Menu JTA Search

Pollard’s Wife Hospitalized, May Call End to Hunger Strike

Esther Pollard, the wife of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, said she was considering ending her hunger strike after being hospitalized for exhaustion.

She spoke in an interview from a hospital emergency room.

She began the hunger strike Sunday to protest her husband’s imprisonment in the United States. President Clinton last week denied clemency for Jonathan Pollard, a former U.S. Navy civilian intelligence analyst.

Esther Pollard, who only drank water since Sunday, was taken to Bikur Holim hospital on Monday for exhaustion and fainting.

During her hunger strike, she gathered signatures for a petition that calls on the Israeli government to pressure the United States to free her husband, who earlier this year was granted Israeli citizenship.

Esther Pollard asserted that her husband would “be freed in 24 hours, if the Israeli government will demand persistently clemency for him.”

A hospital spokesman said she might be released as early as Tuesday evening.

Jonathan Pollard was arrested in 1985 outside the Israeli Embassy in the United States. In 1986, he pleaded guilty to stealing secrets for the Israeli government and, in 1987, was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Esther married Jonathan Pollard three years ago in a prison ceremony.

On Sunday, Esther Pollard said in an interview, “My husband has been scapegoated by certain agencies in the U.S., and my husband is used as a tool by certain anti-Semitic elements within these agencies to calling into question Israel’s reliability as our ally.”

She also said, “My husband acted on behalf of Israel and not against it, so it is the responsibility of Israel to get him out of jail.”

NEXT STORY