An Open Letter to Prime Minister Peres from Esther Pollard

December 25, 1995

Dear Prime Minister Peres,

On the Style Page of the Washington Post, December 13, 1995, President Clinton is quoted declaring:

"I pledge to you personally, Shimon, that I will be your partner in peace."

Will all due respect, Mr. Prime Minister, such grand public statements of honest partnership fly in the face of the continued incarceration of my husband, Jonathan Pollard.

Even a cursory look at the most basic facts has to set off alarm bells for the Nation of Israel. How can we place any reliance on American guarantees of Israeli security?

Fact: Michael Schwartz, American, non-Jew, spied for Saudi Arabia, for two years.

In consideration of Saudi "sensitivities" even though Schwartz was indicted and signed a full confession, he never stood trial, and will never spend a day in prison.

Fact: Jonathan Pollard is in his 11th year of a life sentence for similar activities on behalf on another American ally, Israel.

Without even a shred of hard evidence of any damage supposedly caused by Jonathan Pollard, the American Ally has insisted in meting out the severest sentence in American history for anyone ever accused of similar offence. Two successive American Administrations have shown complete indifference to Israeli sensitivities, and have swiftly and expediently ignored the personal appeals of three successive Prime Ministers of Israel.

The current American Administration is ignoring the overwhelming appeals, not only of our Prime Minister, our Knesset, the entire Rabbinical population of North America, the personal appeals of the American Jewish Leadership, and the petitions of entire Law Schools, and Judicial groups, they are refusing to meet with Congressmen and Senators who have been seeking an audience with President Clinton on the matter.

This flagrant disregard for Israeli sensitivities, coupled with the dramatically different treatment Israel has received in this matter when compared with Saudi Arabia, beggars the claim that America can be relied upon to guarantee our security on the Golan Heights. This second class treatment of Israel as an ally calls into question America's true agenda in the Peace Process.

But don't let's place all responsibility at America's doorstep. Israel has failed to respond in any meaningful way to America's mistreatment.

In the light of the double standards being exercised by the Americans in the Schwartz case, the time has come to stop asking on bended knee for Pollard's release.

Nay! The time has come for Israel to demand equal treatment as an ally. The time has come for Israel to insist on Jonathan Pollard's immediate and unconditional release.

Nothing less will do to assuage the fears of the people of Israel. Nothing less will reassure them that Israel does have any standing at all in Washington. Jonathan Pollard is the acid test of American-Israel relations.

Please, Mr. Prime Minister. Pick up the phone. Call the man who pledged to be your "peace partner". Tell him we don't need grand public statements. Tell him to send Jonathan Pollard home. Now.

Esther Pollard
(Mrs. Jonathan Pollard)

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