Interview: Esther Pollard on Jonathan Pollard - "The Betrayal Continues"
Aaron Lerner Date: March 6, 2003
IMRA interviewed Esther Pollard, in English, on March 5, 2003.
IMRA: Esther, I'd like to get your reaction to Prime Minister Sharon's Knesset Address at the swearing in of the new government on February 27. Sharon stressed his government's commitment to the release of the Israeli [Druse] Azzam Azzam from Egypt, ("We will continue to act determinedly to bring the captured and missing soldiers home, and ensure the release of Azzam Azzam") and omitted all mention of your husband, Jonathan Pollard. What do you make of this?
ESTHER POLLARD: It is shocking but not surprising.
IMRA: Shocking? Surprising? How?
ESTHER POLLARD: Sharon's omission of Jonathan while the eyes of the world were upon him was calculated. The message was not lost on the Americans; namely that Pollard is a non-issue for Israel.
This is shocking. Jonathan is an Israeli agent in peril. If that were not reason enough for the PM to vigorously seek his repatriation, then consider that Jonathan is THE Israeli agent who warned Israel about the threat to her existence posed by Iraq, and prepared her for the Gulf War.
Israel is once again gearing up for war with Iraq, providing gas masks and chemical kits to her citizens. Israel has these civilian defenses today thanks to the service of Jonathan Pollard. But Sharon's attitude towards him remains ungrateful and indifferent.
IMRA: That's not surprising?
ESTHER POLLARD: No. For years Sharon has been consistent in his antipathy towards Jonathan.
IMRA: As I recall, the late Minister Rechavam Ze'evi pleaded with Sharon not to abandon Jonathan, "a wounded soldier in the field," and he was deeply troubled by the PM's response. Is that what you are referring to?
ESTHER POLLARD: Yes. Not long after Sharon first took office, we met with him and provided him with an effective plan to secure Jonathan's release. Sharon refused to act upon it or any other initiative. After the meeting, Sharon privately made it clear to Rechavam that the only way he is prepared to bring Pollard home is in a coffin, G-d Forbid! Rechavam immediately reported this to us. He was deeply shaken. All of Sharon's actions since then have been consistently hostile.
IMRA: Esther, let's digress for a moment. Can you tell me how you respond to people who blame you for Jonathan's plight? The ones who say that if you would co-operate with the Government instead of criticizing them, Jonathan would have been out long ago?
ESTHER POLLARD: Aaron, blaming the victim is a convenient excuse for inaction. For more than a decade Jonathan cooperated fully with the Government of Israel, and he remained silent while they subverted his case and buried him alive. After 10 years, Jonathan finally realized that his cooperation was merely facilitating Israel's plan to keep him in prison, and that he had to speak out.
IMRA: And that is where you come in?
ESTHER POLLARD: I am Jonathan's voice in the outside world, by necessity. I speak for him where he is not permitted to do so for himself.
IMRA: So what about those people who say they cannot help Jonathan because you are too antagonistic or too aggressive?
ESTHER POLLARD: (Sighs) The implications of this case transcend the life of one man, and impact on Israel and the Jewish community at large. Jewish leaders - fearful of their own standing in the United States - prefer to duck the larger issues. Many use personal attacks against us to justify their cowardice and indifference. I do not think anyone is fooled. After all, this is not a popularity contest. Jewish leaders do not have to like me or Jonathan to insist upon equal justice for one of their own.
IMRA: Again, Esther, you keep exposing and embarrassing those who say that they are committed to your husband's release.
ESTHER POLLARD: Aaron, we understand that in the world of realpolitik, you do not bite the hand that feeds you. But if that hand, instead of feeding you, is on your throat and silently choking you to death, you had better stop the charade and quickly.
IMRA: You have said in previous interviews that there is a conflict between the public posture of the Israeli Government which is intended for domestic consumption only, and their position behind the scenes in Washington.
ESTHER POLLARD: That's right. The same is true of American Jewish leaders. They are hand-in-glove with the Israeli Government on the issue of Jonathan Pollard - publicly posturing for their home constituency, while privately sabotaging and undermining efforts on Capitol Hill and in the White House for Jonathan's release.
IMRA: Let's get back to Sharon and his recent Knesset speech which emphasizes his government's commitment to Azzam Azzam's release and significantly omits all mention of Jonathan.
