President Shimon Peres promised to continue to work for the release of Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard in a meeting with Pollard’s wife, Esther, in Jerusalem Tuesday.
Peres met with Esther Pollard for the first time since his trip to Washington last month, where he asked US President Barack Obama to commute Pollard’s sentence to the over 26 years that he has served.
Peres updated Esther Pollard on his meeting with Obama and promised her that he remains “committed to work with all of my might to secure Jonathan’s release. I regard this as my obligation both morally and as part of my duty in the role of president.”
He asked Esther Pollard for a detailed update on her husband’s health and indicated that he is very aware of the urgency of Jonathan’s situation.
Esther Pollard thanked the president for his ongoing efforts. She and leaders of the free Pollard campaign accompanying her discussed various initiatives with the president to advance securing Jonathan’s release as expeditiously as possible.
In a parallel development, Army Radio reported Tuesday morning that former pensioners affairs minister Rafi Eitan dropped a bombshell during an interview Monday. In the interview, Eitan announced that he had 24-hours notice before Pollard was arrested and so he promptly called then-prime minister Peres to update him. When asked why officials didn’t use the 24-hour window to prevent the arrest, Eitan declined to respond.
The Army Radio interviewer attempted to persuade Eitan to repeat the same comment on record Tuesday, but Eitan responded that “a slip of the tongue is not something one repeats a second time.”
In response to Eitan’s comments, Effi Lahav, manager of the campaign to free Jonathan Pollard stated: “What is going on in the here and now ought to be of far greater concern to all of us than what happened nearly 3 decades ago.
“There are critical steps that can and must be taken without delay. We hope that the president does work with all of his might as he promised, to ensure that this time we do not miss the final opportunity to rescue Pollard and bring him home before it is too late.”