The Show Goes On: Pollard Remains In Prison Hillel Fendel
Arutz7 News Service Excerpt - September 15, 2005
As predicted in advance by Prime Minister Sharon's aides, President Bush did not agree to release Jonathan Pollard. "That's not the kind of help I promised you," Bush told Sharon.
PM Ariel Sharon's advisors told reporters that Sharon raised several issues with Bush at their meeting in New York yesterday - among them a request for the release of Jonathan Pollard from prison.
The aides said that Sharon expressed the hope that Bush would pardon and release Pollard, thus helping him to "sell" his disengagement plan among the Israeli public as something worthwhile for Israel.
However, as predicted beforehand, Bush did not agree. Bush's response, according to the aides, was that when he said his country would help during and after the disengagement, he didn't mean to include the release of Pollard.
On the Tuesday flight to New York, government officials said they did not think Sharon would make a strong bid for Pollard's release, given Bush's shaky political stance in the U.S. following Hurricane Katrina. One was quoted as saying, "Exactly now, when Bush's popularity is at a low point, he would release Pollard? The man that the CIA head said caused the greatest harm to the U.S.? It's not logical."
Pollard's wife Esther said in response, "Even before the meeting with Bush, Sharon sent his aides to blow up all chances for a pardon for my husband. The aides told the Israeli media in advance that there is no chance that Bush would agree to release Pollard. We know from our sources in Washington that this message was quite clearly understood in the White House, and Bush realized that all he had to do was to play his part in the show that Sharon was putting on for the Israeli public as if he was really trying to secure my husband's release."
Pollard himself has said many times that he does not want his release to be the reward for uprooting Jewish communities and the transfer of parts of the Land of Israel to the Arabs.
Mrs. Pollard further said, "If Sharon were a man of honor, he would not only promise, but would also fulfill. He thinks that he can cause the People of Israel to believe that he is really trying to free Jonathan Pollard - but the nation is no longer nave, and knows it's just a game."
She made a public call to the Cabinet Minister and MKs: "Are you willing to continue to take part in this game and allow Sharon to bury my husband alive? Is it reasonable to assume that the U.S. would not free him after 20 years in prison after Sharon fulfilled all Bush's requests to free terrorists and murderers, carried out the disengagement, and is now ready to meet further difficult American demands? What are we, a nation of chumps? Are we so easily willing to accept the refusal to free someone who worked for us? Where is the leadership in Israel?!"
Among those who called upon Sharon to make sure to secure Pollard's release was Azzam Azzam. A resident of the Druze town of Mrar who sat in Egyptian prison for over seven years, Azzam said yesterday, "Just like you succeeded in rescuing me from Egypt, I am sure that you will succeed in freeing Pollard after 20 years in prison."
Two years ago, Pollard wrote a sharp open letter to Prime Minister Sharon. Excerpts:
1. We have learned that when you met with President Bush just [recently], you never mentioned a word about me - an Israeli agent in peril, whose release was promised to Israel by the former US president at Wye - a commitment which you personally witnessed!
2. Before your trip to Washington, you signed a petition to President Bush along with 111 of your Knesset colleagues calling for my immediate release. But you went to Washington you left the petition at home in Jerusalem... The message to the Administration was perfectly clear: your signature on the petition was for domestic public consumption only - not because of any interest in seeing me released.
3. You did not forget to take to your meeting with Bush the list of 440 Arab murderers and terrorists whom you have subsequently freed in a gesture to the US. You had no difficulty making the case to release these terrorists, but had "no time" and "no place" on your agenda to plead the case for me, a Jew who warned Israel about the weapons of mass destruction prepared by neighboring Arab states for use against her.
4. We have learned that you continue to block the path to the White House for my rabbi, the former Chief Rabbi of Israel, HaRav Mordechai Eliyahu, to prevent him personally from seeking my release from President George W. Bush.
... 9. You have steadfastly maintained Israel's shameful failure to honor its commitments to me as an Israeli agent in captivity. In spite of damaging lies you leaked to the media through one of your cabinet ministers, neither my wife nor I have ever received a cent from the Government of Israel. You continue deny me the medical, moral, legal and financial support that Israel committed to in Supreme Court. Not only have you failed to seek my release, you personally have sabotaged it and undermined it at every opportunity.
10. You feared neither G-d nor man when you told Rechavam Ze'evi, z"l that the only way you are prepared to bring me home is (G-d forbid) in a coffin. You never flinched when this was widely reported in the Israeli media. No shame, no embarrassment and not even a spurious denial. Arik, Arik, what is it that you have on your conscience that makes you fear and hate me so?
...My wife, my attorney and my rabbi met with you two years ago and told you that if you did not act expeditiously to save me, they feared I would die in prison. You did not flinch and you did not react. In fact, you did not respond at all to their distress. You have been perfectly consistent since then, dismissing every opportunity that arises that might provide some measure of relief for me.
...Thank you for being so blatantly obvious about your intention to have me die in prison before you do anything to assist me... I am grateful that I no longer have to do anything at all to convince the Israeli people that you are not acting in good faith...
Your callousness gives me added strength and determination to survive - even as ill as I am, as worn out as I am, and as disgusted as I am. If it takes every ounce of strength in every fiber of my being, I will survive! With the help of G-d, I will live to see you reap the reward that you deserve for what you have bequeathed to me and to the people of Israel. That is why, Mr. Prime Minister, today on my 49th birthday in prison, I bless you. May you live a long life! May you live to see me returned home in spite of all odds. G-d willing, I promise to bless you again upon my homecoming. I will look in your eyes; I will shake your hand. You will see your whole life reflected in my eyes. It is a moment I look forward to.
...Mr. Sharon, mark my words: if you only feared G-d half as much as you fear the enemies of Israel, you would find the courage and the determination to do that which is right and that which is needed without hesitation...
Recent events in Israel demonstrate that you have an uncanny ability to tolerate the agony of our people at this excruciating time in our history. Be aware that this ability to block out their cries and ignore their suffering is no more than an extension of your ability to tolerate the agony of one Israeli agent. After all, 5 million is just 5 million multiplied by one.
...Am Yisrael Chai!
(Signed) Jonathan Pollard