In 1984, Dr. Ortal Tamam's uncle, Moshe, was kidnapped and murdered by Arab-Israeli terrorists. The fact that Moshe's murderer is still behind bars and wasn't released as a "goodwill" gesture is largely due to Jonathan and Esther Pollard.
Israel National News met with Dr. Tamam at an event in Jerusalem held this week to honor Esther Pollard's memory on the first anniversary of her passing, and learned Dr. Tamam's amazing story.
"In 2013, the United States government asked Israel to release a number of murderers and terrorists as a 'goodwill' gesture," Dr. Tamam relates. "We started a protest against this, divided into four stages."
As the protest moved through the first two stages, more and more people joined and the government became aware that the prisoner release was highly unpopular. It was then that the United States government, seeking a way out of the impasse, made an incredible suggestion: They would release Jonathan Pollard from prison in return for the release of the murderers of Jews.
What did you feel when you heard about that offer?
"We knew this wasn't something anyone could say no to. We all wanted Jonathan back in Israel, out of prison, with his wife. But we were so upset that it was happening like this."
A few days passed, and then the story took another twist.
"We found out that Jonathan himself had said no to the offer. He and Esther said that this was a red line they wouldn't cross; they wouldn't be part of the release of terrorists."
Even though the price was Jonathan remaining in prison, and Esther coming home alone?
"Yes. Not only that, Jonathan told all his supporters to join the demonstrations against the prisoner release. And the result was that the murderers, including the murderer of my uncle, remained in prison. That's why I'm here today - to say to Jonathan and Esther: Thank you."