Jonathan Pollard pleads with Netanyahu to ask Trump to release him from parole so he can take care of his wife.
By Batya Jerenberg
Jonathan Pollard has asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to call U.S. President Donald Trump personally to ask for his release, Channel 12 revealed Monday in an exclusive interview with the former American-Israeli spy.
Just two and a half months after accusing the Israeli government in general and Netanyahu in particular of not caring about him enough to maintain contact with him or bring up his name with the president, Pollard apparently decided to become proactive because his wife is very ill.
“It’s a very important topic that must be spoken about and publicized now — it’s a matter of life and death,” Pollard said. “It’s a huge humanitarian issue, a crisis that my wife and I are going through.”
Esther Pollard has contracted breast cancer for the third time, he explained, and this time it spread to other parts of her body. His stringent parole conditions, such as having to be at home from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., limit his ability to care for his wife.
“We want her to be treated in a hospital in Brooklyn,” he told the interviewer, whom he invited to his home. “But I’m not mobile…. If something happens in the middle of the night, I can’t leave the apartment with her.”
Pollard got in touch with Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer in Washington, who quickly arranged a phone call with the prime minister.
Pollard, who turns 65 on Wednesday, gave Netanyahu “a detailed medical report” on his wife and requested that the prime minister personally intervene on the couple’s behalf.
“He answered that he intends to get involved in the matter. He was in shock when he heard about it,” Pollard said. “I hope that the president will commute my probation so I can take care of my wife.”
“I can’t imagine Netanyahu not making an effective call. I can’t imagine Trump refusing,” he added.
The former U.S. intelligence analyst who spent three decades in prison for passing classified information to Israel suffers from kidney and liver ailments himself. But, as he put it, “Esther has been fighting for my life for 30 years. Now it’s my turn.”