ESTHER POLLARD: Perhaps one of the most damning observations we can make about it is that there was not a word of protest from anyone in the Knesset about the omission of Jonathan Pollard during Sharon's speech or afterwards.
Several years ago, then-President Clinton visited the Knesset. He gave a wonderful speech, and all the MKs were overwhelmed by the President's message of American friendship and love for Israel. Nevertheless, one lone MK rose to his feet, and in the midst of the President's love-in with the Knesset, cried out from depths of his soul, "MR. PRESIDENT, WHAT ABOUT JONATHAN POLLARD?!!!"
IMRA: I remember that. It was Rechavam Ze'evi.
ESTHER POLLARD: Yes. And that was really breaking decorum, since Clinton was a foreign dignitary. It should have been easier to remind our own Prime Minister: WHAT ABOUT JONATHAN POLLARD?!!! What about our agent in captivity - the one who enabled Israel to protect herself with gas masks and sealed rooms against the threat of annihilation by Iraq?!!!
IMRA: But no one did.
ESTHER POLLARD: No. And Sharon is calculating: he would NEVER have dared omit Jonathan if he had thought that there would be any word of protest.
IMRA: So where are all of Jonathan's friends in the Knesset? What is the Knesset Lobby doing for Jonathan?
ESTHER POLLARD: What Knesset Lobby? Since Rechavam Ze'evi died, there has been no Knesset Lobby, except perhaps in name only. And even when Rechavam was alive, the Lobby did very little.
IMRA: But what about all of the Cabinet Ministers who visited Jonathan? Where are they today?
ESTHER POLLARD: The photo-ops are long gone and they are nowhere to be seen.
IMRA: Again, Esther, is there anything to gain in your being so outspoken about the Government's repeated failures? Aren't you afraid that they may not help you if you criticize them?
ESTHER POLLARD: Aaron, they have not helped for 18 years. We are not afraid that they will stop helping when they never started. There is a real danger, however, in playing along with the false public perception that they are doing something to help Jonathan.
Let me give you an analogy. A battered wife puts on such a brave front that even her close friends do not know that she is being abused. After years of suffering, she can endure no more and decides she must save herself and her children and she files for divorce. Of course, no one believes her because she has done such a good job of portraying her husband as a fine person. Instead they believe her husband when he describes her as mentally unstable and he claims custody of the children and all the assets. After all, he says, if she wants to divorce someone as wonderful as he is, she must be crazy!
IMRA: So you are saying that this is the analogy for Jonathan and the Government of Israel? And what you are doing now is not criticizing but just telling the truth?
ESTHER POLLARD: Exactly, Aaron. After all, there is no advantage in criticizing those from whom you still expect help. We are not foolish enough to expect that after 18 years the Government of Israel or the American Jewish leadership is going to finally abandon its lies and its posturing and ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING TO SAVE JONATHAN.
The information that we are putting out now is mainly for the record. It is the counterbalance to the kind of propaganda that the Government of Israel keeps putting out. Did you hear the propaganda piece that they did on Kol Yisrael Radio yesterday? Did you notice how untimely, how negative the piece was?
IMRA: You mean the "Moments in History" piece on Jonathan?
ESTHER POLLARD: Yes. If this were the anniversary of Jonathan's arrest, or if it were his birthday, or some special day, then it would make sense to have a radio flashback about him. Or if the approaching war with Iraq and Jonathan's role in alerting Israel had been mentioned at all, then it would have been timely, and there would be no reason to regard it as propaganda. But that was not the case.
IMRA: So why do you think they ran this Pollard item now?
ESTHER POLLARD: Azzam Azzam. Think of Sharon's Knesset speech. This piece, on a government-controlled radio station, was intended to condition the listening public NOT to expect Jonathan Pollard home any time soon.
IMRA: I see. And they even ended the piece saying that all the governments of Israel had tried to release Jonathan but failed "in spite of their best efforts."
ESTHER POLLARD: Yes. The piece was completely negative. It spoke of how the Pollard affair "strained U.S.-Israel relations" and it quoted an American president saying that "espionage costs the U.S. billions of dollars every year". The quote did not refer specifically to Jonathan's espionage, but it implied that this is what Jonathan's spying cost the U.S.
