Spy Blames Mother-In-Law Problem On Israeli Officials

By Shoshana Olidort

Published August 12, 2005, issue of August 12, 2005.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Last week, the pro-settler Israeli-based Arutz 7 News Service reported that Jerusalem was seeking to secure a furlough for convicted spy Jonathan Pollard so that he could visit his dying mother-in-law. There was just one problem: Pollard’s mother-in-law had died July 18, two weeks earlier.

Pollard, now serving a life sentence in a federal prison for passing American secrets on to Israel, is accusing the Israeli government of “trampling the grave of my mother-in-law” and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom of “exploiting the death of my mother-in-law for his own personal gain,” as reported in Ma’ariv.

The former U.S. Navy analyst and his supporters have complained repeatedly over the years that Israel has failed to press for his release.

According to Justice4JP, a pro-Pollard advocacy group, requests to Shalom for help in securing a furlough for Pollard to visit his mother-in-law, and later to attend her funeral and shiva in Montreal, went ignored.

But David Siegel, an Israeli spokesman at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, told the Forward that “senior Israeli officials made official requests through relevant channels in a timely fashion.”

In response to such Israeli claims, Pollard’s wife, Esther, issued a statement saying that “nothing could be further from the truth.” She accused the Foreign Ministry of deceiving the public in order to save face. “The only process undertaken by the Foreign Ministry was stalling for time and doing nothing,” she said.

In her statement, Esther Pollard said that her husband was “shocked and dismayed” by the Arutz 7 report. She claims that he personally called the Israeli Consulate in Atlanta, near the prison where he is being held, to inform the Foreign Ministry that her mother had died.

Find us on Facebook!
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?

We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.