Esther Pollard Addresses Israel's Supreme Court
Justice4JP Release - November 8, 2006
In an unexpected turn of events today, the President of Israel's Supreme, Court Dorit Beinish, recognized Esther Pollard, wife of imprisoned Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard, allowing her to address the court in her husband's case to have Rafi Eitan removed from his position as a government minister.
Speaking straight from the heart without notes and with no prior preparation, Esther pled before the three-judge panel consisting of Supreme Court Justices Dorit Beinish, Ayala Procaccio, and David Cheshin.
Pollard opened with the hope that her words would be sufficient for the great task of addressing the justices in order to save her husband's life. She spoke passionately about the deliberate abandonment of her husband by successive governments of Israel for 22 years.
Pollard said that it is an open secret both in Washington and in Israel that Rafi Eitan ran Jonathan as an agent, with the full consent and awareness of all of the top Government officials at the time - most of whom are still holding public office or senior positions in the defense intelligence establishment today.
She said that it is well known that Rafi Eitan single-handedly facilitated the Government's long-standing abandonment of her husband by claiming that he (Eitan) acted alone, thereby deflecting responsibility from the Government. She said that the Americans knew from the start that Jonathan's operation was known and approved by Israel's top officials, and they reacted to Eitan's falsehoods by taking their revenge upon Jonathan.
Pollard said that the appointment of Eitan as a Government minister sent a clear message to the Americans that- even after 22 years - Israel has no interest in Jonathan Pollard and that they can do as they wish with him. She said that she and Jonathan know from their own contacts in US officialdom that the appointment of Rafi Eitan by Prime Minister Olmert has been taken as a declaration by Israel that Olmert has no intention of ever intervening on behalf of Jonathan.
Pollard said that Israel's abandonment of Jonathan for the last 2 decades has left him to be exploited by elements in the US hostile to Israel. She pointed out that those American officials who have no appreciation for the US - Israel special relationship use her husband's continued incarceration to call into question Israel's reliability as ally and the status of the American Jewish community as loyal citizens. She said that as long as Israel continues to abandon Jonathan, he will be continue to be used as a weapon against the Jewish State.
Pollard pointed out that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's appointment of Rafi Eitan to a ministerial position was a complete negation of the responsibility that the State owes to Jonathan. The State, she said, had officially acknowledged Jonathan as an agent in 1998 (ending years of lies and denial) but in fact, has never done anything to discharge its responsibility to Jonathan.
Pleading passionately before the judges, Pollard acknowledged that she is not a lawyer and that she does not seek to convince the judges on legal grounds. Instead, she said, she is appealing to them on a moral basis. She said that in appointing Rafi Eitan as a minister, the Prime Minister had essentially changed Jonathan's life sentence to a death sentence.
She reminded the judges of the moral touchstone espoused by the State of Israel never to abandon an agent in the field. She pointed out that the government's lack of responsibility towards its agent, Jonathan Pollard, now thrusts the moral imperative upon the court. She urged the judges not to allow the appointment of Rafi Eitan to stand, on moral grounds alone. She ended her appeal urging the court to go beyond the letter of the law and do what is right and moral, because a human life depends upon it.
Prior to Pollard's address, Pollard's attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner presented compelling oral arguments for the dismissal of Eitan as a minister. The respondent's attorneys disputed the court's authority to intervene. The judges themselves expressed doubt about the legality of the court ordering the dismissal of a minister, and therefore asked Darshan-Leitner to consider withdrawing the case. At that point it appeared that if Darshan-Leitner would not agree to withdraw the petition, the court would simply reject it without further discussion. That is when, without prior warning, Esther Pollard was suddenly given permission to come forward and address the court. After Pollard spoke, Supreme Court President Dorit Beinish indicated that the court would consider the petition further and give its ruling in due course.