Imprisoned Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard’s wife, Esther, wrote to President Shimon Peres that he disregarded America’s refusal to free her husband when he recently said, “There is no Israeli request that President [Barack] Obama has not responded to [favorably].”
“Just a week before my husband enters his 29th year in prison, your words, Mr. President, were like a knife in my heart,” Esther wrote. “You sent the message that, as far as you are concerned, my husband does not exist.”
Jonathan Pollard, 59, is the only person in U.S. history to receive a life sentence for spying for an American ally.
President Peres, who spoke at the Ben Gurion Award ceremony in Tel Aviv, was trying to add a calming voice to the growing strife between Israel and the Obama Administration last week, insulted not only Pollard, but also Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom he addressed in a condescending manner: “If we have comments we should voice them, but I wouldn’t say that only we know everything,” he said, referring to the disputed between Secretary of State John Kerry and Netanyahu, over how much of the detail of the Geneva negotiations with Iran Netanyahu knew.
At that point, Peres announced that there hasn’t been a request Israel had made which the Obama Administration didn’t respond to, including, as Peres put it, unreasonable requests.
Thirty years after the beginning of his saga, Jewish spy Jonathan Pollard continues to provide fodder for major headlines, at least in Israel and in Jewish publications abroad. Last week intelligence veteran Raffi Eitan, who was Pollard’s contact man on behalf of the Bureau of Scientific Relations (Lakam), revealed that the U.S. had reneged on an agreement it had with the Israeli government, according to which Pollard would only serve ten years.
Eitan told Army radio that the Israeli government had instructed him at the time to cooperate fully with the Americans and turn over incriminating information against Pollard – in return for the American concession in the form of a ten year limit.
But the prosecution broke that deal during the trial, when they asked for a life sentence.
JNS contributed to this report.
About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.
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