Esther Pollard And Larry Dub Speak Out
Hillel Fendel - Arutz7 News - March 22, 2007
Following the awarding of the Jerusalem Conference "Lover of Zion" Award to Jonathan Pollard, IsraelNationalRadio's Yishai Fleisher and Alex Traiman spoke with his wife Esther and her husband's long-time pro-bono lawyer, Atty. Larry Dub.
They first asked Esther about her husband's condition and his daily struggles of being alone. "It's now year 22," she said, "and I think that what troubles Jonathan even more than the harsh conditions, his failing health and the daily tortures, is what he sees as the failure of the People of Israel to wake up. G-d, in His kindness, has given us the Pollard case so that we might wake up and redeem ourselves by fulfilling our obligation of mutual responsibility. What G-d wants from us is unity - absolutely nothing stands in the way of Jewish unity!"
"Our goals and aspirations have been perverted," she said. "Instead of seeing and understanding how the US is acting towards us, we are an entire generation that is aspiring to be more and more like them! That's pretty shocking. Yet Hashem has chosen, in His infinite wisdom and kindness, someone as great and as strong and as whole as Jonathan to be the model and example for us... We have to wake up. This troubles Jonathan more than anything else that he is enduring - that his beloved nation is in trouble and that we're losing the Land because of it. This conference is a great step in the right direction; the organizers have made a tikkun ( rectification) of the government's evil towards Jonathan in this regard."
The First Correspondence
Asked how she got to know her husband, Esther explained: "I was living in Jerusalem, at the time, working for the Ministry of Justice, and teaching English at Hebrew University. I saw an ad asking people to write to Jonathan. I knew nothing about the case. I had no idea who he was. But I had an aerogramme, and I figured that here was a Jew in trouble, so I dashed off a quick note. Jonathan later said that when he read the letter, he used two of his last three stamps from his monthly allotment- because he sensed he had to answer me. He sent me two envelopes - one with all the information on his case, and the other was a personal letter. I read the informational one first, and couldn't believe that something that bad could have happened in the US. And when I read the second one, and I was blown away - because I thought that someone who had experienced such injustice would be filled with hatred and bitterness- yet instead I saw someone who was filled with light and love for his people and his country. I felt that I was looking into my own soul. We both felt right from the start that we were soulmates...
"Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, Jonathan's rabbi, had a vision of our relationship and our marriage, and when he went to visit Jonathan in 1991, he told Jonathan that he had had a dream of the woman he would marry, and he described - me! Jonathan was delighted because this was the first time he could share his heart about our relationship. Unfortunately, there was a Mossad agent who had to accompany the Rav, and he wasn't very discreet, and the next thing we knew, it was all over the newspapers that Jonathan had a girlfriend whom he intended to marry... But it didn't matter; it was lovely to us that even the honored rabbi recognized the cosmic nature of our relationship, and how Hashem brought us together for a purpose...
"Prayer is very important to us, it's our main ammunition... We have a very small team of people working for Jonathan; they are worth their weight in gold, working 24/6 for this purpose... Everything was done [by the authorities] to ensure that we wouldn't still be around at this point; their plan was that he would die in prison - either by hopelessness, or by his own hand, or by an 'accident.' But the Shechinah [Divine Presence] is with him and that's why he survives, as Rabbi Eliyahu says. In spite of all odds, he has survived; Hashem had other plans for him - and G-d willing, he will be home very soon.
Atty. Dub: US Justice System is Cruel
Larry Dub has been Jonathan Pollard's pro-bono lawyer in Israel for 21 years. Excerpts from his remarks:
"Taking a careful look at the American prison system, it appears to be one of the cruelest in the world - one that rivals Third World countries. In Israel, we have a system that allows for rehabilitation, with weekend visits, conjugal visits, and the like; but in the US, it's 24/7 - inside for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Jonathan's first lawyer made a terrible "mistake" in which he failed to protect Jonathan's right to appeal, and the American legal system has ridden the coattails of that injustice to punish him way beyond the median sentence for that particular crime - passing classified information to an ally. There are others who have committed the exact same crime, and they received 2-4 years in prison, but when it came to Pollard, they felt that it was time to teach the Jews a lesson - and they gave him life without parole...
"We have exhausted every possible legal avenue in the US; the Supreme Court has refused to hear the case, rejecting all of our pleas, even a request to see the secret documents that [the late Defense Secretary Caspar] Weinberger claimed that Pollard passed to Israel. We have never been permitted to see the file, and all we hear are innuendos like, 'Oh if you only knew what he did...' We simply wanted to be able to argue that in fact, the documents were not as damaging as everyone claimed. Our lawyers in the US had top CIA security clearance to see the documents - but the Supreme Court ruled that they had no reason to see these documents. This leads me to believe that no one there was interested in seeing justice done, but just in burying it.
"The only option left now is a Presidential pardon, for which President Bush need not consult with anyone; he can simply sign the paper tonight. Also, Olmert can get on the phone and ask Bush to pardon him, and if he does so, Pollard can be home for Pesach - and that's our hope... The government has a basic responsibility, just as it has towards the other missing and kidnapped soldiers, to bring them home. Just as Netanyahu got our three Mossad men home from Jordan in just five days - because that was his basic obligation.
Reminded that former CIA head James Woolsey had recently said on Arutz-7 that it was time for Pollard to go free, Dub said, "I can go you one better: Weinberger himself, when asked why he didn't mention Pollard in his autobiography, said that the Pollard story wasn't such a big deal... This means that all those accusations and innuendoes about how much terrible damage he did are all nothing. Those who have seen the files, such as Rudy Giulani and Senator Chuck Schumer, say that he should be released immediately..."
Asked if he suspects the Americans of some form of anti-Semitism, Dub said that the CIA originally came to Pollard with a list of prominent American Jews and "asked him to point out which of them were conspiring with him. When Pollard said that none of them were, they simply refused to believe it; the Americans just don't trust the Jews."