance the withdrawal of the Israeli government from its
moral obligation to rescue its own agent. Justice for Jonathan Pollard, an
organization working to secure his release, noted that without the
involvement and support of the Israeli government, "there is nothing for a
PR firm to promote!"
When asked if Sharon's behavior in the case so far had caused her to
despair of the Israeli government ever helping her husband, she answered
"We have no right to give up on the Israeli government, and the
people of Israel have no right to give up on insisting that the government of
Israel honor its moral and legal obligations to an Israeli agent. One of the
reasons - and I believe this with all my heart - that the nation of Israel
has suffered such anguish is because it has allowed successive governments
to abandon individual Jews. The minute the people give permission to
abandon even one Jew, then the entire nation is at risk. And we are seeing
this - the policy that started with Jonathan Pollard, the decision that one
agent is expendable, has continued with allowing soldiers to become
expendable, then communities expendable, and even certain cities
Esther Pollard said that a mass demonstration of support for Jonathan might
well have a positive effect. Representatives of the Committee to Bring
Jonathan Home said that they are in fact looking into the possibility of
organizing such an event - but noted that it would have to be carefully
planned in order to ensure a sufficiently large number of
participants. Meanwhile, the police have allowed only 50 people to
assemble at Ben Gurion Airport this Thursday, when Sharon leaves for the
U.S., to demand that Sharon ask for Pollard's release.
Pollard's feeling of abandonment by the Israeli government extends to the
Education Ministry, as well. Now beginning his 17th year in prison for
crimes whose usual punishment is 2-4 years in prison, he has asked
Education Minister Limor Livnat to explain why the official curriculum does
not include the plight of an Israeli agent in captivity, as it does the
plight of the MIAs and POWs.
"Limor," wrote Pollard, "making a distinction between the blood of
one Jew and the blood of another in this manner is no different than what the world
is now attempting to do by differentiating between American victims of
terror and Israeli victims of terror"
The Justice for Jonathan Pollard organization notes that the inclusion of the Pollard issue in the
curriculum would entail the addressing of fundamental questions, including:
- Why did Israel implement the Pollard operation to begin with?
- Why was the US blind-siding Israel about the existential threats to her existence from
Saddam Hussein and others?
- Why was Pollard, an Israeli agent, refused entry to the Israeli Embassy?
- What exactly is the Government of Israel doing to secure his release?