That is, of course, an outright lie! There is not a shred of evidence to support such allegations. That is why these accusations have always been made in the media, never in a court of law where Jonathan could challenge them. I should point out, Aaron, that when American officials do level these charges specifically against Jonathan in the media, the amount of financial damage they claim is invariably equal to the amount of foreign aide that Israel receives from America!
IMRA: So after making this insidious statement, implying that Jonathan cost the U.S. billions of dollars...
ESTHER POLLARD: The piece then concluded that in spite of the efforts of every government since 1985, the Americans show no interest in releasing Jonathan Pollard. Listeners were given the distinct impression that the Americans are justified in continuing to punish Jonathan well beyond the norm.
So, to continue the battered wife analogy, the big lie is that the Government of Israel continues to claim that it has made repeated and serious efforts to secure Jonathan's release, while at the same time implying that somehow Jonathan is just so bad that the U.S. cannot or will not release him. This is a blatant lie. If Israel had invested one tenth of the effort to free Jonathan that it has expended in keeping him buried alive, he would have been freed long ago. We allowed the big lie to go unchallenged for many years, as we waited for Israel to act in good faith. That is never going to happen, and we can no longer remain silent.
IMRA: It is troubling ...
ESTHER POLLARD: Aaron, let's not even talk about the debt of gratitude that they owe Jonathan in preparing Israel for the Gulf War or for the approaching war with Iraq. All we are talking about is the Israeli Government's legal and moral obligation to an Israeli agent. Israel has violated that obligation repeatedly for the last 18 years and exacerbated Jonathan's situation by repeatedly lying about its own efforts and its intentions.
IMRA: What is the connection with Azzam Azzam?
ESTHER POLLARD: Sharon is calculating. He would not have mentioned Azzam Azzam in his Knesset speech if he did not think he could deliver on Azzam's release, and soon.
IMRA: And Sharon is supposed to travel to Egypt soon to meet with Egyptian President Mubarak. You think that that is what is in the works?
ESTHER POLLARD: These things do not happen in a vacuum. I think that Sharon believes that that is what is in the works and that is why he set up a positive expectation for the release of Azzam Azzam in his Knesset speech; and as a precaution, a negative expectation for Jonathan's release on Kol Yisrael Radio.
IMRA: What do you think the outcome of the pitch for Azzam Azzam will be?
ESTHER POLLARD: While no one can predict future events with certainty, my husband has taught me that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat the same mistakes. Aaron, do you remember that at Wye, Israel attempted to secure the release of Azzam Azzam?
IMRA: I recall that. It was eclipsed by all the static about Jonathan's release.
ESTHER POLLARD: In a nutshell, the Egyptians made it very clear that they were not going to do the U.S. any favors. They told the U.S., 'You have your own Israeli prisoner (Jonathan Pollard) - you can let him go. Why should we give up our Israeli prisoner if you do not give up yours?'
IMRA: I remember. There was talk at the time about a quid pro quo: that IF America freed Jonathan, Egypt would free Azzam Azzam.
ESTHER POLLARD: That's right. There was high hope for a brief while that Jonathan's freedom might bring Azzam Azzam's freedom in its wake. When the U.S. reneged on its commitment to free Jonathan - which was an integral part of the Wye Accords - Israel never protested and never insisted that the U.S. live up to its end of the deal.
If readers want to understand what really happened at Wye, they should read "Terror in the U.S. and the Jonathan Pollard Case" by Larry Dub, which is on the J4JP web site [view article.] In fact there, is an entire sub page of articles dealing with the double-cross at Wye [../wye.htm] .
IMRA: Speaking of Wye, have you been in touch with Binyamin Netanyahu?
ESTHER POLLARD: I met with him at the beginning of December 2002, in his official role as Foreign Minister.
IMRA: Did he offer any help?
ESTHER POLLARD: He said he could do nothing on his own and suggested that we meet with PM Sharon. We, meaning Larry Dub (Jonathan's attorney), and HaRav Eliyahu (Jonathan's rabbi) and me. We asked Bibi to set up the meeting with Sharon.
IMRA: Do you call him "Bibi" to his face?
ESTHER POLLARD: Yes. He knows we have great affection for him, and he is very personal with us as well.
We also asked Bibi to send the Ambassador in Washington to see Jonathan. He immediately agreed to both requests. When we spoke to him the next day, he told us that he had gotten the OK from Sharon for a meeting with us and also the OK to dispatch the Ambassador to see Jonathan.
