Kol Yisrael Radio Interviews Esther Pollard

Media Release - December 20, 1999

"Jonathan Pollard will never consent to be a prisoner of Zion in Zion."

JERUSALEM, December 20, 1999

- An announcement today by President Clinton - in Israel but not in America - that he and Mr. Barak are holding renewed talks on the Pollard issue, has elicited excitement in Israel. A reporter for Kol Yisrael Radio News contacted Mrs. Esther Pollard to get her husband's reaction.

Mrs. Pollard made the following points:

  • Both Mr. Clinton and Mr. Barak are both doing what they accused former Prime Minster Netanyahu of doing - making noise in the media for their own purposes, and damaging Pollard in the process.

  • If there were any serious intention to release Jonathan Pollard, announcements would not be leaked to the media before a deal is done.

  • High level sources say that Barak has secretly agreed to help Clinton keep Pollard in prison.

  • Barak's announcement that his aide is meeting US officials about Pollard is just a ploy to deceive the people of Israel and the High Court of Justice into believing that some effort is being made to resolve the case. Pollard's petition against Barak is due to be heard at the end of this month.

  • The Pollard issue is creating problems in the election campaigns of both Hillary Clinton and Al Gore. Both ran into trouble last week in New York when asked for their views on Pollard. If Mr. Barak assists Mr. Clinton in burying the Pollard issue again, then both Hillary and Gore will benefit by relieving them of having to commit themselves on the case.

Responding to rumors that Mr. Barak has given his agreement to have Pollard transferred to an Israeli prison, Mrs. Pollard rejected the idea out of hand, stressing that this would guarantee that Jonathan Pollard would spend the rest of his natural life in prison.

Mrs. Pollard was firm when she stated, "No one should doubt Ehud Barak's word to Bill Clinton that he will keep Jonathan in prison. There is no reason for Barak to lie about this, nor is there any reason to believe he will break his word to Clinton and release Jonathan once he is home. The Americans would demand extradition, and Israel would no doubt deliver Jonathan once again, just as they did 15 years ago. "

Mrs. Pollard pointed out that apparently Mr. Barak does not feel that Jonathan Pollard has been punished enough and is now volunteering to do the Americans' dirty work for them. "How convenient it would be for Hillary and Gore if Pollard were no longer in the US, but still being abused and punished as if he were," she said. "Mr. Barak could boast that he brought Pollard home, and no American President would ever again have to be bothered about him if Pollard were rotting quietly in an Israeli prison. The notion is an outrage - offensive to G-d and the Jewish people.

Jonathan Pollard will never consent to be a prisoner of Zion in Zion."

See also:
  • Underhanded Diplomacy: Barak Agrees to Keep Pollard In Prison
  • Notes on Prison Transfer and Jonathan Pollard

  • Return to Senate Race page