Pollard: Why Govt. fear of Lindenstrauss? It's the money!
Sharon Roffe-Ofir - YNET News - March 26, 2008
'Your office continues to lie and to disseminate official government statements declaring that my wife and I are receiving full financial support,' Pollard says in letter addressed to PM Olmert, 'are the funds which you claim are intended for us being misappropriated by your office and used illegally elsewhere?'
"As you are well aware, in the that I have been in captivity, I have never received one cent from the Government of Israel. Even though, as an officially recognized Israeli agent, I am entitled to full government support and financial compensation, I have received nothing," Jonathan Pollard said this week in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
"Similarly, my wife Esther has never received a single cent from the Government of Israel, nor any kind of support, even when she was seriously ill with cancer," wrote Pollard who has been jailed in the US since 1985 after being convicted of spying for Israel.
"Yet your office continues to lie and to disseminate official government statements declaring that my wife and I and my 'close associates' are receiving 'full support in every possible respect' from the Government of Israel," Pollard said in the letter, which was sent to Israel via certified mail.
"If, as you insist, your Government is allocating resources for me and my wife, but we are not receiving them, then who is getting the money? Are the funds (which you claim are intended for us) being misappropriated by your office and used illegally elsewhere? While we do not know for certain what kind of corruption is going on, we do know that something smells very bad."
A few months ago Pollard's attorney, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, sent Olmert a letter demanding that the PM substantiate the government's claims that it was supporting the Pollards financially.
Olmert's legal counsel, Shulamit Barnea Fargo, wrote in response that "the claims in your letter are for the most part, baseless, and the style in which they are written is offensive. I do not see any place for providing the information which you requested, out of fear that this will damage Mr. Pollard's welfare and the efforts of the State of Israel to assist him.
'Expose the truth'
Fargo continued to say that "the government has acted in the past and is currently working to assist Jonathan Pollard and his associates."
Similar responses were provided by the government to several letters sent by Israeli citizens asking why the State refused to support Esther Pollard, whose financial situation, according to them, was dire.
Pollard for his part said in his letter "Mr. Prime Minister, that if the Government had any proof to substantiate the lies your office is disseminating about support for me and my wife, you would have no need to evade the questions my attorney asked."
His wife told Ynet, "If I were indeed receiving support from the Government of Israel, would I be living this way, in dire straits financially? Would I be forced to live in a little room in the apartment of a kindly Jerusalem widow who heard of our financial distress and offered to take me in?"
Meanwhile, Esther Pollard refuted recent claims made by senior defense officials and politicians according to which a comprehensive inquiry recently launched by the State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss may compromise "sensitive efforts" to bring about her husband's release.
Lindenstrauss was ordered by the Knesset's State Control Committee to investigate actions taken by Israel's governments over the years to release Pollard.
All the "hysteria" surrounding the State Comptroller's investigation, she explained, has nothing to do with fear of damaging efforts to secure Pollard's release. "There are no efforts to free Pollard," Esther Pollard said.
She continued to say that "I was recently told by a senior American official with close ties to the the Bush Administration, there is only one man who can free your husband -- Bush; and there is only one man who has to ask for your husband's release -- Olmert. So what are these Israeli defense officials afraid of? How can they be afraid of damaging initiatives to secure his release, when there are no initiatives for Jonathan's release?
"In point of fact, what they are really afraid of is that the investigation will reveal who has been misappropriating all the money intended for Pollard for the last 23 years, and that the truth will come to light that this is not just about monetary corruption, but about trafficking in the blood of an Israeli agent," Esther Pollard said.