IMRA: The Foreign Minister had to ask the Prime Minister for permission to dispatch an ambassador?
ESTHER POLLARD: Yes, or it would be vetoed by Sharon, he explained.
IMRA: Did you meet with Sharon? Did the Ambassador see Jonathan?
ESTHER POLLARD: No to both questions.
IMRA: Why not?
ESTHER POLLARD: After giving Bibi the go-ahead, Sharon's office played games with us for weeks and simply REFUSED to set a date for either of these meetings. Dov Weisglass, Sharon's bureau chief was rude to us and to our attorney on the phone and in written communications. He made it very clear that neither he nor Prime Minister Sharon was about to waste any time on Jonathan Pollard, Israel's incarcerated agent.
ESTHER POLLARD: Stunning, isn't it?
IMRA: Does Mr. Netanyahu know this?
ESTHER POLLARD: Yes.
IMRA: Did he follow up with Sharon? After all, Netanyahu was promised the meetings by Sharon.
ESTHER POLLARD: No. Not as far as we are aware.
IMRA: And Netanyahu has not said a word about Jonathan publicly, has he?
ESTHER POLLARD: No.
IMRA: How do you feel about that?
ESTHER POLLARD: We are saddened by this. We look at Bibi and we see the potential for greatness. He has a good heart and he means well. But he fears man when he should fear only Heaven. And that has repeatedly been his undoing.
IMRA: So Sharon is a better candidate for the job?
ESTHER POLLARD: Aaron, you tell me which one is better. The end result is unfortunately the same. Our Prime Ministers fear George Bush, not G-d. They act out of self-interest, not devotion to our country and our people. Unfortunately, this is true of the Knesset as a whole.
IMRA: Isn't that kind of a sweeping statement?
ESTHER POLLARD: How else do you explain a Government and a Knesset that are in a head-long rush to deliver up our country and people to our sworn enemies who have not honored a single commitment to us and who continue to slaughter us wantonly?
Even those factions that remain outside of the Government have not done so out of principle. Had they been invited to a place at the trough, they too would have invented some excuse to justify signing an agreement that mandates the creation of a Palestinian state committed to our destruction. The very Government mind-set that originally deemed Jonathan Pollard "expendable" now sets the paradigm for its treatment of the entire country as expendable.
IMRA: Is there no one in the Knesset that you see as setting a better example? The religious parties perhaps? Or the right wing parties?
ESTHER POLLARD: It is a contradiction in terms to endorse - explicitly or implicitly- the creation of a Palestinian State, one that is devoted to our destruction, and to still declare oneself as nationalist, religious or right wing. Similarly, there is nothing nationalist or religious about their abandonment of my husband.
IMRA: Have you approached any MKs recently?
ESTHER POLLARD: Two separate appeals were made in recent days. One of them was just prior to the elections, when a call went out to all the factions to add Jonathan's name to all of the party lists. Such a symbolic gesture, it was felt, might send a message to the Americans about the importance of the release of Jonathan Pollard. This gesture would have cost the parties nothing and might have helped Jonathan.
IMRA: Other than the party (Herut) that made this call to the others, did any other faction respond? Did anyone else offer to list Jonathan as a symbolic candidate?
ESTHER POLLARD: No. Not even one.
IMRA: And after the elections?
ESTHER POLLARD: After the elections our attorney, Larry Dub, sent a letter to every single faction head and asked them to remember Jonathan during their negotiations to form a government. He asked them to include a commitment to seek Jonathan's release in the Kavai Yesod (Basic Principles) of the Government.
IMRA: No one did.
ESTHER POLLARD: The heartbreaker is that they did not even try.
ESTHER POLLARD: Nothing personal against Jonathan. Just that he is a non-issue. The average MK would certainly like Jonathan home, ditto the Ministers; but they are not about to expend any political capital whatsoever on anything - including Jonathan - if it does not provide them with some immediate personal advantage or add to their own political aggrandizement.
IMRA: What about all those Ministers who visited Jonathan? People like Yuli Edelstein, Limor Livnat, Dani Naveh and Eli Yishai.
