Esther and Yehuda Wachsman, parents of soldier Nachshon Wachsman who was kidnapped in 1994 by Hamas terrorists and killed during a failed rescue attempt, have sent a letter to President Shimon Peres in which they request that Peres ask the U.S. to release Jonathan Pollard.
Esther Wachsman told Arutz Sheva on Tuesday that she and her husband sent the letter because they feel it is their responsibility to ensure that this opportunity to rescue Pollard is not missed.
“President Shimon Peres is about to receive the Medal of Freedom from President Obama, and we want to mention that Jonathan Pollard has had no freedom for 27 years,” she said. “He confessed and expressed remorse, and it is time that our brother Jonathan is freed and comes to the State of Israel.”
Esther Wachsman, who as a bereaved mother agreed to see her son’s killer being released in exchange for Gilad Shalit, said that she expects Obama to behave in a humanitarian manner.
“We do not compare what happened to our son with what is happening to Pollard,” she stressed. “America is not Hamas, but the Americans take pride in being a humanitarian country, so it’s time to release Pollard, after 27 years he deserves it. His offenses were not any more serious than those made by others who have been freed long ago.”
Wachsman added, “I agreed, as a bereaved mother, to release my son's murderer for humanitarian reasons. I wished that he would rot in jail for the rest of his life. But as a mother who never got her son back, I supported a mother who was able to get her son back.”
The Wachsmans are part of a group of bereaved families who watched as Israel released their loved ones’ murderers in exchange for Shalit, and who have implored Peres to exert himself in seeking Pollard's freedom.
“The price we paid requires us to act to save his life,” the families wrote to Peres. “In recent years we have found ourselves on opposite sides of the terrible situation that rips the public to pieces, but we can come together for this great cause.”
“As those who have paid a personal and terrible price for building Israel,” they wrote, “we understand how priceless it is for us to save lives ourselves. We feel obligated to pursue the sacred duty to save a life, which would be realized in the case of Jonathan Pollard.”
Peres, who pressed Obama to release Pollard in person when the two Presidents met in March and again in April by phone when Pollard was moved to a prison hospital ward, has already agreed to ask for Pollard's release again in June.
He will also carry a letter from 80 Knesset members imploring Obama to release Pollard to the June meeting.