J4JP Preface: Pollard And the Current Prisoner Exchange
Comments made by Esther Pollard in this interview, which originally aired some time ago, echo the numerous alarms she and Jonathan have tried to sound over the years. That Israel's sustained betrayal and abandonment of Jonathan Pollard undoubtedly mirrors precisely what the Government is doing, or not doing, behind-the-scenes for our MIAs and captives whose situations are far less visible than Pollard's. The Pollards have long warned that unless the Government were held to account for its failure to fulfill its obligations to its agent, Jonathan Pollard, then Government would be capable of betraying any Israeli who falls captive. Some of their worst fears appear to have been realized lately.
Recently, as part of a "Prisoner Exchange" with Hezbollah, Israel agreed to free terrorist chieftains Sheik Obeid and Dirani, as well as 400 terrorists and security prisoners in exchange for 1 Israeli "businessman" and the remains of 3 soldiers who were abducted and murdered by Arabs. Dirani was the captor of Israeli airman Ron Arad, who has been MIA for 17 years. A newly-released report indicates that Ron Arad is believed to be alive though paralyzed, and held captive in prison in an Arab country. Prime Minister Sharon told Arad's 18 year old daughter - she has not seen her father for 17 years - that he is determined to free her father's captor and tormentor, Dirani, WITHOUT any demand for the release of Ron Arad! Not even a demand for proof of life, or information. Nothing! Arad's daughter was not comforted by the PM's promises: "We'll get your father some other time." No doubt she did not believe him. Nor do we.
Another one who does not believe Sharon is Azzam Azzam, an Israeli Druse unjustly imprisoned in Egypt. This week Sharon sent Minister Dani Naveh to visit Azzam Azzam. Naveh brought a letter from Sharon urging Azzam to be of good cheer; that Israel is "continuing to work" to secure his release. Naveh also brought Azzam Azzam the news that he is NOT going to be included in the prisoner release with Hezbollah, even though Israel plans to release Egyptian prisoners as part of the deal!
The Government of Israel has broken every single promise it ever made to Jonathan Pollard both in court and privately. Israel was complicit in his prosecution and continues to this day to be complicit in his interminable incarceration under harsh conditions. It has postured publicly for years as if it were assisting Jonathan Pollard, while in fact sabotaging and undermining every opportunity to secure his release and abandoning Jonathan morally, legally, financially, and medically for nearly 2 decades. In the interview that follows, Esther Pollard's words were prescient as she reminds listeners that the Government of Israel has a social contract with those that serve the State, and when the Government abrogates that contract with even one of her agents, all of those who serve her are in jeopardy. The interview originally aired in Hebrew on Israel's National Radio Channel 2 , Kol Yisrael.
Pardon me, I must once again stress, that I could not care less about the money and we are not asking for any money. I don't even care about living in poverty - all that I care about is getting my husband home. That is all I want. I want him home. Let the Government of Israel do what they promised to do, let them do what they are obliged to do, to work as assiduously for his release as they have committed to do, something they promised but are not doing at all.