To The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, 14.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500
April 17, 2005
Dear President Bush,
We are approaching the eve of Passover, the Holiday of Freedom for the Jewish People. I am writing to ask you to release my husband, Jonathan Pollard. Jonathan is competing his 20th year of a life sentence in an American prison for his activities on behalf of Israel.
At a mass demonstration attended by thousands in Israel today, Israeli Cabinet Minister Natan Sharansky, with whom you are personally acquainted, indicated that he regards Jonathan as a political prisoner. Media reports quote Minister Sharansky addressing the crowd by telephone, stating: "Jonathan Pollard is a Prisoner of Zion. We must do our utmost to secure his release!"
Mr. President, no doubt you are aware that my husband's case is unique. Among other things:
What is perhaps most striking about my husband's case, Mr. President, is the support it enjoys in Israel across the broadest possible social and political spectrum. The longing to have Jonathan released unifies the People of Israel in a manner that no other issue does. It would be most fitting, Mr. President, if Jonathan were home in Jerusalem in time for the first night of Passover – a holiday that marks the liberation of the Jewish nation from bondage. Releasing him would be a credit to your honor and a blessing for both America and Israel.
As a religious and deeply moral person, no doubt you were as troubled as we were to learn of a recent false report on the front pages of the leading Israeli daily, Yediot Achronot. According to the headlines, you were reported to have suggested in your recent meeting with Prime Minister Sharon, that my husband may be freed in return for Israel's withdrawal from Gaza. We know that this is not true. In fact, we have been told that Prime Minister Sharon never mentioned my husband to you when you met last week.
Even more troubling, Prime Minister Sharon never gave you a Knesset petition signed by 112 Members of Knesset asking you to release Jonathan. He also did not give you the letter signed by all the Chief Rabbis of Israel, past and present, asking for Jonathan's release as a gesture for Passover. Both the Knesset petition and the Chief Rabbis' letter are historically unprecedented documents that show how deep the desire is to have Jonathan home, and how it cuts across all party lines, all religious differences, and through all social strata.
Because Jonathan's release is so important to all of the People of Israel, the issue was exploited by Prime Minister Sharon's office upon his return to Israel. Sources close to the Prime Minister told the Israeli media that if Israel does whatever Mr. Sharon claims that the US wants, then you might reward us with Jonathan's release. Jonathan's plight is, in effect, is being as a carrot on a stick to bring the People of Israel to heel. How cynical and how deeply repugnant it is, to exploit Jonathan's plight and the hopes of the Nation in this manner!
It is the flip side of the coin, whereby US officials acknowledge that Jonathan deserves to be free as a matter of simple justice, but then refuse to release him because he is too valuable as a bargaining chip against Israel. This stance was recently described by former Special Envoy to the Middle East, Dennis Ross, in his new book, "The Missing Peace."
Mr. President, this deplorable situation has to stop. Jonathan is not a bargaining chip, or a carrot on a stick. He is a flesh and blood human being who has served a very, very long and harsh sentence for the offense he committed. He is now simply being held hostage for political exploitation by both US and Israeli officials - each for their own motives.
I am appealing to you as a G-d fearing man, to answer positively the appeals of 112 Knesset Members, all the Chief Rabbis of Israel and of all the People of Israel, by releasing my husband, Jonathan Pollard.
As Jonathan's wife, I hope and pray that your heart will be touched and that you will do the right thing, in time for Seder night in Jerusalem. May G-d bless you and yours for your righteous action.
(Mrs. Jonathan Pollard)