Meretz: Pollard Home 4 Passover!

Matter of national consensus: Meretz party youth call on Pres. Peres to ask Obama to free Pollard now, in time for Passover Holiday of Freedom.

Hillel Fendel, | updated: 21:32

President Shimon Peres
President Shimon Peres
Israel news photo: Flash 90

National concern for Jonathan Pollard crosses all boundaries - proven once again with a left-wing Meretz party youth call on President Peres to ask U.S. President Obama for Pollard’s freedom.

President Peres departed last night (Sunday) on an official trip to the United States. He agreed to meet just hours earlier with Pollard’s wife Esther, who pleaded emotionally with Peres to discuss with U.S. President Obama the matter of her ill husband’s ongoing incarceration.

The statement by the Meretz Party Youth reads as follows:

“We ask President Peres, as a representative of the entire public in Israel and one who enjoys great admiration and deep trust on the part of President Obama: Please bring before President Obama the feelings of anticipation of the entire Israeli public, and of all those around the world who seek justice and human rights, to see the immediate release of Jonathan Pollard.

“After 26 years, it is very encouraging to see the calls by many senior Americans calling for an ‘end to the injustice’ – but the fact that he has not yet been freed continues to trouble us greatly. We hope that President Obama will respond as is his way, as a man of justice and civil rights, positively and quickly to our emotional plea.”

After her emotionally charged meeting with Peres, Esther Pollard said unequivocally that "the meeting was a good one." In light of her husband’s ill health, she asks the public to please redouble its prayers on his behalf [Yehonatan ben Malka]. She expressed her deep hope and prayer that he will be home in Israel in time for the upcoming Passover Holiday of Freedom, which begins only two weeks from tonight.

Mrs. Pollard spoke with the President about the growing list of Americans who have called for clemency for the man now serving his 26th year of a life sentence in a U.S. prison in North Carolina. Peres indicated that he was aware of the calls by such senior American officials as former CIA Director James Woolsey, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former Secretary of State George Schultz, former head of the Senate Intelligence Committee Dennis Deconcini and many others who have all indicated that Pollard's continued incarceration is unjust. She also brought to Peres’ attention petitions for her husband’s release, including those signed by hundreds of American leaders of all religions, elected officials from both parties, and, most recently, 100 New York State legislators.

The President listened with great interest and responded at length, she reported. At one point, she burst into tears when she asked him to realize that he had a chance to help save not only Jonathan Pollard’s life, but hers as well. "We are taught," Mrs. Pollard said, "that he who saves the life of one soul in Israel, it is credited to him as if he had saved an entire world. By saving Jonathan's life and bringing him home now, you will actually be saving two souls - Jonathan's and mine!"

Others who have recently issued appeals to President Obama for Pollard’s release include former U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle, presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, the head of International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Senator John McCain, and many more. A common theme expressed in these appeals concerns the disproportionate nature of Pollard's sentence. The consensus is that while Pollard committed a crime, his ongoing sentence is grossly disproportionate to the offense and that he has served far more time than others convicted of similar crimes.

"In light of the upcoming Passover Holiday - the Jewish national holiday of freedom - and bolstered by solid support from senior American officials, hope is growing daily," said  Nissan GanOr, head of the Committee to Bring Jonathan Pollard Home "that President Obama will release Pollard to his first taste of freedom in 26 years, to be home in Israel for Seder night."




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