Daily Israel Report

MKs Present Peres with Pollard Petition

The petition was signed by 106 lawmakers, including Arab MKs. President Peres: I'll pass it on to President Obama.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 1/1/2014, 12:41 PM

MK Shai, Pres. Peres, Mk Shaked, Efi Lahav
MK Shai, Pres. Peres, Mk Shaked, Efi Lahav
Haim Tzah, GPO

MKs Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) and Nahman Shai (Labor) presented President Shimon Peres on Wednesday with a parliamentary petition signed thus far by 106 MKs, calling for the release of Jonathan Pollard.

Pollard has been languishing in US jails for over 28 years after being convicted of passing classified information to Israel. Peres said he would pass on the petition to US President Barack Obama.

MKs Shai said at the start of the meeting with Peres: “I am honored to present you with the request to the President of the United States, Barack Obama, which rests upon the wide agreement of 106 MKs, 18 of whom are members of the government... Our request is simple and important – free Jonathan Pollard.”

MK Shaked said that all of the Knesset members, “including the Arab MKs,” agree that Pollard should be freed, and that this is a matter of “complete consensus.”

"It is an honor for me to bring before the President of the US such a wide agreement in the Knesset,” Peres replied. "As president it is my clear duty to express such a wide consensus... I raised the request to free Jonathan Pollard several times before US President Barack Obama and previous US presidents, and I do not remember any human or political issue that garnered such wide and variegated support from all of the parties and groups in the Knesset.”

Efi Lahav, who heads the Council for Pollard, took part in the meeting and said that Pollard's physical condition is very serious. “The hourglass is running out – perhaps it has run out already.” 

White House spokespeople denied reports that US Secretary of State John Kerry has offered to release longtime prisoner Jonathan Pollard, Yediot Aharonot reported Sunday.