Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu did not meet with Israeli agent Jonathan
Pollard’s wife, Esther, before he left for Washington on Thursday night, but he
did reassure her that her husband’s fate would be on his agenda when he met with
US President Barack Obama on Friday.
“While we did not meet, I received a
personal message from the prime minister and the assurances we needed,” Esther
Pollard said by phone from the Western Wall where she went to pray for her
ailing husband’s health and his speedy release, as she does every
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Pollard said she was “hoping and praying her heart out” that the
effort to save her husband’s life would succeed.
Opposition leader Tzipi
Livni sent Obama a strongly worded letter on Thursday urging him to release
Pollard and making it clear to him that Israelis were united on the
“As you know, the people of Israel, as a democratic nation engaged
in an unending struggle for its very existence, hold sharply differing opinions
on many issues – which becomes apparent in full strength, especially during
troubled times, such as we find ourselves in at present,” she
“Indeed, precisely because of this, it is so important to me, as
leader of the opposition in Israel, to express to you that the request to
release Jonathan Pollard enjoys the full support of all of the people of Israel.
I am able to state with certainty that all of the people of Israel, just like so
many legal experts and human rights activists throughout the world, would regard
your decision to commute Pollard’s sentence and to release him without delay, as
a humane act reflecting the values of justice and compassion, which is perhaps
the moral basis underlying the deep and strong friendship between our two
Asked whether she hoped Netanyahu would raise her husband’s
fate in his speech in Congress on Tuesday in addition to his meeting with the
president, Esther Pollard said that she and Jonathan would leave that to the
prime minister’s judgment.
“After his meeting with the president, he will
know what he needs to do,” she said.