OpEd: Rafi Eitan, Go Home!

By Esther Pollard

Esther Pollard explains why Rafi Eitan's colleagues call him "Rafi, The Foul Odor" and why he should resign from Knesset.

Special to Maariv NRG - March 30, 2006

Translated to English by J4JP - Click here for Hebrew PDF.

May be reprinted with appropriate accreditation.

Commenting on Rafi Eitan's election to Knesset for Channel 1 last night, a veteran political analyst, Ben Caspit, quipped that Eitan will no doubt make his party's entry into a government coalition conditional upon receiving an official Presidential commitment NEVER to release Jonathan Pollard. Channel 2's senior analyst, Amnon Abramovitch, noted that Rafi Eitan ran for Knesset by exploiting Jonathan Pollard's name, and now that he is in Knesset he will do everything he can to make sure that Jonathan Pollard never gets out of prison. Tomorrow, said Abramovitch, Eitan will go and celebrate, while Pollard will go back to his jail cell.

Jonathan and I have 21 years of bitter experience with Rafi Eitan which unequivocally confirms the opinions expressed by both Abramovitch and Caspit. Although Eitan cried crocodile tears over Jonathan during his election campaign, we know that Eitan remains committed to keeping my husband in prison.

As Jonathan's former handler and control officer 21 years ago, Eitan not only failed to provide an escape plan for Jonathan, he also masterminded his own agent's expulsion from the Israeli Embassy, and then provided testimony to the Americans which sealed Jonathan's fate. In a recent interview in Haaretz, Eitan openly admitted that he cooperated with the Americans against Jonathan, and justified this betrayal of his own agent, by claiming that he was "just following orders."

For 21 years Rafi Eitan, has refused to lift a finger to help Jonathan. For all of that time, he has been sitting on one of the very few keys to Jonathan's jail cell. Eitan has in his personal possession a document, a major bargaining chip in negotiations for Jonathan's release. He has held the only copy of it for 21 years. The recovery of this document would be invaluable to the Americans, as it would permit them to finally wrap up the case once and for all. But Israeli officials keep pretending that this document does not exist. The Americans are no fools; they know that this is not true. Consequently, just as Eitan keeps the document buried, the Americans keep Pollard buried alive.

It is not for nothing that Rafi Eitan's colleagues in the Intelligence Community nicknamed him "HaMasreeach" (The Foul Odor). The man has no morals, no integrity, no conscience. I will never forget a meeting I had with Eitan years ago, which was also attended by Jonathan's attorney, Larry Dub, and prisoner activist, Herut Lapid.

As we began the meeting, Eitan told us the only thing he regrets about the Pollard affair is that he did not 'finish the job' before leaving the States. We asked him what he meant by this. Eitan replied, "If I had been at the embassy when Pollard came to seek asylum, I would have put a bullet through his head. There would have been no Pollard affair."

When he was recently asked by Wordnetdaily about saying that he regretted not killing Jonathan, Eitan refused to deny the report. Instead, Eitan repeated his 21-year-old mantra: that the best way for Pollard to get out of prison is keep a low profile and make no noise. What hypocrisy!

Eitan's noisy public campaign, and his election to Knesset is poking a finger in the eye of the Americans, and stirring up all of the old fury that the American Justice, Intelligence and Defense Departments feel about this case. And the only one who will pay the price of Eitan's loud campaign and vulgar victory is Jonathan.

If Rafi Eitan had any concern for the welfare of the agent he betrayed and abandoned 21 years ago, he never would have run for Knesset. As Jonathan's former handler, his public career as a Member of Knesset is tantamount to shedding Jonathan's blood on a daily basis. Rafi Eitan should resign from Knesset.

Esther Pollard is the wife of Jonathan Pollard, an Israeli agent who has been in prison in the United States for 21 years for his service to Israel.

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