"Days of Pardon" in the U.S. - How About Pollard?
Unless there is a last-minute change, this coming Monday, November 21 will mark the beginning of Jonathan Pollard’s 27th year in an American prison for passing classified information to Israel.
The current time period, known as “the holiday season” in the United States, is also the time when the U.S. President traditionally grants pardons and shortens prison sentences. This has led the organizations working to free Pollard to redouble their efforts these days, in hopes that a really strong effort might finally bring about Pollard’s release.
“In the past year, many former officials and other people who know a lot about the case, even people who were against Pollard’s release in the past, have said that enough is enough,” Adi Ginzburg of Justice for Jonathan Pollard told Arutz Sheva on Wednesday. “We know about James Woolsey, we know about Kissinger and Shultz.”
“We know that the support for Pollard has increased among the Jewish leaders and the Jewish community because everyone agrees that enough is enough,” he added.
Ginzburg spoke of the recent statement made by Vice President Joe Biden, who said that President Obama had considered freeing Pollard but that he (Biden) refused to allow it and said, “Over my dead body… If it were up to me, he would stay in jail for life.” Ginzburg said that many people were angered by these statements and noted that while Biden said he was willing to meet with Jewish-American leaders about this issue, a meeting has yet to be scheduled.
“More than a month and a half have passed but this meeting hasn’t taken place yet,” Ginzburg said. “We really hope it happens soon because it will allow Jewish leaders to give all the arguments and all the reasons that Jonathan Pollard should be released.”
One initiative that has recently taken place is in the form of a letter sent to Obama by bereaved families who lost loved ones to terror acts in Israel and who recently saw their loved ones’ murderers being released as part of the Gilad Shalit deal.
In the letter, which was signed both by families who were against the Shalit deal as well as those who were in favor of it, the families tell Obama that if they were able to pay such a high personal price to save Shalit, they are sure that he can find it in himself to save Pollard for no price at all.
Ginzburg emphasized that now is the time for everyone to raise their voices and demand that the American government free Pollard.
“Today is the time for everyone, especially in the United States, to raise their voice and ask their community leaders and representatives to do the right thing and have this tragedy come to and end,” he said.