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      Esther Pollard Appeals to Obama for Her Husband’s Release

      Waxing biblical at a Jerusalem rally, Esther Pollard appealed to Obama to release her husband.
      By Avraham Zuroff
      First Publish: 6/4/2009, 7:37 AM / Last Update: 6/4/2009, 8:37 AM

      Israel News Photo: (Flash 90)

      The wife of Jonathan Pollard read a letter to American President Barack Obama appealing for her husband's release during a protest rally opposite the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem Wednesday night.

      The demonstration was aimed at Obama’s “cold shoulder” towards Israel. Pollard is serving a life sentence in a U.S. prison for spying for Israel.

      “Mr. Obama, my husband Jonathan Pollard has now served more than six times the usual sentence for the offense he committed," Esther Pollard said. "After more than two decades of the harshest afflictions in prison, including seven years in solitary confinement, it is time to release him, before it is too late for America to make amends before the Almighty G-d of Israel.

      “Senior American officials who have seen the secret files and the full record of the Pollard case are all on record that there is nothing in the file to justify the Draconian sentence that Jonathan Pollard is serving,” she continued.

      Esther Pollard called on the U.S. president to “take to heart the words of King Solomon (Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14): ‘The sum of the matter when all has been considered: Fear G-d and keep his commandments, for that is man's whole duty. For G-d will judge every deed - even everything hidden -whether good or evil.’ Therefore Mr. Obama, 'Let the groaning of the prisoner come before you; according to the greatness of your power; set free those who are condemned to die.' (Psalms 79:11).

      “Set my husband, Jonathan Pollard, free and send him home now to the holy city of Jerusalem, the indisputable heart and soul of the Jewish Nation which dwells in Zion; the eternally united and indivisible capital of the Jewish State of Israel - and may G-d bless!” she said.

      Jonathan Pollard has been imprisoned since November 1985 after his conviction on a single count of passing classified information to an American ally - Israel. The normal sentence for this offense is 2-4 years, and his unprecedented life sentence was in direct violation of his plea bargain arrangement. He has long been in a maximum security prison, under difficult conditions.

      U.S. Appellate Court Justice Steven Williams has called the Pollard case a “fundamental miscarriage of justice,” and even James Woolsey - former head of the CIA, a body that has traditionally opposed clemency for Pollard - believes Pollard should be released.

      Former U.S. Ambassador Dennis Ross, who has been involved in shaping U.S. policy in the Middle East under Presidents Bush Sr., Clinton and Bush Jr., has said that Pollard's sentence was excessive, and that he told all three presidents that Pollard should be released. “Pollard has been in jail for so long,” Ross said in December 2006, “that whatever facts he might know would have little if any effect on national security today.”