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 case.

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 emphatically,

"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 expendable"

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?

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