Arutz-7 Interview: Pollards' Reaction to Lindenstrauss Report
Justice4JPnews - September 7, 2009
Rendered into English by Justice4JP
Esther Pollard was interviewed by Arutz-7 in Hebrew. The interview is available on the Arutz-7 Hebrew Website. The following is an English rendition of the interview.
ARUTZ-7: Last week the State Comptroller published a special report which deals with the failures of successive governments of Israel in their handling of the case of Jonathan Pollard. We have heard many opinions about this report, we have heard opinion makers, politicians, PR experts, journalists, and others, but one voice has yet to be heard and we hope to hear it now, the voice of Esther Pollard. Shalom to you, Esther Pollard!
ARUTZ-7: Has Jonathan heard about this report?
ARUTZ-7: And what does he have to say about it?
ESTHER: Jonathan says that it is a complete whitewash. It is an attempt by one branch of the government to give a fraudulent stamp of approval to another branch; to whitewash the betrayal and abandonment of an Israeli agent in peril by successive governments of Israel.
ARUTZ-7: Explain to me the allusions you just used, about one branch and another branch of the government...
ESTHER: The one branch is the office of the State Comptroller which is giving a fraudulent stamp of approval to Prime Ministers of Israel; to the entire 'establishment' - to the Department of Defense, to the Foreign Ministry and so on - another branch of the government. They are being commended for all of the alleged initiatives and extraordinary efforts, that they supposedly carried out to secure Jonathan's release. This, despite the fact that there is no proof of any such efforts, no documentation, no record, and no results! If, indeed, they all worked so intensively for so many years for Jonathan, then why is he is still sitting in prison?
ARUTZ-7: I want to understand. You mean that when the State Comptroller switched discourse to what the Americans failed to do - that they deprived Jonathan of fair legal proceedings - in the process he cleansed successive Israeli governments of any responsibility?
ESTHER: It is worse than that. Much worse. What this does is to impose the responsibility - all of the responsibility- on Jonathan, as a private person - as if he were not an Israeli agent, and the onus is entirely on him to seek a retrial in the US; as if there were even any such possibility! In essence, telling him, "Save yourself. Leave us alone! We have nothing to do with this!" This is utter falsehood!
ARUTZ-7: In what way?
ESTHER: Look, Lindenstrauss knows that Jonathan has exhausted all his legal remedies in the United States. Jonathan has absolutely no possibility of filing in court again in the US. So for Lindenstrauss to even suggest that filing for a retrial is the solution, is just cynicism and mockery - it is La'ag LaRash!
ARUTZ-7: Maybe he just meant that the Government of Israel should take the legal process in hand; maybe he just wants to reveal the vacuum that existed.
ESTHER: We need to stop for a minute. To back up and understand the whole process of this report. Before we do that, I want to underscore, that the Lindenstrauss report was not published as the result of an investigation. There was no investigation. To say that there was an investigation is a bold faced lie! I would like to explain to you what exactly occurred.
ARUTZ-7: Please do!
ESTHER: From the outset, the behavior of the Government of Israel towards Jonathan was corrupt. Bound up in a pack of lies. The more that time goes on, the more complicated it becomes to understand any part of the picture because of lies upon lies upon lies. Sometimes the only way to understand is by way of anecdote. To that end, if you will permit me, I would like to tell you a little story. Ok?
ARUTZ-7: Go ahead!
ESTHER: As you may probably recall, some time ago - when Lindenstrauss and Zevulun Orlev initiated their conspiracy to "investigate" the Pollard Case there was suddenly a great deal of noise in the media. According to the headlines, then-Prime Minister Olmert, vociferously attacked Lindenstrauss, insisting that he was hurting Pollard, claiming that Lindenstrauss would sabotage efforts to secure Pollard's release by investigating the governments efforts for Pollard.
Jonathan used the opportunity to write a letter to Lindenstrauss, which we distributed to the media. In his letter, Jonathan wrote that there is no reason to fear that an investigation will torpedo efforts to secure his release because there are no efforts!
At the same time, Jonathan suggested to Lindenstrauss that the way to find out the truth about why there are no efforts to secure his release, and why successive governments of Israel have betrayed and abandoned him, is to follow the money trail. [See: article.]
