Mrs. Pollard to Sharon: Bring Jonathan Home!
Hillel Fendel - Arutz7 News - September 13, 2005
PM Sharon departed for the U.S. late this morning, where he will meet with President Bush. Esther Pollard says it's a golden opportunity to secure her husband's release.
Esther Pollard was interviewed by Yaron Dekel of Voice of Israel Radio this morning, shortly before Sharon departed for the United States. Sharon is scheduled to meet with U.S. President Bush and other world leaders, as well as address the UN in honor of its 60th anniversary.
Esther Pollard used the opportunity of the interview to make a personal appeal to PM Sharon. She said as follows [translation courtesy of "Justice for Jonathan Pollard"]:
"Mr. Prime Minister,
"If you are a man of honor, you now have a final opportunity to prove to one and all, that you not only make promises - but keep them as well. When you sent the Israeli Ambassador to see Jonathan in prison, we feared that this was an empty gesture for your own public relations
needs in Israel. But you claimed that this was the first step in securing Jonathan's release.
"We have learned from reliable sources in Washington that President Bush admires you very much for succeeding in carrying out the Disengagement. That is why sources close to him have told us that if you ask for Jonathan's release now, no doubt he will allow Jonathan to fly home with you to Israel.
"Honorable Prime Minister, the entire nation is waiting; there is no reason in the world for you to return to Israel without Jonathan Pollard. I urge you: don't disappoint your nation!"
It is no secret that securing Jonathan's release at this time would help the Prime Minister in his struggle to retain leadership of the Likud Party. The Justice for Jonathan Pollard organization noted, however, that "Esther and Jonathan Pollard deplore the exploitation of Jonathan Pollard's plight for political purposes, and urge PM Sharon to bring Jonathan Pollard home now because it is the right thing to do, and is long overdue."
An American President has already promised that Pollard would be freed, but quickly reneged. In late 1998, then-President Bill Clinton told then-Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that he would pardon Pollard as a "bonus" for the Wye Plantation Agreement. Just before the public signing ceremony, Clinton informed Netanyahu that Pollard would not be released. "Netanyahu turned pale, and Clinton hugged him," an eye-witness said. The Israeli delegation considered calling off the entire agreement, but decided not to do so.
Pollard is in his 20th year of a life sentence following his conviction on one count of passing classified information to a friendly country - Israel. Contrary to public perception, he was not convicted of treason. Despite agreeing to a plea bargain and cooperating with the U.S. government, Pollard received the maximum sentence: life imprisonment.
Click here to listen to Kol Yisrael Radio news broadcast of Esther Pollard's Appeal to PM Sharon (Hebrew).