U.S. Ambassador Makes Israeli Dep. Minister Change Title

Tal Yamin Volfovitz - Maariv [NRG] - March 17, 2005 - Translated by J4JP

Deputy Minister of Internal Security, MK Yaacov Edri, as part of the struggle to free Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, sent a letter to the American Secretary of State via the US Ambassador in Israel. To his surprise, the letter was returned to him by the Ambassador with the request for changes to the text.

In his letter Edri appealed to Condoleezza Rice with a request to free Jonathan Pollard as an American gesture to Israel, in the same way that Israel was making a similar gesture to Palestinian Chairman Abu Mazen by freeing Palestinian prisoners.

Edri sent his letter via the American Ambassador, Dan Kurtzer. However Kurtzer quickly returned the letter to Edri with a letter of his own, requesting that Edri remove his official title "Deputy Minister of Internal Security" from the letter to Rice to ensure that his letter not be construed as an official request from the Israeli government. Edri quickly complied and resubmitted his letter using only the title "Member of Knesset".

Activists for the release of Jonathan Pollard reacted saying that it appears there is like-mindedness between Sharon and the American Ambassador, ensuring that no official Israeli request to free Jonathan Pollard is ever raised with the American Administration. "Not only is Sharon, not willing to do anything to secure the release of Jonathan Pollard, the fact is that to date there has been no official Israeli request on the matter, and this only proves that Sharon does not want Pollard home, not even as a gesture."

In light of Sharon's upcoming trip to the US to meet with President Bush at the beginning of next month, The Committee to Bring Jonathan Pollard Home plans to begin a new campaign under the banner: "Sharon, Don't Come Back Without Pollard."

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