Jonathan Pollard's Open Letter to PM Sharon
on the occasion of his 47th birthday in prison

Justice4JP Release - August 7, 2001

Jonathan Pollard, on his 47th birthday, writing to PM Sharon:

"Until you master your fear and learn to trust in the Creator of Heaven and Earth, your fear of man and your lack of resolve not only hurts me, but also threatens to bring the Nation of Israel to the brink of disaster."

August 7, 2001
Butner, North Carolina

Dear Prime Minister Sharon,

Today is my 47th birthday. In honor of the occasion, I am writing to share my thanks, my blessings and a piece of hard-earned wisdom which the last 16 years in prison have taught me.

First of all, my thanks. This may surprise you, but I am grateful to you.

Allow me to explain by citing several examples of recent initiatives on my behalf that you have vetoed since taking office:

  1. Minister of Internal Security Uzi Landau recently visited the U.S. He met with prominent Americans who happen to be supporters of the Pollard case. They asked him to raise the issue in his meetings with key Senators. Landau replied that he would be glad to speak to the Senators about the fate of an Israeli agent. However, the next day Landau reported that you refused to permit him to bring up the Pollard name in Washington.

  2. In April of this year, you prevented my rabbi, the former Chief Rabbi of Israel, HaRav Mordechai Eliyahu, from seeking my release from President George W. Bush, even though you had received high-level assurances that a personal request from HaRav Eliyahu would be well-received.

  3. In June of this year, you refused permission to M.K. Dani Naveh to have HaRav Eliyahu accompany him to the US to meet with key officials in the House and Senate on my behalf.

  4. You also refused permission to M.K. Ofir Pines to bring a delegation of M.K.s from the Knesset Law Committee to lobby their counterparts in Congress on my case.

In light of all of the above, Mr. Prime Minister, allow me to express my gratitude. I am grateful that you have never feigned interest in my plight nor any concern for my survival. I am grateful that unlike previous Prime Ministers of Israel you do not bother to go through the motions, claiming to care so deeply about me while undermining my release behind-the-scenes. I appreciate that you have been utterly shameless about your indifference to my fate, even though you risk public disapproval, since I am a bona fide Israeli agent who certainly deserves better than this.

My wife, my attorney and my rabbi met with you in April and told you that if you did not act expeditiously to save me, they feared I would die in prison. You did not flinch and you did not react. In fact, you did not respond at all to their distress. You have been perfectly consistent since then, dismissing every opportunity that arises that might provide some measure of relief for me.

Thank you, Prime Minister Sharon, for your consistency. Thank you for being so blatantly obvious about your intention to have me die in prison before you do anything to assist me. To borrow an oft-cited phrase about you from the media, I wonder if your "indirect involvement" in my operation "inconveniences your relationship with the U.S." and causes you to behave so shabbily towards me, an Israeli agent. All the same, I am grateful that I no longer have to do anything at all to convince the Israeli people that you are not acting in good faith.

I am sincere in my thanks. Your callousness gives me added strength and determination to survive - even as ill as I am, as worn out as I am, and as disgusted as I am. If it takes every ounce of strength in every fiber of my being, I will survive! With the help of G-d, I will live to see you reap the blessing that you have bequeathed to me and to the people of Israel.

That is why, Mr. Prime Minister, today on my 47th birthday in prison, I bless you. May you live a long life! May you live to see me returned home in spite of all odds. G-d willing, I promise to bless you again upon my homecoming. I will look in your eyes; I will shake your hand. You will see your whole life reflected in my eyes. It is a moment I look forward to.

Until then, Mr. Prime Minister, I would like to share with you the most important thing that I have learned after 16 years in prison, much of it in solitary confinement and in some of the harshest conditions imaginable. Mr. Sharon, mark my words:

if you only feared G-d half as much as you fear the enemies of Israel, you would find the courage and the determination to do that which is right and that which is needed without hesitation

. Only one who has no fear of G-d, and no sense of Jewish history or Jewish destiny could so thoroughly ignore the moral imperatives that are the foundation of our faith and the bedrock of our nation.

Recent events in Israel demonstrate that you have an uncanny ability to tolerate the agony of our people at this excruciating time in our history. Be aware that this ability to block out their cries and ignore their suffering is no more than an extension of your ability to tolerate the agony of one Israeli agent. After all, 5 million is just 5 million multiplied by one.

Until you master your fear and learn to trust in the Creator of Heaven and Earth, your fear of man and your lack of resolve not only hurts me, but also threatens to bring the Nation of Israel to the brink of disaster.

I close with my birthday blessings to you and to the people of Israel. Am Yisrael Chai!

Jonathan Pollard

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