Pressure for Pollard

Gil Hoffman and Herb Keinon - Jerusalem Post (Seven Days) - January 8, 2004

Out of the 500 amendments to the Likud constitution requested by Likud activists, most of the focus has been on a proposal by Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) Movement head Moshe Feiglin that would prevent ministers or MKs from running for re-election with the Likud if they vote against a decision of the central committee.

But another interesting amendment suggested by Feiglin has gotten short shrift in the media. The proposal would forbid MKs from visiting the United States until Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard is released from an American prison.

"Knesset members like traveling all over the world," Feiglin said when asked about the amendment. "If we stop them from visiting the United States, MKs would do a lot more than they're doing now to get Pollard released. If this would pass, chances are that they would apply more pressure upstairs."

MK Michael Eitan resigned from the chairmanship of the Knesset caucus for Pollard this week, citing Sharon's lack of effort in pressing for Pollard's release. He complained that on his last trip to Washington, Sharon did not even bother passing along a pro-Pollard petition signed by 112 MKs.

Asked why he didn't instead propose an amendment requiring the prime minister to mention Pollard when he meets with the president of the United States, Feiglin said, "We didn't want to do something that didn't have any teeth to it."