In his letter, Jonathan wrote (and I am paraphrasing now): the government of Israel claims that it is supporting me financially. It claims that it is giving money to me and my wife. This is a blatant lie! In the 23 years that I have been in prison, neither I nor my wife has ever received a cent from the government of Israel, nor any support whatsoever. Nevertheless, the government still sees fit to lie about this. The government lies to the Bagatz, lies to media, lies to the public and claims that it is giving us money. All of my efforts to stop the government from telling these lies have failed. If the government has records that show it is giving us money, but we never received any, then who is getting the money? Where has the money gone for the last 23 years? Jonathan wrote that if Judge Lindentrauss will follow the money trail he will find out why it is that there has been such corruption and lies surrounding his case, and why the government does not want him home.
Jonathan pointed out that there must be bookkeeping records. Such accounts are black and white. A money trail won't lie, follow it and it will lead you to the truth about why the government has betrayed me for so many years.
ARUTZ-7: Someone else is getting the money?
ESTHER: We don't know. We know that there is a reason that the Government doesn't want anyone to know that they are not giving us money - yet they keep insisting that they are. All of our efforts to stop the lies failed. If the government is so insistent in continuing the lie, then something really rotten must be going on.
Now, I want to stress, I really must stress, that this is not about Jonathan wanting money. We do not want money. All we want is Jonathan home. Following the money trail and seeing where it leads is a means to that end - to discover the truth!
ARUTZ-7: You think that someone else is getting the money? What is your sense of why this is occurring? And what are you doing to investigate?
ESTHER: We have no ability to investigate. We have no tools at our disposal to investigate. That is why Jonathan turned to the State Comptroller and requested that in his investigation he should look into this, and in the process, perhaps discover the dirty reason that the government has done nothing to secure his release all these years.
ARUTZ-7: Did Lindenstrauss respond?
ESTHER: Yes, Jonathan did get a response from Lindenstrauss.
The response was - please, listen carefully to this (again I am paraphrasing): I have no authority to investigate the money trail. I have no authority to ask to see bookkeeping records, or to request accounts or documents. I have no authority to summon people to testify about what happened to the money. In fact, I have no authority at all to investigate anything!
We then asked, Judge Lindenstrauss, you claim to be doing an investigation and yet you say have no authority to investigate?! What authority do you have?!
The only authority I was given by the Knesset is the authority to gather information and to express my opinion. I am empowered to invite Israeli government officials and people involved in the affair to come and speak with me and my staff. I cannot force them to come, but if they do, I can ask questions, and. I can listen to their answers. Based on what I hear, I can formulate an opinion and submit it to the Knesset oversight committee.
The Authority to investigate, as it were, that was given to me by the Knesset, is not really to investigate, but to review what has gone on and to express my opinion. All that I am empowered to do, Lindenstrauss stressed, is to express my opinion.
If you understood this little story, then you understand that the entire Lindenstrauss report is not an investigation - it is not based on facts or documents or documentation - it is based on whatever government officials felt like telling Lindenstrauss, nothing more!
And, in fact, Lindenstrauss reveals this in his report. He reveals that not only did he not see any documentation, he discovered no documentation exists - that there is absolutely no record of any government efforts for Jonathan's release!
ARUTZ-7: So upon what did Lindenstrauss base his opinion?
ESTHER: A good question! Upon what did Lindenstrauss base his conclusions that every government of Israel has done everything it could to secure Jonathan's release?!
If all these governments worked so hard to secure Jonathan's release why is there not a single scrap of paper as evidence?
If there was any evidence that there were indeed initiatives to free Jonathan, then first of all, why is most of the report (27 out of 30 pages) classified? What are they hiding? Why aren't they proud of all they did for him? If they did so much for Jonathan, you would think that they would want the Israeli public to know about it, and not hide behind a veil of secrecy.
And secondly, if they did so much for Jonathan, why are there no signs of any such activity, no traces what so ever? Would you like some examples?
ARUTZ-7: We don't have a lot of time, but we certainly would like to hear some examples, if you can be brief.
