In an interview with Kol Yisrael Radio News’ Mark Weiss, Esther Pollard reported that her husband was very ill with a life-threatening condition, and that he had recently been rushed to the hospital just in time.
The interview was conducted in English on February 8 in light of the recent letter by former Vice President Dan Quayle to President Obama urging that he commute Pollard’s sentence to time served and release him. Transcript of the interview follows:
KOL YISRAEL: In response to the letter by Dan Quayle calling for Jonathan Pollard’s release, do you think the Obama administration will be influenced by Dan Quayle’s call?
ESTHER POLLARD: All I can tell you is that I’m hoping and praying that all of the appeals that have been made will carry sufficient weight together to open President Obama’s heart because I’m scared to death… I’m scared to death that we are racing against the clock; we are racing against time. Jonathan is very, very ill. [Voice starts breaking with emotion] and although we are very encouraged by all of the support, by all of the calls for his release, I’m terrified to death that they may all come too late…I’m
sorry [Apologizes for crying].
[Regaining control, but still very emotional] It is not very long ago – it is just a matter of a couple of weeks ago, Jonathan was rushed to the hospital where he had an emergency operation and when he recovered, the doctor told him that if they had hesitated any longer in bringing him in, he would have been dead within 24 hours. We had an absolute miracle that he survived. And that he is still surviving. I don’t know how much longer we can go on depending on miracles…
KOL YISRAEL: Now last month as we know, Prime Minister Netanyahu made a public call in the Knesset, to President Obama to release Jonathan on humanitarian grounds. As far as you know, what response has Israel received to this public call?
ESTHER POLLARD: I haven’t heard of any response, because if there were a response [begins crying again] Jonathan would be home… and we wouldn’t have to be in this absolute terror, that it is just going to be too late… I’m sorry [Apologizes for crying]… it’s very hard…
KOL YISRAEL: Ok Esther, we will leave it there. We got the message…
ESTHER POLLARD: Thank you.
KOL YISRAEL: We are all thinking of you.