Moshe Feiglin: I Will Not Be at Ease Until I See Pollard in Israel
The following is the translated transcript of an interview with Moshe Feiglin on Israel’s Army Radio, Wednesday, July 29th.
Former MK Feiglin, you are now in the US, but you did not see Pollard.
I have met with Jonathan Pollard 5 or 6 times in the past, but in the past 3 years, I have not seen him.
Tell me what transpired when you met him. Do you have a telephone connection with him?
No, that is much more complicated. Each meeting with him is in the presence of a representative of US Intelligence. The conversations must be carried out in English. Yes, until the last second, they treat him as some sort of ticking bomb who has ‘secret information’.
How were your meetings with Jonathan Pollard?
Meetings with him were always very emotional. He is an extraordinarily impressive person. He is very, very intelligent, focused, up-to- date; he knows exactly what is going on in Israel. He knows how to draw information from any person and put together a clear picture.
What are his sources of information?
The media that are open to him in prison, visitors and letters that he receives. He is very involved with what is happening in Israel. His courage, throughout the years, despite his burning desire to be released, is that he announced that he was not willing to be part of any terrorist release deal. He said that he understood what would happen in Israel if terrorists would be released. He is an almost indescribable idealist and a great lover of Israel.
Still? Despite everything? Despite the feeling of abandonment and anger, he still loves Israel?
Yes, you described it correctly. There are two feelings that exist simultaneously. On one hand, there is anger at the Israeli leadership throughout the years. It is not correct to say that Israel’s leadership abandoned him. The right word is ‘betrayed’ him. But on the other hand, a great love and feeling of responsibility for the Nation of Israel, which is amazing. A number of times, there were deals being put together for his release, and when it looked like terrorists were freed as part of the conditions for his release, he hurried to announce that he did not agree to be a playing card in the deal. He was completely aware of the significance of his stand, but was not willing to be a part of those deals.
Tell me, what did you think of his state of mind?
The first times that I visited him, I was amazed at his emotional strength. Later, I was concerned that perhaps he would not hold up. This is not up to date, because I have not visited him for over three years. But he is a strong man. I pray that he is still the same person that I knew.
Pollard is very, very sick. In my last discussions with his wife, Esther, she literally screamed in a live interview, “Do all that you can to get him released, because he will not survive.” What do you know about his health at this point?
He was already very sick when I met him the first time. I remember that he told me to apply pressure to his leg with my finger and it left a deep impression. He was very swollen. His health has suffered. The Americans have been very cruel to him. People think that America is a compassionate nation, but at least for the first half of his prison term, Jonathan was treated terribly. He did not see the light of day.
And what about the recent years?
In recent years he was transferred from a maximum security facility to a more moderate facility, and the situation has improved. It wasn’t a great improvement, but relative to his conditions before that, it was better.
Did he talk to you about the day that he would be released from prison?
He had all kinds of plans and suggestions for Israel. He thought up all kinds of inventions. He thinks of how to help the Nation of Israel and the State of Israel.
Apparently, Pollard will have to remain in the US for the next five years. What should Israel do to try to get him here earlier?
Israel has to finally start fighting for him. To tell you the truth, I am very apprehensive. I am not relaxed about this. We have been disappointed so many times when they told us that he is about to be released. Until I see him here – not there, out of jail – but here, I will not be at ease. We must understand that the President can veto the release at any given time. He may be released under confining conditions. They can come up with an excuse at any time to return him to prison. I will not be at ease until Jonathan is here in Israel.