Transcript: Kol Yisrael Radio Interview of Esther Pollard
on U.S. Supreme Court Dismissal of Jonathan's Petition
J4JP Release - March 21, 2006
Kol Yisrael's broadcast anchor, Yaacov Achimeir, interviewed Esther Pollard in Hebrew on Reshet Bet, 21 March 2006. The transcript of the interview appears below as translated by J4JP.
We turn now to Esther Pollard, the wife of Jonathan Pollard, convicted of espionage on behalf of Israel - he is sitting in prison in Butner USA. I ask you, dear lady, do you have any expectations of the upcoming Israeli elections in Israel?
ESTHER POLLARD: Here's the issue, Yaacov, with regard to what is happening to my husband: this is the first time in the history of modern espionage that an agent has been forced to face a court of law on his own, in the country where he operated, without receiving any support from the country which sent him and for whom he sacrificed himself.
Yaacov, it is now 21 years! Ayfoh HaBoosha?! (Where is the sense of shame?!) To this very day they are not working for Jonathan's release and not giving him any backing!
YAACOV ACHIMEIR: But, Prime Ministers, when they meet with the Presidents - the latest one is President Bush - they say that they keep bringing up the issue of Jonathan Pollard with the president.
ESTHER POLLARD: That's just what they tell the Israeli media. But to us they have been saying, look there is still an on-going legal initiative. But now, Yaacov, no one can claim that there is still an on-going legal initiative! It is over. Every additional minute that Jonathan remains in prison his life is at risk. The government - the Prime Minster must act at once - before this day is over!
The decision of the Supreme Court to dismiss Jonathan's case - like all of the previous dismissals by the courts - was based solely on technical considerations, with absolutely no consideration given to the substance of Jonathan's petition.
YAACOV ACHIMEIR: They refused, in the United States
ESTHER POLLARD: They refused to hear it.
YAACOV ACHIMEIR: They refused to allow his attorneys to see additional documents.
ESTHER POLLARD: No. That's not it. They simply refused to hear the petition. This is exactly what happened with all of Jonathan's previous petitions as well. People have the impression that perhaps Jonathan's case was not convincing enough - but that is not so - the court simply rejected the petition without ever hearing it, without ever considering the actual merits of the case - on technicality only.
YAACOV ACHIMEIR: But now I would like to return to my first question, the one that is close to my heart, with your permission, Esther Pollard, what do you expect from whomever is be elected to lead the Government of Israel with regard to the issue of Mr. Pollard, your husband?
ESTHER POLLARD: (responds with a pun in Hebrew) You know, even the ordinary citizen on the street understands that whomever is willing to leave a wounded soldier "me'akhora" (behind) is not capable of leading the nation "Kadima!" (forward)
Whenever I am out in public, people come up to me again and again to express their outrage at the ingratitude and irresponsibility of the Government, which instead of freeing from captivity the one who served the State and saved the lives of Israeli citizens, just threw him to the dogs.
As long as we do not see Jonathan Pollard here, there is no relying on the promises of any political party or of any Israeli leader.
YAACOV ACHIMEIR: And how do you feel about the struggle that is not being waged in the United States by American Jews on the issue of Pollard, perhaps out of fear that that will be accused of dual loyalty?
ESTHER POLLARD: They take their marching orders, their instructions, from the Government of Israel. As long as the Government of Israel continues to turn its back on Jonathan everyone else will continue to do the same.
I want to repeat and reiterate: He is in mortal danger. Every additional moment, every additional second that Jonathan remains in prison, his life hangs in the balance. There is no reason to wait to bring him home in a coffin, G-d forbid!
If Ehud Olmert - our current prime minister - if he does not immediately turn to President Bush to demand an immediate end to this travesty, and to free my husband after 21 years in prison, then Mr. Olmert will personally be sentencing Jonathan to death.
YAACOV ACHIMEIR: I thank you very much, Esther Pollard..
ESTHER POLLARD: Thank you.
YAACOV ACHIMEIR: Good morning to you! And good morning to your husband Jonathan, in FCI Butner in the United States!