TRANSCRIPT: Razi Barkai interview with Esther Pollard on IDF Radio
Translated to English by Justice4JP
Esther Pollard was interviewed in Hebrew by Razi Barkai on March 25, 2008 on
the IDF Radio program, Yoman HaBoker (The Morning Journal).
Just prior to interviewing Esther Pollard, the popular morning show host,
Razi Barkai, interviews Rafi Eitan. When questioned about his statement the
day before, that he expects Jonathan Pollard home soon, Eitan prevaricates.
He admits that he has no solid information to back up his "supposition" that
Pollard's release is at hand. Nevertheless Eitan insists that this was
nothing more than "a poor choice of words" on his part. He offers that
perhaps he should have said "I hope" Pollard will be here soon, instead of
giving the impression that he fully expects Pollard's release momentarily.
Eitan then repeats that he "hopes" that Bush will release Pollard some time,
perhaps now for Israel's 60th anniversary, or perhaps when he leaves office.
Eitan's interview ends with his declaration that he is doing everything he
can to keep Jonathan's issue on the national agenda. Barkai then turns to
RAZI BARKAI: Waiting on the line is Esther Pollard, wife of Jonathan
Pollard. Esther Pollard, good morning to you!
ESTHER POLLARD: Good morning Razi!
RAZI BARKAI: When did you speak with him lately?
ESTHER POLLARD: With Jonathan?
RAZI BARKAI: Yes.
ESTHER POLLARD: Yesterday.
RAZI BARKAI: By telephone?
ESTHER POLLARD: Yes.
RAZI BARKAI: Are there times written when you can speak?
(Ed: Barkai's last words are unclear to Esther.)
ESTHER POLLARD: Are talking about Rafi Eitan's statement?
RAZI BARKAI: No! No! We'll talk about that later. I am talking about contact
between you and your husband! Is there a certain hour of the day when you
are able to speak?
ESTHER POLLARD: Okay. Sorry. I misunderstood. I am so focused on the devious
and untrue statements that Minister Eitan made.
RAZI BARKAI: (cuts her off). I will give you a chance later to react to
Eitan's statement, but first, let's talk about your contact with Jonathan.
ESTHER POLLARD: Certainly!
RAZI BARKAI: Do you speak every day?
ESTHER POLLARD: Yes. We pay an absolute fortune for every minute, because
only he can dial out from prison and the calls are outrageously expensive.
And as you know we are not getting a cent, not a red cent from the
Government of Israel. In 23 years we have never gotten any support from the
RAZI BARKAI: Wait a minute! You pay for the phone calls?!
ESTHER POLLARD: Yes! We pay for everything! Everything! Everything!
RAZI BARKAI: How long does such a phone call last?
ESTHER POLLARD: A few minutes every day. Because he is very limited. He has
a monthly budget, a monthly allocation of minutes. It is very, very
difficult. And as I have mentioned to you in the past, when we spoke, we
receive no support whatsoever from the Government of Israel. I live in
financial dire straits; and Jonathan is completely dependent on me and a few
friends for everything -even for money to buy crackers, for food, or for
phone calls, and for all of his basic needs in prison.
RAZI BARKAI: Tell me, Esther.
ESTHER POLLARD:(continues) And why am I telling you all of this, Razi?
Because this is not the way a Government behaves if it intends to bring her
RAZI BARKAI: Okay.
ESTHER POLLARD: And [the Government] also lies about it!
RAZI BARKAI: Let's continue the discussion. What about his day to day life
Are there people still coming to visit him? What about the American Jewish
Community? Perhaps representatives..?
ESTHER POLLARD: No, no, no. Everyone follows Israel's lead. As long as
Israel turns its back on him, the American Jewish community shows no
interest in Jonathan Pollard. Every one has abandoned him, following the
example set by Israel. They all know that Israel is responsible for him, and
as long as Israel is not taking any initiative to free him, no one else will
RAZI BARKAI: It's strange, and I really must tell you, every time I
interview you, you say that Israel abandoned him. There have been prime
ministers here, its now more than 20 years, thank G-d there have been a
number prime ministers here in that time, who claim that in practically
every meeting with the American President or with the Secretary of State or
with the Secretary of Defense, they brought up the subject[of Pollard].
ESTHER POLLARD: Tell me Razi, you are an adult, and you have been in the
media for many years, and you still cannot differentiate between public
relations and a serious, official request? To this very day there has never
been an official request on the part of the Government of Israel to free
Jonathan. And all this foolish talk, that maybe Bush will free Pollard,
without Israel ever asking, is just ludicrous! There is no official request
from Israel for Jonathan's release, so why should Bush antagonize his
political enemies by making a gesture which Israel doesn't want!
And I repeat what I said previously: the way that the Government of Israel
behaves towards me and towards Jonathan, the mercilessness and lack of
compassion the Government demonstrates towards us, testifies better than a
thousand witnesses, to the Government's lack of intent to bring Jonathan
RAZI BARKAI: If there were an official request from Israel, how would the
American Government respond?
ESTHER POLLARD: All of the senior officials in the US - including former
head of the CIA James Woolsey, and including Senator Dennis DeConcini, the
former head of the Senate Intelligence Committee during the time of
Jonathan's arrest - all of them have been on record for some time stating
openly that the time has come to free Pollard. There is no doubt that the
minute that Olmert wants Pollard, he will be here!
And all of the nonsense from Rafi Eitan, that he "hopes" - he just "hopes"
but he doesn't do anything! He just sabotages! It makes me sick to my
RAZI BARKAI: Now explain to me, please, and to our listeners, what interest
does the Government of Israel have in Jonathan continuing to rot in prison?
ESTHER POLLARD: The Government of Israel has no NATIONAL interest in having
Pollard rot in prison but there are PERSONAL interests, on the part of those
individuals who were fully involved in Jonathan's operation, who to this
very day still do not take responsibility for their participation in the
affair. People like Ehud Barak who signed all of Jonathan's tasking orders.
People like Rafi Eitan, who was his handler. It's simply not comfortable for
them to have Pollard home in Israel where his very presence may reflect
negatively upon their PERSONAL reputations. In the meantime, Rafi Eitan now
has the media image of a kindly grandfather. But to those who know him up
close, he is no grandfather; he is a murderer! He is simply a murderer!
RAZI BARKAI: Let me strike that from the record.
Now let me ask you about Bibi Netanyahu who was not involved in the
operation, or about Ehud Olmert who was not involved. Yitzhak Shamir.
ESTHER POLLARD: Who says Olmert was not involved?
RAZI BARKAI: He was involved?
ESTHER POLLARD: Have a look at the Abba Even Commission Report on the
subject! And nevertheless, he is now very involved, in that he sabotages
every opportunity to secure my husband's release.
RAZI BARKAI: There are also people who are afraid to have him home for fear
he will open his mouth.
ESTHER POLLARD: No! Why?! What can he say that the People [of Israel] don't
already know? People don't know that these leaders were involved? People don't
know that Shimon Peres lies? People don't know that Ehud Barak was the head
of AMAN (Israeli Military Intelligence) and he signed all of Jonathan's
tasking orders? People know! But that they still prefer to have him die in
prison is just too much! There is no reason for it!
People have to understand, and you also have to understand, that this is the
same self-centered egotism that drives these people in all they do. It is
not just about Pollard. This is they way they behave towards everyone. This
RAZI BARKAI: Esther Pollard, I thank you very much for these words.
ESTHER POLLARD: Thank you!
Gov't doesn't want Pollard released - Jerusalem Post
If Olmert wanted him, he would already be here [Hebrew] - IDF Radio (Galei