Sharon Left the Pollard Petition at Home

Arutz7 News - July 31, 2003

Prime Minister Sharon did not submit the Knesset petition requesting the immediate release of Jonathan Pollard to U.S. President George Bush. HaTzofeh reporter Tuli Pikarsh reports that Sharon in fact informed Likud MK Michael Eitan, who initiated the petition, that he had no plans to take it with him to Washington. The petition is signed by 112 MKs, including Mr. Sharon himself, as well as all the MKs of all the Jewish parties.

Knesset Speaker Ruby Rivlin presented the petition yesterday to U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay instead. DeLay said that he would give it to Bush, but emphasized that he would object to granting Pollard a pardon. "He is a convicted spy," he said sternly.

MK Eitan told Arutz-7 this week that no one can understand why the U.S. refuses to release Pollard after such a long term in prison. Pollard is currently nearing the end of this 18th year in jail, after having been convicted of spying for Israel. Americans who were convicted of spying for Russia around the same time received sentences of 2-4 years.

Former U.S. Prosecutor John Loftus recently wrote in Moment magazine that the Americans' extreme treatment of Pollard stems from the fact that he was believed to be responsible for the deaths of American agents in Russia - when in fact it was later learned that it was senior CIA official Aldrich Ames and FBI Special Agent Robert Hanssen who had betrayed the American agents.

Pollard's wife Esther has said that she cannot explain why her husband has not become a major topic in the Israeli school curriculum. [J4JP: the Ministry of Education steadfastly refuses to include Jonathan Pollard in the curriculuum as it has the other Israeli captives and MIAs.] She also decries the fact that the same American-Jewish leaders who opened doors for Avital Sharansky when she sought her husband's release from Soviet prison refuse to do the same now. [J4JP See: An Open Letter to Jewish Leaders. See also:What No One Wants To Talk About.]

Adi Ginsberg, an Israeli activist on behalf of Pollard, told Arutz-7's Ruti Avraham that the fact that Prime Minister Sharon could allow himself not to bring the petition to Bush, thus showing that he is not interested in Pollard's release, "stems from the lack of sufficient public awareness and the lack of a public and media outcry demanding that everything be done to secure Jonathan Pollard's release."

J4JP Adds:

IMRA News commented on the above news story which appeared this afternoon featured on Yediot Achronot's YNET Web Site, as follows:

IMRA's Weekly Commentary on Israel National Radio - July 31, 2003 - Aaron Lerner

#1 Wrong message about Pollard

Yediot Ahronot's website, YNET reported this afternoon that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon did not present President Bush a petition to release Jonathan Pollard even though he himself signed the petition along with another 111 MKs. Sharon decided at the last minute to leave the petition in Israel.

According to diplomatic sources, YNET writes, Sharon did not want to hurt his meeting.

I am speechless. What message is this to Bush about how important - or unimportant - the release of Pollard is to Sharon?