Daily Israel Report

New Spy Case Seen as Attempt to Delay Pollard Release

Esther Pollard to Arutz-7: Olmert should say clearly that the Kadish spy case & Pollard are not linked, and demand Pollard's immediate release.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 4/23/2008, 3:35 PM


Esther Pollard: "The Kadish case will have whatever impact [on Pollard] that Prime Minister Olmert chooses for it to have."
Following the news that an 83-year-old former US Army engineer, Ben-Ami Kadish of New Jersey, had been arrested on charges of spying for Israel 25 years ago, the Justice for Jonathan Pollard organization feels abandoned by the Israeli government once again.

Speaking with Arutz-7's Yedidya HaCohen, Esther Pollard said, "I feel great disappointment at the Government of Israel.  Everyone in the media comes to me and hears what they should be hearing from Ehud Olmert - namely, that this entire [Kadish] case has nothing to do with Jonathan Pollard, that it does not cancel out the fact that Pollard deserves immediate release, and that the government of Israel is obligated to work for this goal."

A statement released by the Justice for Jonathan Pollard organization states that the U.S. "has put Israel on the defensive once again, with breaking 'news' in the American media accusing Israel of running a spy in the US prior to the Pollard case... It is not clear for how many years the U.S. has been sitting on this 'breaking news' story waiting for the right moment to hurl new accusations against Israel, and thus falsely and unfairly target Jonathan Pollard by association."

The statement notes that "unlike other espionage cases in the US, which are dealt with on a case-by-case basis, every accusation against Israel is yielded like a club against Jonathan Pollard - as if the 23 years he has served is somehow not enough to make up for all of the sins of Israel."

"It's Up to Olmert"
When asked by Israel's Channel One TV News what impact this latest story will have on chances for her husband's release, Esther Pollard responded, "It will have whatever impact Prime Minister Olmert chooses for it to have. To date, Olmert has still not made an official request for Jonathan's release. It is time for the Prime Minister to discharge his legal and moral responsibility to save the life of an Israeli agent in peril, who has already served a grossly disproportionate sentence."

She noted what she said was the "suspicious timing of the breaking 'news' story," just prior to President Bush's anticipated visit to the region for Israel's 60th anniversary.  Several news analysts have made this connection as well, seeing the release of the story as an attempt to prevent Bush from possibly pardoning Pollard in time for the upcoming Presidential visit.

"There is solid support for Jonathan's release," Mrs. Pollard said. "Every senior American official familiar with the case and the secret files - people like James Woolsey, former head of the CIA, and Senator Dennis DeConcini, former head of the Senate Intelligence Committee at the time of Jonathan's arrest - have been on record for years saying it is time to release Jonathan Pollard. There is no excuse that trumps the 23 years that Jonathan has already served in American prisons."

"My husband should not have to pay the price for this latest case," Esther told HaCohen.  "What, 23 years in prison are not enough? Olmert should say clearly that the cases are not connected.  It is hard for me that after 23 years, we are once again abandoned, and that no one stands up for him."

Mrs. Pollard urged the Prime Minister not to be deterred by this "blatant attempt to put Israel on the defensive, and to simply do the right thing: Bring Jonathan home now, alive, in time for Israel's 60th anniversary!"