Supporters of Jonathan Pollard refuse to allow him to drop from the news - and have ideas as to how to ensure he is pardoned soon.
Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, head of the Ateret Cohanim yeshiva in the Old City of Jerusalem, co-Chief Rabbi of Beit El, and a long-time outspoken supporter of Pollard, has publicized a list of 12 ideas, many of them new, as to how to keep Pollard on the agenda. The goal, he writes, is to ensure that outgoing U.S. President George Bush issues him a pardon, and the way to do that is to have the Israeli government make an official request for such - and the way to do that is to keep Pollard high in the public awareness, so as to influence the government.
On November 21 of last year, Jonathan Pollard entered his 23rd year of a life sentence for his activities on behalf of Israel. He was convicted not on charges of treason, as some mistakenly believe, but on one count of passing classified information to an ally. The median sentence for this offense is 2-4 years, but Pollard received a life sentence - the result of a plea bargain which he honored and the U.S. government violated.
On Rabbi Aviner's list of ideas are the following:
1. Talk about Pollard wherever possible - with friends, in the store, in classes, on the radio, in written articles, and wherever possible.
2. Wear a blue Pollard bracelet.
3. Recite prayers, including public prayers in the synagogue during the Torah reading.
4. Mention Pollard in wedding and Bar-Mitzvah invitations and Grace After Meals cards.
5. Post bumper stickers and the like wherever permitted.
6. Give to the cause; helping to redeem captives is the best charity there is.
7. Involve non-religious people. "For some strange, illogical reason," the rabbi writes, "almost all those who have joined the struggle for Pollard are religious. If you know high-ranking secular people, please try to interest them in the struggle..."
8. Write to MKs, Prime Minister Olmert, and U.S. President Bush.
9. Write to Pollard himself, though only in English. His address:
JONATHAN POLLARD 09185-016
BUTNER N. C.
Former officials of the U.S. government such as ex- CIA director James Woolsey and former top U.S. Middle East negotiator Dennis Ross have come out in favor of clemency for Pollard.