Israel Tramples on the Grave of Pollard's Mother-in-Law
Justice4JP Release - August 2, 2005
Today, August 2, 2005, the Israeli media reports that the Israeli Government is requesting a furlough from the US for Jonathan Pollard so that he can go and say good-bye to his "dying mother-in-law" in Montreal. This report (see sample copy below) was published in Hebrew and in English, and trumpets the "efforts of Israel on behalf of Pollard".
The problem is Pollard's mother-in-law died two weeks ago!
Jonathan's mother-in-law, Rose Zeitz, died on July 18th.
On the very same that day she died, Jonathan Pollard personally called to inform the Foreign Ministry of her death and to press for a response to his request for help in securing a furlough to attend her funeral. Although Foreign Minister Shalom was immediately informed of Pollard's phone call, he did not respond.
In the weeks prior to his mother-in-law's death, Pollard had appealed to Silvan Shalom to help him gain a furlough - the first in 20 years, to say good-bye to his beloved mother-in-law, and/or to attend her funeral.
On July 12th a personal appeal from Pollard was hand-delivered to Silvan Shalom and a copy provided to PM Sharon. Receipt was confirmed within 12 hours of the time the letter was sent. Since that time, Pollard has received no response. [See full text of Pollard's Letter to Silvan Shalom.]
Officials at the Bureau of Prisons in Washington are unaware of any request by Israel to secure a furlough for Pollard. Neither has FCI Butner has received such request.
Esther and Jonathan Pollard are deeply dismayed by this lastest stunt by the Government of Israel. "This is a government with no shame. No honor. To show such brazen disrespect for the dead," said Pollard, "reflects a level of moral depravity beyond the imagination of normal people."
Esther Pollard added, "This latest episode reflects the entire 20 year history of Israel's so called "efforts" to secure Jonathan's release. There are no efforts. There never have been any. All that the government ever does is to plant lies in the media about their so-called "efforts." With their lies and profound disrespect to both the living and the dead, this Government is trampling on my mother's grave."
To date, no Israeli government official has expressed condolences to Esther or Jonathan Pollard. Not a single government official has even been in touch with the Pollards throughout this ordeal. J4JP notes that this is typical of the way the Government of Israel has behaved towards Jonathan Pollard for the entire 2 decades that he has been in prison on her behalf.
An Example of Israeli Foreign Ministry's Profound Disrespect for the Dead:
The following article was published today in English and in Hebrew on YNET - Yediot Achronot's web site. The content of the article was given to Yediot's senior correspondent's Itamar Eichner.
Pollard wants to visit dying mother-in-law
Following a letter to Foreign Minister, Israeli government asks Bush administration to authorize vacation for convicted spy so he may visit ailing mother-in-law in Canada; If allowed, it would mark Jonathan Pollard's first vacation since his imprisonment in 1968 [J4JP: 1985, not 1968!]; Pollard calls request a 'matter of life and death'
By Itamar Eichner
JERUSALEM - Israel has discretely filed a request with the Bush administration to grant convicted spy Jonathan Pollard a special vacation so he may visit his dying mother-in-law in Montreal, Canada, the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Pollard, an ex-U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, has been serving a life sentence in an American jail for almost 20 years since being convicted of spying for Israel. Should the vacation be approved, it would be his first since his imprisonment in 1986.
There was no immediate comment from U.S. officials.
Israel had decided to push the U.S. government to allow the request following a letter Pollard had sent to Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom in which he asked for the minister's personal intervention in what he referred to as "a matter of life and death," Yedioth reported.
"I ask that you intervene on my behalf with the American authorities to arrange a vacation for me for the first time in 20 years so I may go to Montreal to visit my dying mother-in-law and say my goodbyes before it is too late," Pollard said in the letter.
Pollard said that he was not permitted to visit his own mother when she was dying.
"I urge you, Silvan, don't let my nightmare repeat itself with my mother-in-law. Please do not desert me during this time of need," he said.
"I have been informed that should a request for a vacation based on humanitarian grounds be submitted by senior Israeli government officials to senior U.S. officials, it would be granted."
Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Danny Ayalon and envoy Raffi Barak have already turned to senior State Department officials on the matter, and U.S. government officials have promised to look into it as well.