Esther Pollard on Channel 1 Special Broadcast to Welcome President Bush
May 14, 2008
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Source: Israel TV, Channel One
Program: Special Broadcast Marking the Arrival of President Bush
Interviewer: Yaacov Achimeir
Interviewees: Esther Pollard and Tzvia Peres Walden (daughter of President Shimon Peres)
Time (min:sec) 12:46
At precisely the time that President Bush and his entourage were landing in Israel for his second visit this year to celebrate Israel's 60th anniversary, Esther Pollard is interviewed on Israel's Channel 1 TV. Her fellow interviewee is Tzvia Peres Walden, the daughter of Shimon Peres, the 9th president of Israel.
The interviewer, Yaacov Achimeir, asks Esther how she feels at this time, watching the celebrations. Esther responds that she feels that this is the perfect opportunity to give the entire nation a much needed morale booster: the release of Jonathan Pollard. Israel, she says, is trying desperately to celebrate its 60th anniversary,while reeling from terror attacks, with Kassam rockets falling in Sderot and Ashkelon, and the threat of all out war. By saving the life of an agent in peril and bringing Jonathan home, says Esther, the entire nation would enjoy a much-needed morale booster.
Esther points out that Jonathan has been in prison nearly 40% of all of the years that the State of Israel has been in existence and that this is a terrible stain on the country's national honor. Achimeir is willing to accept Esther's contention that Ehud Olmert, with a bit of support from Shimon Peres, could easily secure Jonathan's release, but has yet to make a serious official request. However, says Achimeir, a translation of a recent interview with President Bush by Israel's Channel 10 TV, indicates that Bush said a flat-out "no" to releasing Jonathan Pollard. Esther laughs and tells Achimeir that she is so glad he brought this up because it provides her with the opportunity to correct all of the ridiculously inaccurate Hebrew translations of the Bush interview.
The question that was asked of Bush, she explains, was whether or not he had received an official request for Jonathan's release from Ehud Olmert and if so what is his position. Instead of answering, Bush avoids the question like the plague. His response is totally unrelated to the question, "We are constantly examining cases," he says. Although pressured by the interviewer, Bush bobs and weaves to avoid having to admit that he never received an official request for Jonathan's release. Bush finally puts an end to the questions by simply stating that "at this time, there is no change in the official position." Of course not, says Esther. There has been no official request from Olmert!
Tzvia Walden cites "rules of diplomacy" as the excuse for Peres and Olmert not seeking Jonathan's release. Esther brushes aside "rules of diplomacy" by citing the urgency in saving the life of an Israeli agent who has served more than 5 times the for the offense he committed in passing critical information to Israel to save the State. All this, and much more, packed into an interesting 13 minute interview.