Solidarity Rally Held In Capital on Pollard's 40th Birthday

Batsheva Tsur - The Jerusalem Post - August 8, 1994

Some 40 Women in Green, joined by New York rabbi and activist Avi Weiss and other supporters, held a solidarity rally for Jonathan Pollard across from the US Consulate in Jerusalem yesterday, marking Pollard's 40th birthday.

Lighting a huge birthday cake with 40 candles, the demonstrators sang "Happy Birthday" as a group of curious staffers from the consulate building looked on. The demonstrators, blowing whistles, urged passing motorists to come sign a huge billboard with requests to free Pollard.

"Jonathan has never been so psychologically down as he is now, even though he is in the [less restrictive] Butler facility," Weiss told the rally. "If anything can help him, perhaps it is the knowledge that he has supporters". He called on Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to continue to press "quietly" for Pollard's release.

Former MK Geula Cohen said that she was sorry the demonstration was not taking place outside the Prime Minister's Office.

"While it is clear that the Statue of Liberty should hang its head in shame, neither the previous government of Israel nor this one has done enough to free Jonathan," she said.

A letter of support from 49 Knesset members from across the political spectrum was read out to the gathering.

Solidarity rallies were also due to take place yesterday evening outside FBI regional headquarters in Miami Beach and at other places in the US, England and France.

In Tel Aviv, Jonathan's former wife Anne said: "I hope people realize that Jonathan lost what many of us consider the best years of his life, his thirties, sitting in jail on behalf of the State of Israel.

"I pray that the government will do all in its power to convince President Clinton that he has suffered too much and let him come here to lead a productive life in his forties. We all have a moral obligation to him".