Esther Pollard, wife of Jonathan Pollard, was allowed to hold a short telephone conversation with her husband after he underwent a difficult operation. She said he sounded weak and seemed to be in pain.
Pollard was not allowed to stay in the hospital for recovery and was taken back to the prison's sick ward the morning after the surgery. His doctor told him the operation had been successful but that he may require another operation soon.
Esther told Jonathan that since news about his hospitalization had come out, people have been calling her nonstop, inquiring about his health, expressing support for him and wishing him freedom. She also told him many people had taken pictures of themselves with signs calling for his release.
"I felt that this encouraged him," she said. "It is so important that he know that he is not alone. The success of the operation gives temporary relief but his situation after 26 years [in jail] has worsened and become very unstable. He needs to come home and receive the care and rehabilitation he needs so much.
Pollrd was found guilty of spying on the United States on behalf of Israel and sentenced to life in prison in 1987. Similar cases of spying for a friendly nation usually yield sentences of less than five years, but U.S. authorities have refused to release Pollard. Many observers believe Pollard is being singled out for harsh and cruel treatment because he is a Jew who spied for Israel.