ESTHER POLLARD: The last ministerial visit took place in 1998. The visits provided PR for the Ministers and nothing for Jonathan. The visits raised the expectation that the Government of Israel would make a real push for Jonathan's release, but that never happened. And they raised the expectation that these ministers would be staunch allies to our cause and really help us. That never happened either.
IMRA: Can't you take legal action against the Government of Israel?
ESTHER POLLARD: Jonathan sued the Government in the Supreme Court of Israel in 1999. In response, the Government made specific promises to the Supreme Court. These promises included intensive efforts without delay to seek Jonathan's immediate release, and the promise of financial support past, present and future, for Jonathan and his wife. Six months later we informed the Court that the Government had taken no steps to fulfill any of its promises; indeed that the Government had not even been in contact with Jonathan or his representatives that whole time.
IMRA: How did the Court respond?
ESTHER POLLARD: The Supreme Court did NOT ask the Government to show good faith by executing its promises. It merely "expressed its confidence" that the Government would make good on its promises to secure Jonathan's release and to take care of him, and then it dismissed the case.
IMRA: Has the Government made good on any of those promises since then?
ESTHER POLLARD: No.
IMRA: Do you or Jonathan, for example, receive any financial assistance from the Government of Israel?
ESTHER POLLARD: Not a cent. Not now. Not before. Not ever.
IMRA: What about the offer of 2 million dollars that the Government claimed it made to Jonathan a little while ago? It was all over the press about a year ago.
ESTHER POLLARD: That was just a cheap publicity stunt designed to undermine public support for Jonathan. There never was any intention of making good on an offer that was trumpeted in the media. Aaron, did you ever read or hear in the media that the family of Azzam Azzam receives government support?
ESTHER POLLARD: Our attorney asked Dani Naveh (who was in charge of the Azzam Azzam file) why it is not publicly known that the Government provides financial help to Azzam Azzam. Naveh responded, "Are you kidding?! That would hurt Azzam Azzam!" Larry was furious, and he said to Dani, "You are careful not to hurt Azzam Azzam, but you had no such compunction about the damage you did to Jonathan by announcing a bogus money offer in the media!" It was Dani's office which did Sharon the favor of leaking this money offer to the media.
IMRA: How did Naveh respond?
ESTHER POLLARD: With protestations of innocence and honest intent. The bitter irony is that recently, more than a year later, Naveh had occasion to call our attorney Larry Dub on another matter. As they were getting off the phone, Naveh said, "Oh by the way Larry, what ever happened to the 2 million dollar offer? Did Jonathan ever get the money?"
IMRA: You mean Naveh announced the deal, insisted it was genuine, and did not stick around to watch the Government shaft Jonathan?
ESTHER POLLARD: Naveh allowed himself to be Sharon's patsy. He used Jonathan to prove to Sharon he could be trusted as a Sharon team-player. Dani would like Jonathan home; but he likes being Minister of Health in the new Sharon Government much more.
IMRA: What about the person who was appointed as the Government's contact person on the Pollard case?
ESTHER POLLARD: Moshe Kochanovsky. Totally useless. We sent dozens of letters to Kochanovsky that were never answered; finally we stopped the charade. No matter what we asked Kochanovsky for - whether it was to help us get back into court in America, or for help with Jonathan's numerous medical problems - he had a routine response. First he would stall for months and then he would reply that whatever we were asking for is "outside of his area of authority." Apparently, there was nothing in his area of authority except to act as a dead letter drop for the Pollard case.
IMRA: Has the Mossad been of any help? I know Jonathan worked for LAKAM, not the Mossad, but one would think that the Mossad would nevertheless lend a hand to a fellow agent.
ESTHER POLLARD: We recently sent a representative to meet with Meir Dagan, the new head of the Mossad. He is a colleague of Dagan's and Dagan was not expecting him to bring up the issue of Jonathan Pollard. When he did, Dagan treated him like a fool, and dismissed him. So much for help from the Mossad.
IMRA: What about Avi Dichter?
ESTHER POLLARD: No different than Dagan. Dichter, by the way, has a good relationship with Jonathan's rabbi, HaRav Mordecai Eliyahu. It is funny how many people have close connections with HaRav Eliyahu, but when it comes to Pollard, they don't want to know the rabbi.
IMRA: Okay. So what about that magnificent historical letter] signed by 110 Members of Knesset . Whatever became of that? Did the Knesset ever follow up? Did George Bush ever respond?
