Israel Must Act Now

August 11, 1996 - Esther Wachsman

I have just returned from a visit with Esther Pollard, who is lying on a bed adjacent to the large Masbir department store in the heart of Jerusalem. It was the 15th day of her hunger strike. She told me that she felt as the Biblical Queen Esther had felt when she fasted for the sake of her people, and said "if I perish, I perish."

Esther Pollard is fasting for the sake of her husband, Jonathan Pollard, who was prepared to endanger his life for the sake of the Jewish State. He acted as an agent of the Jewish State, by the Jewish State and for the Jewish State. It is our collective responsibility as a people to see that he is released, and we must not turn our backs on him. He has served 11 years for his crime - a period of time longer than anyone else accused of the same crime.

The governments of Israel, who saw fit to release terrorists, including those with "blood on their hands," must now find the "deal" necessary, with the U.S., to release Jonathan Pollard, if they do not want his blood on their hands. This man put his life on the line for our country - and our country has a moral obligation to save his life.

This government has put Pollard's release on the coalition platform, and it is time to turn those words into deeds, without further ado. We, as Jews, who value human life above all, are morally bound to speak out, without fear of offending our ally, the U.S., to release Jonathan Pollard at once.