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Sunday, April 08, 2012

Oy... Pollard family hoping Peres of all people will push for his freedom

LinkOne cannot help but wonder what Shimon really thinks of the pleas he is getting on behalf of Jonathan Pollard. Peres, who may have been responsible for Pollard's imprisonment, was already being asked to use the opportunity of a trip to the White House in June to help Obama's reelection campaign receive a medal of peace, to plead for clemency for Pollard. Now, with Pollard being hospitalized again and apparently in serious condition, Peres was asked on Sunday by one former and two current Chief Rabbis (Rabbis Ovadia Yosef, Yona Metzger and Shlomo Amar) to do all he can to bring about Pollard's release. Their calls joined a call from Pollard's wife to save Pollard's life while it is still possible.
Esther Pollard, the wife of the convicted American Naval Intelligence analyst who has spent 27 years in prison for spying for Israel, on Sunday entreated President Shimon Peres to act immediately to try to secure her husband's freedom before it is too late.

Esther was accompanied by MKs Uri Ariel and Ronit Tirosh who head the Knesset lobby for the release of Jonathan Pollard, along with members of The Committee for the Release of Jonathan Pollard. "I am the wife of Jonathan Pollard. I do not want to be the widow of Jonathan Pollard," she said her voice trembling with emotion and her face crumpling with anxiety.


Peres, who sat grave-faced as she spoke, told her that he can imagine the agony that she is currently undergoing, and reminded her that it was Casper Weinberger, the late US Secretary for Defense who had insisted on a life sentence for Pollard for what Weinberger had claimed to be security reasons.. It was Weinberger who posed the greatest problem, said Peres. "But he retracted," came the chorus from those who had accompanied Esther Pollard to the meeting.

Peres said that at this stage it was important to focus on the humanitarian aspect of the Pollard case, and promised to make it a top priority.

Esther apologized for being slightly repetitious, saying that because she was so concerned about her husband, she found it difficult to concentrate on anything else and she was also sleep deprived as a result of worry.

She implored Peres to do everything in his power to bring Pollard to Israel. No other Israeli has as much influence and respect in Washington as Peres said Pollard, which was the main reason that she was begging him to act immediately. It was time to end the nightmare, she said, adding that 27 years was a long time in which to live in a hostile, anti-Semitic environment to be without proper food, without proper rest, without proper medical care and without family and friends.


Ariel presented Peres with a letter to Obama that has been signed by 80 MKs who ask the US president to grant Pollard clemency. The letter was to have been presented in June when Peres is due to fly to the US to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, but Ariel realized that an appeal to Obama could not wait that long and said that he joined in Esther's plea. Esther said that she had received a telephone call from Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger on Saturday night, who prior to the start of Pessah had called on the public to pray for Jonathan Pollard. Metzger had contacted her in order to give her moral strength and to tell her that the season represented a time of grace, a holiday of freedom, a symbol which the Americans understand.

Coming from America herself, Esther is well aware of this and told Peres of the case of a Cuban who had been released from prison and allowed to go home because his brother was dangerously ill. Under such circumstances, she could not understand why her husband who is severely ill should still be incarcerated.
In this administration, it's because the Cuban is a Cuban and Pollard is an Israeli. Isn't that obvious?
Peres pledged to explore every possibility and said that he would consult with others, but promised to take action not later than Monday. "We don’t want to make any mistakes at this stage," he said.

It was important for him to also convey that he had seen and spoken to Esther because this was yet another dimension of the humanitarian side of the case.

Speaking to reporters after emerging from the meeting with Peres, Esther said that she had no doubt that he was "very sympathetic and very committed to doing whatever he can as quickly as possible." She was also convinced that he understood that time is of the essence and that he must act now. "It's very clear that he's very devoted to bringing Jonathan home," she said.

Asked by The Jerusalem Post if she had been given more reason for hope this time around than on previous occasions, Esther's reply was "Jonathan is alive."
The fact that the Pollards are now dependent on the graces of Shimon Peres to bring him out alive is outrageous. But waiting for the holiday in the US to end on Monday night isn't likely to help much: American Jewry is largely afraid to speak up for Pollard.

YNet adds:
During a meeting with Jonathan Pollard's wife on Sunday, President Shimon Peres said he may file an official request later this evening with his American counterpart Barack Obama to pardon the convicted spy.

Pollard was admitted to a hospital in North Carolina after his condition deteriorated over the weekend.

Peres is expected to receive the presidential Medal of Freedom from Obama in June, but a petition signed by more than 10,000 Israeli citizens, including artists and political figures, urged the president to work towards securing Pollard's release beforehand.
If Peres is actually responsible for Pollard's imprisonment, this is his chance for atonement. Let's hope he at least uses it.

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At 7:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Carl.
If Obama thinks that releasing Pollard might give him a serious gain of Jewish votes he will.
Otherwise he doesn't care about anyone but Barack Hussein Obama, no matter if he quotes the Bibble , the Torah or the 'holy koran' as he calls it.

At 2:07 AM, Blogger Captain.H said...

Under a Fed. Bureau of Prisons regulation in effect at the time of Pollard's imprisonment, Pollard is projected for release on November 21, 2015.

I've written my view on Jonathan Pollard in previous thread comments. His treason and espionage against America wasn't solely for Israel. Here's some reading that pro-release activists don't talk about. In my opinion, Pollard should never be released. His life sentence should be exactly that.

At 12:45 AM, Blogger Politicsgirl101 said...

As we know, he didn't. I hate that medalhead so much. I'm glad that he and the others FAILED in their plan to keep Pollard in Jail until he died. Now let's make sure that he gets to Israel alive.


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