ESTHER POLLARD: No follow up. No response. Sharon did not deliver the letter to Bush as he promised but to a low level person in Condoleezza Rice's office. The Knesset never bothered to follow up. And the Americans got the message.
IMRA: What about a spy swap? Was that ever suggested to the Americans? Do we have anyone they want?
ESTHER POLLARD: Aaron, the Americans get whatever they want from Israel for free. They say jump and Israel says how high. Take, for example, the 750 murderers and terrorists with blood on their hands that Israel freed after Wye. Those murderers, along with immunity for terrorist chief Ghazi Jabali, were the price Israel had agreed to pay for Jonathan. Israel released them all and the U.S. never lived up to its end of the bargain. To this day Israel has never protested, never even tried to collect on Jonathan's release.
IMRA: Can you give me another example?
ESTHER POLLARD: Yossi Amit is a case in point. Amit was an officer in the Israeli army. He was recruited as a spy by the Americans. Amit was exposed and arrested in Israel shortly after Jonathan's arrest, creating the perfect opportunity for a spy swap.
IMRA: And did America refuse the swap?
ESTHER POLLARD: Israel never even asked for one!
The whole Amit affair was handled with kid gloves to spare the Americans embarrassment. Amit was arrested with no publicity and tried in secret. He served a short sentence and was quietly freed when the Americans indicated that it was time. Israel zealously guarded the secret of the American spy they had caught, even as Washington continued to lambaste Israel publicly for daring to run a spy in the U.S.!
For details readers can have a look at the article "Unexchanged Spies" [here.]
IMRA: What is the matter with Sharon? Why is he afraid of Jonathan? Why doesn't he want Jonathan home?
ESTHER POLLARD: The only one who can answer that question is Mr. Sharon himself. Perhaps he is hiding something, some guilty secret. But he is the only one who knows what that is.
IMRA: Would you care to hazard a guess?
ESTHER POLLARD: There is evidence to suggest that Sharon was involved in the Pollard affair up to his eyeballs. Sharon, who was a Cabinet Minister at the time, was very close with Jonathan's handler, Rafi Eitan. Informed sources say that Sharon may have been running Jonathan's operation in the U.S and that he used Eitan for cover.
There is reason to believe that just like former Prime Minister Barak, who signed off on Jonathan's tasking orders, and subsequently torpedoed every effort to secure Jonathan's release for fear his own role in the Pollard affair might come to light, Sharon may simply fear that his own participation in espionage in the U.S. may be exposed if Jonathan comes home.
IMRA: But wasn't Sharon the only one in the cabinet who protested Israel's return of the documents to the U.S. - the documents which incriminated Jonathan?
ESTHER POLLARD: That too was self-interest. His protest, it appears, was more to protect himself than Jonathan. After all, in all the years since then he has remained silent. He knew about the U.S. promise not to use the documents against Jonathan. He never said a word when they violated that promise. He never even told Jonathan, so that Jonathan could protect himself legally. And in all the years since, he has never broken his silence.
IMRA: Let me understand this. Are you saying that as soon as Sharon was assured there would be no consequences for him personally when the incriminating documents were handed over to the U.S., he never again protested their return.
ESTHER POLLARD: That is correct. We believe his only protest, the initial one, was not to protect Jonathan, but to protect himself. We met with Mr. Sharon years ago, when he was Leader of the Opposition. We asked him for a written statement describing the time he protested the return of the documents in a cabinet meeting. That was all we asked of him and he agreed at once. For months afterwards we regularly called his office asking for the statement he had promised. We are still waiting.
IMRA: Esther, how is it that the longer the Pollard case goes on, the worse it gets? Are you saying that there is no honor, no decency, no morality in our Government?
ESTHER POLLARD: The facts speak for themselves, Aaron. Nothing that is built on a lie can endure forever. And this whole case is built on nothing but lies.
The grandfather of all the lies began when Jonathan was arrested and Israel disowned him, claiming that he was a mercenary who took part in a rogue operation. But those lies have been successfully challenged by Jonathan's previous lawsuits against the Government of Israel.
IMRA: But today it is common knowledge that Jonathan was a bona fide Israeli agent engaged in a legitimate operation in the United States.
