Jonathan Pollard Responds to Cabinet Secretary Israel Maimon

Justice4JP Release - October 13, 2003

Justice4JP Prefacing Note

In a letter to Jonathan Pollard, replying on behalf of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Cabinet Secretary Israel Maimon explained that Prime Minister Sharon wanted to deliver the Pollard petition signed by 112 MKs to President Bush, but couldn't do it because the MKs took the petition back! The rest of Mr. Maimon's letter is equally as implausible. It is quoted in its entirety below and an uninterrupted copy of the text is available on the J4JP web site. Jonathan Pollard's response follows below:


Cabinet Secretary Israel Maimon


October 12, 2003

VIA Facsimile

c/o Attorney Larry Dub

No. of Pages

(incl. this one): 2


Jonathan Pollard 09185-016


Mr. Maimon:


Your letter dated 18 September 2003, received 8 October 2003

I am in receipt of your letter written on behalf of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, in response to my letter of 7 August 2003. I would like to respond as follows:

You write: "At the outset, allow me to wish you a happy 49th birthday, and I hope you will celebrate your 50th birthday here in Israel, with us."

Mr. Maimon, your birthday wishes to me call to mind the Hebrew expression, "Laag LaRaash," mocking someone in dire straits. The notion of a happy birthday in prison is an oxymoron; and your "hope" that I will be home for my 50th birthday, in the absence of any honest initiative on the part of the Government of Israel, is disingenuous to say the least.

You continue: "I regret the fact that you feel that nothing has been done on your behalf. The opposite is true. The Prime Minister is constantly exploring ways and initiatives to bring about your sought-after release."

Mr. Maimon, I am embarrassed for you. How can you lie so blatantly and not feel ashamed? My release was promised to Israel by the US as an integral part of the Wye Accords. It has been paid for many times over. Mr. Sharon, himself, is an eyewitness to the US commitment to release me and to the payments in blood Israel has made. There is only one place my release can be obtained and one person who can sign the order. That place is Washington and that person is the President of the United States, Mr. George W. Bush. Since Wye, Mr. Sharon has had no fewer than 8 formal meetings with President Bush and has never once raised the issue of my release with him.

You add: "At the same time, I can understand why you would feel this way after 18 years in prison, during which time all attempts to secure your release failed."

No, Mr. Maimon, you do not begin to understand how I feel or what I feel, much less what a moment in prison is like; let alone what it feels like to spend 18 years in prison, while the Government I served is not only cavalier about my plight, but also has the audacity to make light of it in insincere statements like this one.

The most egregious assault on the truth is your declaration: "With regard to the petition signed by Knesset members: firstly, the Prime Minister added his signature to the petition without hesitation. Secondly, we were asked to return the petition to the Knesset members who initiated it. I assure you that we had no reservations about taking the petition and delivering it to the American administration."

The only thing worse than a liar in the Prime Minister's office, is a bad liar. Mr. Maimon, did you really expect me to believe that after the MKs worked so hard to gather all the signatures in time for the Prime Minister's departure to meet with Bush, that they would then turn around and demand that he not take the signed petition with him?

In point of fact, the refusal of Mr. Sharon to take the MKs petition to Washington and his unwillingness to deliver it to President Bush is a matter of record. Mr. Sharon, himself, at a recent cabinet meeting tried to justify his failure to deliver the petition by declaring, "Beggars can not make noise." Moreover, during my recent visit with 5 Knesset Members, the initiator of the petition, MK Mickey Eitan, told me he was dumbfounded when Sharon's chief of staff, Dov Weissglass, insisted that he come and pick up the signed petition since Mr. Sharon refused to take it to Washington.

I am deeply concerned about what this means for the People of Israel. If you, as the Cabinet Secretary of the Government of Israel, are prepared to falsify a matter of public record in order to cover for Prime Minister Sharon, what other facts and issues are you distorting for him that we, the public, do not yet know about?

Your letter continues, "I would furthermore like to emphasize that at meetings held during the Prime Minister's recent visit to Washington, he raised the issue of your release from prison."

Indeed, Mr. Maimon! Who did he raise it with? The attendant in the men's room at the White House? Colin Powell's valet? Condoleeza Rice's aide? Obviously, Mr. Maimon, Mr. Sharon's bringing up my name in Washington, with anyone other than the President of the United States, is of no consequence. We have first-hand reports from well-placed and reliable sources that Mr. Sharon has never once brought up my name or the issue of my release in any of his many meetings with President Bush.

Your letter continues: "During a meeting held recently with representatives of heads of Knesset factions, we discussed various possible avenues to procure your release. I wish to stress that by no means did the Prime Minister indicate that he would make no effort to secure your release. On the contrary, at the conclusion of the meeting, the Prime Minister instructed me to renew and co-ordinate the work of the inter-ministerial team which addressed your case in the past, in order to find effective ways to bring about your release. The Prime Minister also instructed that members of Knesset factions be included in the team's work."

Mr. Maimon, you appear to be unfamiliar with one of the most basic teachings of our sages. They say that if a man tells you, "I have toiled but not found", do not believe him; and if he says, "I have not toiled but I have found" do not believe him; but if he says, "I have toiled and I have found" you can believe him.

And that is the bottom line, Mr. Maimon. As long as I continue to languish in prison, and my wife and I continue to fight for my release without any support or assistance, legally, financially, medically and morally, from the Government of Israel, then it really makes no difference how much you and Mr. Sharon claim that you doing, no one is fooled. It is not possible to work so hard, for so many years, and to accomplish absolutely nothing.

You end by saying; "In conclusion, on the occasion of Rosh Hashana, we send you and Esther wishes for a Shana Tova and good health. We pray that next year we can celebrate Rosh Hashana with you, here in Jerusalem. (signed) Sincerely, Israel Maimon, - with a c.c. to Mr. Ariel Sharon, Prime Minister."

In response allow me to end, Mr. Maimon, with the words of another Jewish boy whose name is well-known in America, the songwriter, Bob Dylan. My wife admires some of his older work. When I showed her your letter she said it reminded her of a song he wrote, "Positively 4th Street". Which part, I asked? She replied, the part that goes:

"You see me on the street. You always act surprised, You say, how are you, good luck, but you don't mean it. When you know as well as me, you'd rather see me paralyzed Why don't you just come out once and scream it!"

But, as for me, Mr. Maimon, I told my wife that the part of the song that I saw as more apt was the ending. It goes:

"I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes, And just for that one moment I could be you. Yes, I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes, You'd know what a drag it is to see you."

And with that thought I end, Mr. Maimon. I do truly wish that for just one moment you could see yourself through my eyes, that you could read the letter that you wrote to me in my 18th year of incarceration on behalf of the State of Israel and see it through my eyes.

May G-d and the People of Israel forgive you and Mr. Sharon.

Jonathan Pollard

See Also:
  • Jonathan Pollard's Yom Kippur Letter to PM Sharon
  • Cabinet Secretary Maimon's Letter to Jonathan Pollard
  • Lyrics: Positively 4th Street by Bob Dylan
  • A Meeting with "CITIZEN POLLARD" by MK Aryeh Eldad
  • Jonathan Pollard's 49th Birthday Open Letter to PM Sharon