Text: Jonathan's Letter to Prime Minister Olmert
To: Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
Date: October 18, 2006 B"H
No. of Pages (incl. this one): 2
Via Hand-delivery c/o Ambassador Reda Mansour, Consul General
From: Jonathan Pollard 09185-016
FCI Butner POB 1000
Butner North Carolina
Dear Prime Minister Olmert,
Next month you will be traveling to Washington to meet with President Bush. Around the same time, I will be competing my 21st year in an American prison for my service to the State of Israel.
Mr. Olmert, it is no secret that you bear a personal responsibility for the years of affliction I have endured in prison. You are responsible not only because you are the prime minister of Israel and I am Israel's longest-held captive, but because of your own involvement in this affair. What you have done and what you have failed to do has been instrumental in prolonging my agony for more than 2 decades.
As a prominent member of the Eban Commission (the Knesset Committee that investigated the Pollard affair) you had direct access to all of the information. There was so much you could have done right from the start to help me. Instead for 21 years you have shunned me; you have avoided saying or doing anything that might help; and you have dissuaded anyone who wanted to help from doing so.
Since taking office as Prime Minster, you have comported yourself as if I do not exist. Even as recently as two days ago, at the inaugural winter session of the Knesset you read out the names of all of Israel's captives and spoke of Israel's dedication to their swift and safe return home. My name was not on the list.
A day before you made this speech you received a written reminder of your moral and legal obligation to include me because of my status as an Israeli agent in captivity. Nevertheless, you still refused to mention my name. Such studied avoidance is no coincidence. The message it sends to the Americans is, even after 21 years in prison, I am still hefker.
Mr. Prime Minister, you are not a neutral party. According to the Eban Report (published in 1987) you yourself took the position that the manner of Israel's cooperation with the United States, and her assisting the prosecution against me was wrong. You made it clear that Israel's return of the documents was "fundamentally mistaken and caused serious damage." You correctly concluded that "These documents constituted the basis for the conviction and life sentence that [I] received, in spite of the Israeli assertion that there was an American commitment not to use the documents against [me]."
You did not bother to tell me back then that the return of the documents was conditioned on a US commitment not to use the documents against me. Had I known that, it would have greatly assisted in my defense. And when the US violated that commitment, you still did not inform me of the existence of that commitment, nor did you officially protest.
In all the years that have gone by since then, you have remained silent, never sharing this critical piece of information with me. Never speaking out on my behalf. Dissuading others from helping. Never doing anything at all to assist, even though you knew that your silence and inaction was costing me years of my life, and perhaps even my life. If your conscience does not bother you about what you are doing to me, then at least consider how badly this reflects upon Israel's reputation.
I ask you to end this dishonorable policy of abandonment when you visit Washington next month. It is not only my freedom that is at stake; the lives of all of Israel's captives and MIAs depend on your willingness to act forthrightly and with honor in the nation's best interests. A recent editorial in the Jerusalem Post stated:
[Jonathan] Pollard is the longest-serving Israeli captive - in the hands of Israel's strongest ally. Israel is currently relying on US support in securing the release of the three soldiers abducted by its enemies, Gilad Shalit, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, earlier this year. Yet the US does not appear to be acting judiciously in the case of an Israeli it itself is holding.
(Editorial, "Release Pollard" The Jerusalem Post, October 9, 2006)
Mr. Prime Minister, for 21 years you have known - and remained silent. Your meeting with President Bush is a golden opportunity to rectify that. By securing my release you will be acting in the best interests of the nation and all of Israel's captives.
After 21 years, the return of Israel's longest-held captive is no longer an option. It is a matter of national honor.