Pollard: Israel doesn't care about me

Pollard: Israel doesn’t care about me

Pollard said that the lack of concern about his case “suggests you don’t really have a commitment to the rest of the people in the country. That’s where the test is.” 

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Jonathan Pollard complained about being ignored by the Israeli government in a snap interview he gave to Channel 12 News that was aired Tuesday evening.

At a time when Israeli relations with the American administration are at an all-time high, the former U.S. Intelligence official, who was given a life sentence in 1987 but released on parole in 2015, says that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu isn’t doing enough to get U.S. consent for him and his wife to move to Israel. One of Pollard’s parole conditions is that he cannot leave the country.

“To make it a priority would mean the government actually cared and said, ‘This is what we want, we want him to come home.’ That simply hasn’t been done,” he told the Channel 12 newscaster, who spotted him in a New York restaurant and asked him to speak on camera.

“There always seems to be something else” on the Israeli leader’s agenda when he meets with President Donald Trump,” he said, citing Trump’s withdrawal of the Iran nuclear deal, moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and officially recognizing the Golan Heights as part of Israel as examples of what he sees as Netanyahu’s influence on the American leader.

If not for his steadfast religious faith, he would be devastated by the level of disinterest, the former spy said.

No Israeli official is even in contact with him or his wife, Pollard charged, but when asked if he was disappointed, he answered, “To be disappointed you need to expect more. My expectation level is so low that I am not surprised.”

This alleged lack of concern “suggests you [Netanyahu] don’t really have a commitment to the rest of the people in the country. That’s where the test is,” he insisted.

“If you don’t care about someone like myself, who spent 30 years in prison on behalf of the land and people of Israel, then how much concern can you actually show or exhibit or feel towards anybody in the country … from our soldiers to our civilians?”

The Prime Minister’s Office responded, saying that “Israel remains committed to returning Jonathan Pollard to Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu has raised the matter many times with the U.S. president and will continue doing so until he is returned.”