ESTHER POLLARD: True. And today we also know that the U.S. was blind-siding Israel, not sharing critical information with her, such as Saddam Hussein's build up of weapons of mass destruction intended for use against Israel. Jonathan tried to get this information released to Israel through legal channels. A 1983 letter of understanding between the two countries obliged the U.S. to inform Israel. When all of Jonathan's efforts to have the information released legally failed, Jonathan himself warned Israel about the Butcher of Baghdad's plans to scorch the Jewish State.
IMRA: I wrote an article some time ago about the Eban Commission Report on the Pollard Case. According to the Eban Report the Government of Israel claims that it did not turn over the incriminating documents against Jonathan UNTIL it had first secured a promise from the United States not to use those documents against Jonathan. But even before the ink was dry on the agreement, the U.S. used those documents to prosecute Jonathan. Without the documents that Israel supplied, the U.S. would have had no case against Jonathan.
ESTHER POLLARD: Exactly! Moreover, the Israeli Government NEVER informed Jonathan that an agreement existed in which the U.S. pledged that it would not use these documents to prosecute him. Consequently Jonathan was not able to defend himself legally when the Americans flagrantly broke that agreement. And of course when the Americans broke their word and did use the documents, Israel NEVER protested. The article you wrote, Stunning New Revelations in the Pollard Case], is a very important one.
IMRA: This does the Government no credit.
ESTHER POLLARD: What really does the Government of Israel no credit was their agreeing to return the documents with Jonathan's fingerprints on them to the U.S. in the first place. In doing so, Israel became the first country in the history of modern espionage to assist in the prosecution of its own agent. To this day, Israel is the ONLY country in the world to ever cooperate in the prosecution of its own agent!
IMRA: There have been many examples of the Government's mishandling of the Pollard case. The issue of the spy, Angie Kielczynski comes to mind as another more recent one. IMRA published the English translation of an Israel Radio interview with Kielczynski after his recent return to Israel from the U.S. What do you know about Kielczynski?
ESTHER POLLARD: Kielczynski, a.k.a. Joseph Barak, is another of Sharon's chickens come home to roost. Years ago Sharon appointed Kielczynski, a Likud party activist, to a position on Israel's Foreign Intelligence Committee. Kielczynski used his position to spy for the U.S. against Israel. He is the one who fingered Jonathan and triggered his arrest. Kielczynski admits this openly.
IMRA: Since his return to Israel was Kielczynski ever arrested for spying against Israel?
ESTHER POLLARD: No. He was never even interrogated. As a Sharon protégé he seems to have special protection.
IMRA: Have you tried to follow up on Kielczynski?
ESTHER POLLARD: We have tried to press the Government of Israel to deal with this traitor. He spied for the U.S. against Israel and he fingered my husband. You would think that it would matter to someone.
I personally presented the original Kielczynski Hebrew transcript and the American news clippings to Sharon right after Kielczynski returned to Israel. These papers reveal that Kielczynski openly admits to being an American spy, and that in fact he tried to sue American Intelligence for pension and other benefits!
IMRA: What was Sharon's reaction?
ESTHER POLLARD: He dismissed the entire Kielczynski affair as if it were a joke...
IMRA: Is there no light at the end of the tunnel?
ESTHER POLLARD: I am sure that there is light. But it clearly is not coming from the Government of Israel or the American Jewish leaders. Not for Jonathan. And not for the Jewish people.
IMRA: Then where will it come from? The U.S. courts?
ESTHER POLLARD: The U.S. Government is stonewalling the case. We have yet to see any sign of honesty or integrity from that direction. The last thing the U.S. wants is for the world to fully realize their culpability* in arming and creating the Iraqi monster that now threatens the world. They want Jonathan and the truth his case represents to remain buried forever. But truth, our sages tell us, springs forth no matter how deeply it is buried.
IMRA: So where will you turn for help now?
ESTHER POLLARD: To the only place where it really exists. To the G-d of Israel.
IMRA: So you'll do nothing. Just pray?
ESTHER POLLARD: No. We will continue to do our part. We will continue our efforts, and we will continue to exploit every opportunity to seek Jonathan's release. It goes without saying, we will continue to put out the truth. We will persevere in doing the leg work and rely on Heaven do to the rest. Success is ultimately in the hands of Heaven.
Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director
IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
pager 03-6106666 subscriber 4811
Related Reference Material from the J4J Web Site: jonathanpollard.org