Daily Israel Report

Youth To Hunger-Strike For Pollard

The struggle to get the government to take action to free Jonathan Pollard will take a sharp turn next week, when dozens of youth will embark on a long hunger strike.
First Publish: 6/21/2004, 4:36 PM / Last Update: 6/21/2004, 5:21 PM

The struggle to get the government to take action to free Jonathan Pollard will take a sharp turn next week, when dozens of youth will embark on a long hunger strike. The youths will fast for four days, beginning next Sunday, at the Rose Garden outside the Knesset in Jerusalem. The four-day hunger strike will end on Wednesday, June 30, with a large rally protesting Pollard's abandonment.

Lital, an 18-year-old from Ashkelon who has been active on behalf of Pollard for a year, explained to Arutz-7's Yosef Meiri today why she is so involved: "I am a counselor in the Bnei Akiva youth movement, and I try to instill within the children the importance of getting involved, of looking around at what's going on in society and what we can do to help. I look at Pollard, and I see that here is someone who not only cared about what was going on in Israel, but also sacrificed himself on our behalf, for people he didn't even know. And what are we doing to get him out? This apathy on our part is just incomprehensible. Every morning I wake up with this question - and I mean this seriously. We have to do this!"

Lital explained that so far, close to 40 people have signed up, "but we're expecting many more. At the behest of Eli Joseph [a long-time Pollard supporter who once held a 150-day hunger strike himself for Pollard - ed.], we insist that anyone under 17 must bring a letter of permission from his/her parents to take part in this strike... Juice and water will be available, but no food." For more information (in Hebrew), see .

In addition, former Soviet refusenik Rabbi Yosef Mendelevitch and long-time Gush Katif resident and activist Asher Mivtzari gave Torah classes last night at a gathering on behalf of Pollard. The event, billed as an "evening of solidarity, Torah study and prayer," took place in Jerusalem.