Pollard's wife: Gov't doesn't want him released

Spy's wife charges that government figures have "personal interest," calls Rafi Eitan a "murderer."

rafi eitan 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
rafi eitan 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Esther Pollard, the wife of imprisoned Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, on Tuesday slammed her husband's former operator, Minister of Pensioners' Affairs Rafi Eitan, who had said the previous day that he assumes Pollard will be released soon. Pollard called Eitan a "murderer" and claimed that the government was not interested in bringing about her husband's release. "It's not that Israel has a national interest to let Pollard rot in jail," Pollard told Army Radio. "It's just that the people who were involved in the affair have personal interests and they are not willing to take responsibility for the issue." "People like [Defense Minister] Ehud Barak, who as the head of the IDF Military Intelligence approved all of Jonathan's missions back then, or Rafi Eitan, who was his operator," she elaborated. "They are simply uncomfortable with [the thought of] Pollard being in Israel and influencing their reputations. Meanwhile, Rafi Eitan has a harmless grandfather image, but he is not like that: anyone who knows him well knows that he is a murderer." Pollard also slammed Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who, she said, could have secured her husband's release had he wanted to. "All of the senior figures in the United States, including the former head of the CIA and the head of the National Security Council at the time of the arrest, say unequivocally that he should be released. Undoubtedly as soon as Olmert wishes it, Pollard will be here. He simply sabotages every opportunity to release him." "All of Rafi Eitan's nonsense, that he 'hopes' - only 'hopes' - but does not do anything makes me sick to my stomach," she said. "I am so furious over the shifty and false statements that he has made." Israel, she charged, had never made a direct appeal to the US to have Pollard released. "All of this mindless prattle about how [US President George W.] Bush could release Pollard without Israel asking is ludicrous," she said. "There is no official request, so what reason does Bush have to get in trouble with his political rivals if Israel doesn't want it?"