ESTHER: For example, I am holding in my hand a notarized copy of Jonathan's personal prison file. In this file, there is an entry marked: "Citizenship". This is the place where you would expect to see that Jonathan holds dual citizenship - American and Israeli. But that is not what is written. According to this document Jonathan holds American citizenship, only.
Why is it that the Americans, to this day, do not have any official document from Israel that Jonathan is an Israeli Citizen - This would protect him! But to this day, Israel has never officially informed the Americans that Jonathan is an Israeli citizen!
Similarly, why is it that, to this day, the Americans have never received any official document from Israel that Jonathan is an Israeli agent? This would have given him rights and protections in prison! Instead, Israel has left Jonathan to rot as if he were nothing but a common criminal, and as such he is subject to the worst treatment possible, with none of the rights and protections that automatically accrue to an agent in captivity.
How can Lindenstrauss say that every government of Israel has worked constantly and continuously for Jonathan's release, when they have not even taken these, the most minimal steps, to secure his release?!
Why is it that whenever I have met with senior Congressmen and Senators, about Jonathan, to this day, they all tell me that as long as the government of Israel does not stand behind Jonathan there is nothing they can do. Why do senior Senators, strong supporters of Israel, tell me that in all their years in Washington, no Israeli official has ever mentioned Jonathan? This is what we hear!
ARUTZ-7: Even the Netanyahu government?! This the government that took responsibility for him, who recognized Jonathan officially? Are you saying this even about the Netanyahu government?!
ESTHER: Wait a minute! The official recognition came about because of Bagatzim (the lawsuits) that Jonathan filed in Supreme Court. Jonathan got his citizenship because of a case in Supreme Court and the same with his agent status - not out of the kindness of Bibi Netanyahu's heart! That's first of all!
Next, let's leave the past alone for a moment - there were other betrayals in the past by Bibi, not known to the public, but that is not the issue for the moment. Let's talk about today. Today, Bibi too has the stamp of approval from Lindenstrauss! This is amazing if you consider the following:
Are you aware that Jonathan has absolutely no government contact whatsoever?! No communication whatsoever with any government official!
Bibi Netanyahu has the time and the interest to meet with Madonna (who also goes by the Hebrew name "Esther") but he is not willing to meet Esther Pollard! We have no communication with him at all. We are completely cut off.
We have no government support, no assistance - we have no contact with the government!
When he was elected, Bibi allied himself with all of those who betrayed Jonathan in the past - among them Rafi Eitan, Ehud Barak and Shimon Peres. Eitan was not even elected to the Knesset, so Bibi appointed him as a special government advisor! Bibi has become bosom buddies with Shimon Peres and he is all but soul mates with Ehud Barak - all the people who set the original government policy with the Americans that Jonathan should die in prison (G-d forbid). Nothing has changed since. If Bibi has such good intentions towards Jonathan and is proud to declare as much publicly, how is that he is not willing to even meet with us?
ARUTZ-7: You are asking some very hard questions. And it certainly seems to me, important ones. It's important that these questions should come to the attention of the decision makers.
Just before we end, do you think you could guess, more or less, what is in the classified section of the report?
ESTHER: I am convinced that it is not a description of any initiatives for Jonathan's release. Because, look, if there were any initiatives, there would be signs. When there is any effort to free an agent from captivity there are always traces, facts on the ground that are created. If I had to guess, my guess would be that the section of the report that is classified is to cover up the lack of iniatives, the lack of effortthe lack of
ARUTZ-7: the lack of implementation, the lack of serious undertaking!
ESTHER: Exactly! And this cover-up is for the same reason that they wanted to destroy Jonathan from the outset - why did they want him to die in prison (G-d forbid)? Initially it was just certain officials who were determined to protect their own personal interests, people like Shimon Peres and Rafi Eitan and so on. They wanted to protect their own reputation, to advance their own careers and to safeguard, as it were, their own future. As time went on, the hostility appears to be tied to this dirty money trail. What is the real reason? We don't know! But perhaps if, once and for all, someone will finally follow the money trail, perhaps the truth will be revealed.
ARUTZ-7: Esther Pollard we shall accept that suggestion and we hope that somehow it will come to the attention of those above. Esther Pollard, I thank you very much!