Excerpt: GA Draws Record Numbers to Jerusalem Meeting
Elli Wohlgelernter - The Forward [NY] - November 21, 2003
*See J4JP Comments below.
... Activists in support of convicted American spy Jonathan Pollard leveled a ...charge of negligence [against leaders of American Jewry and PM Sharon.] Hundred of protesters gathered outside the opening ceremony [of the GA] on Sunday night, holding signs that read "Pollard = Dreyfus" and chanting "Free Pollard." Not content with the street demonstration and an earlier prayer service at the Western Wall, a dozen protesters disrupted Prime Minister Sharon's speech from the audience, screaming "Bring Pollard home now" while delegates booed. Inexplicably, security officials allowed the protesters to remain; after sitting quietly for three minutes, they interrupted Sharon's speech a second time before organizers removed them from the hall. Some of the delegates sitting in their section helped out by punching the protesters as they made their way to the door...
Justice4JP notes the irony: delegates of the UJC, in the audience for Sharon's speech, beat the Pollard protesters in their midst mercilessly. Neither the Forward nor any UJC federation-owned newspaper had anything to say about Jews beating Jews.
The most significant error in the report above, that there were "hundreds" of Pollard protesters was repeatedly reproduced in Federation newspapers and in the Jerusalem Post. In point of fact, there were thousands of protesters! Organizers estimate 6,000 to 7,000 people took part in the Pollard demonstration. Even Israeli mainstream media, which deliberately tried to detract from the importance of the rally by minimizing the number of participants, reported that there were 2,000 to 3,000 participants. But no stretch of the imagination can pare down the participation of thousands to mere "hundreds"!
The obvious disdain and indifference towards Jonathan Pollard's plight in UJC Federation-owned and/or Jewish establishment-supported newspapers, is barely concealed in reports like the one above. It is a sad commentary on the state of Jewish affairs in the Diaspora.
Tomorrow, November 21, 2003 marks the completion of Jonathan Pollard's 18th year in prison and the start of year 19 of a life sentence with no end in sight. Jonathan's sentence was unjustly obtained in complete violation of his constitutional rights, and in open violation of a plea agreement which Jonathan honored and the Government abrogated. He has already served many times longer in prison than any other person in the US ever convicted of a similar offence.
Therefore, as long as Jonathan Pollard continues to languish in prison, seekers of justice will indeed be "Not content with the street demonstration and a... prayer service." Pollard activists are devoted to pursuing every legal means available to raise the public profile of the case, to wake up the Jewish nation to take action to correct an injustice that screams to the Heavens for relief. The 18 years of silence and inaction on the part of American Jewry and its affiliated Israeli counterparts represents a grave danger to all of the Jewish People.