Pollard accuses Olmert of mishandling funds allocated to freeing him

Israel Insider - March 24, 2008

Israeli Channel 2 Evening News Monday featured excerpts from a letter [full text here] written by Jonathan Pollard to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that is unprecedented in its fierceness and skepticism about government foot-dragging in efforts to free the Israeli agent, now in his

23 years

in an American federal prison. Pollard hints that there are indications of corruption and misappropriate of funds earmarked to assist in his release.

Channel 2 TV news anchor, Udi Segal, obtained a copy of the letter sent to the Prime Minister today when he contacted Esther and Jonathan Pollard for a response to a statement by Israeli Government minister and Pollard's former handler, Rafi Eitan, indicating that he "expects Jonathan Pollard home soon."

In the lead-up to the Pollard letter, the news program screened a film clip of Eitan interviewing on the Knesset Channel today, where he made a statement indicating that he expects Pollard home shortly.

This is approximately what viewers saw as the Eitan film clip unfolded:

- The interviewer asks Eitan if the subject of Jonathan Pollard was brought up with Vice President Dick Cheney during his recent visit to Israel. Eitan declines to respond.

- The interviewer persists, saying, "Pollard is an important subject and the public wants to know." Eitan replies, "All I can tell you is that anything I may say about Pollard would be to his detriment."

- The interviewer changes direction and asks, "Do you think we will see Pollard here soon?" Eitan replies in the affirmative, saying yes, he believes Pollard will be here soon.

- "How soon?" the interviewer asks. "I don't know," Eitan replies.

- The interviewer then presses Eitan to disclose the basis for his supposition that Pollard will soon be released; is there a secret deal, or some new initiative? Eitan responds that his supposition is based on "intuition".

In his report on Eitan's insinuation that Pollard will soon be released, Udi Segal screened the text of a letter which Jonathan Pollard sent to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert today. Segal reported that judging by what Pollard wrote, he does not share Eitan's "supposition". Segal read from Pollard's letter and the text was flashed upon the TV screen:

"By now it is obvious to everyone that the Government of Israel is not serious about seeking my release, but is hoping that time will take its toll and "solve" the Pollard problem permanently, G-d forbid!"

"If Israel were serious about seeking my release, you would not be relating to me and my wife so mercilessly and lying about it!"

Segal also quoted Pollard's wife, Esther, who said that this is not the first time that Rafi Eitan has made this baseless statement, that he expects Pollard home soon. She explained that this is just a device which Eitan uses to assuage public opinion in Israel. "Eitan's devious insinuation that it's a 'done deal' and that Jonathan will soon be home, is just another way to try to make the public forget about Pollard," she said.

Justice4JP adds: The full text of Jonathan Pollard's letter to Prime Minister Olmert is available here. It was written in response to a letter from the Prime Minister's office which stubbornly insists on maintaining the lie that the Government of Israel is providing full and extensive support to Pollard and his wife, Esther. Among other things, Pollard writes:

"As you are well aware, in the 23 years that I have been in captivity, I have never received one cent from the Government of Israel?"

"Mr. Prime Minister, my wife and I would like to understand what benefit you personally derive by lying about the support which the Government of Israel is required by law to provide, but which is being withheld from us.

If, as you insist, your Government is allocating resources for me and my wife, but we are not receiving them, then who is getting the money? Are the funds (which you claim are intended for us) being misappropriated by your office and used illegally elsewhere? While we do not know for certain what kind of corruption is going on, we do know that something smells very bad."

The Prime Minister's office declined to respond to Channel 2's request for a comment.