Pollard devastated PM returned without him

Esther Pollard says her husband had been hopeful that Netanyahu could persuade Obama to commute his life sentence.

Gil Hoffman - The Jerusalem Post - March 8, 2012

Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard was very disappointed that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu returned home from his meeting with US President Barack Obama in Washington without securing his release from an American prison, Pollard's wife Esther said Thursday.

Esther Pollard said her husband had been hopeful that due to the increasing wave of support for his release, Netanyahu could persuade Obama to commute his life sentence to the more than 26 years he has already served.

"I cried my heart out when he kept asking me if I had heard from anyone in the Prime Minister's Office," she she said. "I got all choked up and couldn't answer. He said he thought this time it would be different."

Esther said her husband appreciated the solidarity he received from people around the world, which gave him hope. She said they also believed that Obama's desire to prove that he is pro-Israel would work in their favor.

"All Netanyahu had to do was ask Obama in a serious and compelling way and he couldn't say no," Esther Pollard said. "Netanyahu made a personal request to the president 14 months ago to release Jonathan. Doesn't he want an answer? Did he ask for one? Did he get an answer and if he got an answer, why don't we know?"

Esther Pollard said she was also heartbroken for the Israeli people who she said were also waiting for an answer from the White House.

"We feel hurt, orphaned, and abandoned," she said. "It's a holiday, but there's no joy. I have no heart for any festivities. How can anyone feel joy today when Jonathan Pollard has been crushed again by a prime minister who just didn't do the job?"

Netanyahu told reporters in Washington that he raised Pollard's fate with the president. He did not say whether Obama responded.

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