Pollard Disappointed by Sharon Meeting with Bush
Aaron Lerner - IMRA - March 21, 2001
"Instead of bringing Jonathan home, the Prime Minister
left Washington with a dinner menu."
- Esther Pollard
While an Israel Radio report last night indicated that Prime Minister Sharon
asked President Bush at their White House meeting to release Jonathan
Pollard, more detailed reports appearing in today's Jerusalem Post and
elsewhere do not indicate that a direct request for Pollard's immediate
release was made.
The Jerusalem Post reported this morning: "Sharon said he did raise the
issue of convicted spy for Israel Jonathan Pollard, the Israeli MIAs from
the Sultan Yakoub battle, downed IAF navigator Ron Arad, and the three
soldiers and one civilian kidnapped in October by Hizbullah."
While the rescue of Israel's MIA's is of paramount importance, their fate is
in the hands of their captors and Bush can only act to try to influence
them. In sharp contrast, Pollard's freedom is subject to the full and
exclusive discretion of President George W. Bush. By lumping Jonathan
Pollard in with the MIA's, PM Sharon signaled to the Americans that Israel
does not expect an immediate resolution of the Pollard case.
The fact that there are no media reports of any kind of response from Bush
on a request for Pollard's release tends to confirm that Sharon's mention of
Pollard was simply one of a list of items mentioned in passing rather than
an issue deserving immediate and serious consideration. It would appear that
the Prime Minister mentioned his concern for Jonathan Pollard merely to
In a recent statement to IMRA, Jonathan Pollard likened himself to a soldier
bleeding to death in full view of the nation, and appealed to Prime Minister
Sharon to make the case for his release. Pollard indicated to IMRA this morning that he is bitterly disappointed.
Pollard's wife, Esther, told IMRA, "PM Sharon is in a unique position. He
has all the factors in place that no other prime minister of Israel ever had
to secure Jonathan's immediate release - moral, legal, humanitarian, and an
actual commitment made at Wye between the 2 nations - yet he failed to make
a serious request."
Mrs. Pollard added, "My husband is an Israeli agent in peril who has given
the last 16 years of his life for Israel. Instead of bringing Jonathan home, the Prime Minister left Washington with a dinner menu."
Prime Minister Sharon, it is reported, took the dinner menu from the White
House as a souvenir.
Jerusalem Post Radio Interview with Esther Pollard
Jonathan Pollard Statement Re Bush-Sharon Meeting
MK Naveh Challenges Barak's Claims About Pardon Involvement