Pollard: A Model For Students
Arutz7 News - December 2, 2003
As Jonathan Pollard starts his 19th year in prison, the Tekumah Party issues a call upon all of Israel's 500 religious-Zionist schools to dedicate a special class-hour to the issue.
In commemoration of the start of Jonathan Pollard's 19th year in prison, Nachi Eyal, General Secretary of the National Union's Tekumah Party, has called upon all of Israel's 500 religious-Zionist schools to dedicate a special class-hour to the issue. "Pollard's trait of self-sacrifice is something that we must try to instill in our students," Eyal said.
"As Israelis and as Jews," said Eyal, "we have a deep obligation to ensure his freedom and health. As Israelis - because he endangered his life and freedom to obtain crucial information about the chemical and biological weapons of our Arab neighbors. And as Jews - because of the mutual responsibility we have for one another, as well as the Torah's commandment of redeeming captives."
MK Sha'ul Yahalom (NRP), speaking in the Knesset last week, called on the government to "desist from its dishonorable behavior and to take all necessary political steps on behalf of Pollard." Addressing himself to Prime Minister Sharon, Yahalom said, "We have recently seen how much you and your government were willing to do on behalf of another Israeli citizen [Elchanan Tenenbaum] who was not even in the service of the State or on an official mission. Now, please turn your attention to and direct the efforts of all branches of your government to rescue an Israeli agent who served the State with devotion." Yahalom said that according the 3rd Geneva Convention, clause 4 subsection 2b, Pollard can be defined as a Prisoner of War held in a non-hostile country, and that he thus deserves rights above and beyond those of a common criminal, including the right to be returned to Israel in accord with the conditions of the Convention.
One of Pollard's two U.S. lawyers, Eliot Lauer, said this weekend that he plans to ask President Bush to grant Pollard clemency and commute the sentence to time served. He said, however, that he wants full access to the sentencing file before making that appeal - and asked concerned citizens to write to U.S. Attorney-General John Ashcroft and their congressional representatives to persuade them to allow Pollard's counsel access to the file.
J4JP notes that the fight to secure access to the secret portions of Jonathan's sentencing file has already gone on for 3 years and given the intransigence of the American Government on the issue, it may last many more years. Under these circumstances, no one should hold their breath waiting for Jonathan's attorneys to file a petition for Presidential clemency any time soon.
Jonathan Pollard has already served 18 years of a grossly disproportionate life sentence. G-d forbid that he should be left to languish in prison even a moment longer! Enough is enough! It is time for Israel to step up to the plate to bring Jonathan home in accord with the commitment that was made by the US at the Wye Summit in 1998 to release him. This commitment was made between two nations, and is still viable. Israel has lived up to her end of the deal. It is time for Israel to insist that America to live up to its end of the bargain and send Jonathan home NOW!