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Leftist, Nationalist MKs Unite to Rally for Pollard

Call for public to join rally Sunday at US Embassy in Tel Aviv across the political spectrum. MKs: 'consensus' that he should be freed.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 2/22/2014, 10:21 PM

Jonathan Pollard
Jonathan Pollard
Yehuda Glick

Leftist and nationalist MKs will unite Sunday for a noble cause: the release of Jonathan Pollard.

Pollard has recently been subject of a high-profile campaign for his release, after being held in the US for more than 28 years on spying allegations. He was arrested by FBI agents in 1985 and held ever since.

Sunday's rally expands on that campaign. In a rare show of unity, both leftist and nationalist MKs will join youth groups, advocacy organizations, and a crowd of supporters outside the US Embassy in Tel Aviv to demand the prisoner finally be freed. 

"After three decades one fact [about the Pollard case] remains: the fact of time," MK Nachmun Shai (Labor) stated Saturday night. "How long should he stay in prison for his actions? How long? Is there a limit to this?" 

"A man shouldn't be kept in prison for 30 years over these allegations," Shai continued. "He should be released already." 

"It looks like he might not have such a long life next in any case," he added. "He is not in the best of health."

"We are united in calling on President [Barack] Obama: give him, at least, the last years of his life to do what he wants as a free man." 

"There is a consensus here," MK Yechiel Bar (Labor) added. "We feel a huge sense of injustice; [Pollard] should be released. Everyone understands that Pollard has paid his debts disproportionately and US officials know this well. It is not for nothing that calls for Pollard's release are gaining momentum. Official reports indicate that Pollard dealt with threats against Israel and not against the US [. . .] they should release him for it." 

Nationalist groups have already called on the public to attend the rally alongside the left-wing MKs. The rally will commence at 6:00pm.

Calls for Pollard's release have escalated since it was revealed that the US and UK have been spying on top Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Pollard was arrested on charges far less serious, critics noted, and slammed the Obama administration for "hypocrisy." 

The calls for Pollard's release escalated so much so that over 106 MKs attended a special Knesset session in December to protest US President Barack Obama's refusal to release the prisoner, and signed a petition urging the President to reconsider. 

Several top US officials, including Former Deputy National Security advisor Elliott Abrams, United States Assistant Secretary of Defense during the Jonathan Pollard affair Lawrence Korb, and former CIA chief James Woolsey have also called for Pollard to be released.