PM's Brother-in-Law: Bibi, Bring Back Pollard!

Hillel Fendel - Arutz7 - May 30, 2010

Prof. Hagi Ben-Artzi has written a letter to his brother-in-law, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in which he tells him that his upcoming trip to Washington is a golden opportunity to bring back Jonathan Pollard, convicted of spying for Israel and languishing in an American jail.

President Barack Obama has invited Netanyahu to Washington this week, apparently partially to make up for the humiliation he dealt Netanyahu on this previous visit two months ago. Netanyahu's wife Sarah's brother, Prof. Ben-Artzi, has written an emotional plea to the prime minister, asking him not to forget Pollard.

Ben-Artzi did not neglect to mention Netanyahu's past efforts for Pollard: "You merited that during your previous term as Prime Minister, Jonathan Pollard was officially recognized by the Government of Israel as an Israeli agent who contributed much to Israeli security. Following this decision, you acted energetically to achieve his release - and in the framework of the Wye Agreement of 1998, then-President Bill Clinton promised to free Pollard. However, at the last minute, Clinton reneged, and you returned empty-handed."

"This is a good opportunity to remind the American president that if he wants us to trust American promises, he must honor a presidential promise that was personally made to you."

Ben-Artzi asked Netanyahu to "remind President Obama that if he is sincere in saying that Israel is a friend and ally of the United States, he must prove this with actions. Jonathan Pollard gave Israel information that was vital to its existence and security, after he saw that the U.S. was violating its commitment towards Israel and was not giving it this critical information."

"Even agents that spied for enemy countries did not sit in jail for so long (nearly

25 years

), in such difficult conditions (most of the time in solitary confinement and the dungeon), and in such bad health (his life is truly endangered)."

Noting that Netanyahu had promised after his failure with Clinton not to give up and to "find the way to bring Pollard back home," Ben-Artzi wrote, "This is your chance to pay your debt! You must do it now, because tomorrow it might be too late, because of Pollard's health. Our Sages teach that one who begins a good deed, is told to complete it. You were privileged to begin this good deed, and may it be G-d's will that you will be able to complete it."

Prominent figures have made the letter a linchpin of their latest pro-Pollard campaign, and are trying to maximize its effect in order to pressure Netanyahu on this matter.

This article can also be read here.