OpEd: Rafi Eitan, Go Home!
By Esther Pollard
Esther Pollard explains why Rafi Eitan's colleagues call him "Rafi, The Foul
Odor" and why he should resign from Knesset.
Special to Maariv NRG - March 30, 2006
Translated to English by J4JP
Click here for Hebrew www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART1/067/214.html
May be reprinted with appropriate accreditation.
Commenting on Rafi Eitan's election to Knesset for Channel 1 last night, a
veteran political analyst, Ben Caspit, quipped that Eitan will no doubt make
his party's entry into a government coalition conditional upon receiving an
official Presidential commitment NEVER to release Jonathan Pollard. Channel
2's senior analyst, Amnon Abramovitch, noted that Rafi Eitan ran for Knesset
by exploiting Jonathan Pollard's name, and now that he is in Knesset he will
do everything he can to make sure that Jonathan Pollard never gets out of
prison. Tomorrow, said Abramovitch, Eitan will go and celebrate, while
Pollard will go back to his jail cell.
Jonathan and I have 21 years of bitter experience with Rafi Eitan which
unequivocally confirms the opinions expressed by both Abramovitch and
Caspit. Although Eitan cried crocodile tears over Jonathan during his
election campaign, we know that Eitan remains committed to keeping my
husband in prison.
As Jonathan's former handler and control officer 21 years ago, Eitan not
only failed to provide an escape plan for Jonathan, he also masterminded his
own agent's expulsion from the Israeli Embassy, and then provided testimony
to the Americans which sealed Jonathan's fate. In a recent interview in
Haaretz, Eitan openly admitted that he cooperated with the Americans against
Jonathan, and justified this betrayal of his own agent, by claiming that he
was "just following orders."
For 21 years Rafi Eitan, has refused to lift a finger to help Jonathan. For
all of that time, he has been sitting on one of the very few keys to
Jonathan's jail cell. Eitan has in his personal possession a document, a
major bargaining chip in negotiations for Jonathan's release. He has held
the only copy of it for 21 years. The recovery of this document would be
invaluable to the Americans, as it would permit them to finally wrap up the
case once and for all. But Israeli officials keep pretending that this
document does not exist. The Americans are no fools; they know that this is
not true. Consequently, just as Eitan keeps the document buried, the
Americans keep Pollard buried alive.
It is not for nothing that Rafi Eitan's colleagues in the Intelligence
Community nicknamed him "HaMasreeach" (The Foul Odor). The man has no
morals, no integrity, no conscience. I will never forget a meeting I had
with Eitan years ago, which was also attended by Jonathan's attorney, Larry
Dub, and prisoner activist, Herut Lapid.
As we began the meeting, Eitan told us the only thing he regrets about the
Pollard affair is that he did not 'finish the job' before leaving the
States. We asked him what he meant by this. Eitan replied, "If I had been at
the embassy when Pollard came to seek asylum, I would have put a bullet
through his head. There would have been no Pollard affair."
When he was recently asked by Wordnetdaily about saying that he regretted
not killing Jonathan, Eitan refused to deny the report. Instead, Eitan
repeated his 21-year-old mantra: that the best way for Pollard to get out of
prison is keep a low profile and make no noise.
What a hypocrisy!
Eitan's noisy public campaign, and his election to Knesset is poking a
finger in the eye of the Americans, and stirring up all of the old fury that
the American Justice, Intelligence and Defense Departments feel about this
case. And the only one who will pay the price of Eitan's loud campaign and
vulgar victory is Jonathan.
If Rafi Eitan had any concern for the welfare of the agent he betrayed and
abandoned 21 years ago, he never would have run for Knesset. As Jonathan's
former handler, his public career as a Member of Knesset is tantamount to
shedding Jonathan's blood on a daily basis. Rafi Eitan should resign from
Esther Pollard is the wife of Jonathan Pollard, an Israeli agent, who has
been in prison in the United States for 21 years for his service to Israel.