Pollard "Sitting Shiva"

Arutz 7 News - December 3, 2001

Jonathan Pollard's mother Molly passed away two days ago - yet the American authorities will not permit him to attend the funeral, scheduled for today. Neither will he receive any special consideration during the week of mourning; "he will still be cleaning toilets this week," his wife Esther said. She added that Prime Minister Sharon did not take advantage of the special circumstances that have arisen in both Pollard's personal situation and in Israel. Had he requested a presidential pardon, she has learned, it would most likely have been granted.

Jonathan Pollard is now into his 17th year of a prison sentence in the U.S. for spying for Israel - a crime that carries an average punishment of 2-4 years. The grassroots efforts to bring about his release continues, as the Committee to Bring Jonathan Home has organized its fourth in a series of special lectures, to be delivered tomorrow night in the Shomron township of Kedumim.

Rabbi Yosef Mendelevitch, who himself sat in Soviet prison for several years for his efforts to immigrate to Israel, will speak on the topic of Redeeming Captives tomorrow night at 7:30 PM. In addition, a selection of videos relating to Jonathan's life will be shown. A free bulletproof bus will be leaving at 6 PM from Jerusalem's Binyanei HaUmah. Call 055-665-037 for bus reservations.

Gideon Ariel of the Committee to Bring Jonathan Home writes, "It may seem strange to continue with the struggle for a single individual at a time of such national agony. In truth, quite the opposite is true. Esther Pollard was exactly on the mark [when she said that] Klal Yisrael's tragedies precisely mirror Jonathan's suffering." She said, "One of the reasons that Israel is experiencing such anguish in so many areas - and I believe this with all my heart - is that successive administrations in Israel have been permitted to abandon individual Jews. The minute the nation allows the government to abandon even one Jew, every Jew is at risk... The Israeli policy of abandonment [has now] gone on to making soldiers in Israel expendable, making entire communities in Israel expendable, making certain cities in Israel expendable..." Other Committee leaders noted that Israel's weak stance on behalf of Pollard is translated by the U.S. government into weakness in other areas as well.