More Pollard Demonstrations: "Sharon, bring Pollard back with you!"
Arutz7 News - April 13, 2004
Supporters of Jonathan Pollard are determined not to let the opportunity of Prime Minister Sharon's visit to the U.S. slip by. Some of them demonstrated last night before Sharon's departure to the U.S., while others made their voices known in Maaleh Adumim, where Sharon was celebrating the post-Passover Mimouna holiday prior to his departure. Their message was the same: "Don't Come Back Without Pollard!" In addition, a major demonstration will be held this afternoon at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv at 5 PM, demanding that Sharon insist on Pollard's release.
Pro-Pollard protestors recalled Sharon's efforts during the Wye Plantation talks of 1998 on behalf of Pollard. It was there that Prime Minister Netanyahu - accompanied by his Foreign Minister, Ariel Sharon - obtained the consent of then-President Clinton to release Pollard; the promise was retracted almost immediately afterwards at the behest of CIA head George Tenet. [
J4JP correction: Tenet was the excuse of the moment, not the reason. Legally the commitment that Clinton made at Wye is still in effect. Israel fulfilled its end of the deal releasing hundreds of terrorists, but has yet to collect on the release of Jonathan Pollard. For the full story, see The Wye Double-Cross Page.]
Sharon's attitude towards Pollard since becoming Prime Minister has stood in blatant contrast to his efforts of six years ago. He has refused a request by former Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu to allow him to make a personal entreaty to U.S. President Bush on Pollard's behalf, and "forgot" to take with him a petition to Bush signed by every non-Arab-party Knesset Member - 112 in all - on one of his previous visits. Of late, Sharon announced outright that he would not visit Pollard and would not bring up the matter of his continued incarceration during his upcoming visit with Bush.
Two prominent Pollard supporters - former Soviet Prisoner of Zion Yosef Mendlevitch and Eli Joseph - interrupted Sharon's speech in Maaleh Adumim last night for several minutes with their demands for Pollard's release. The two were finally arrested, and were asked for identification. When Mendlevitch produced his Prisoner of Zion card, a man assumed to be a plainclothes policeman came over and ripped up the card, saying it was not proper identification. When Mendlevitch and Joseph were released from police custody shortly afterwards, Mendlevitch told the crowd of supporters who came to demand his release, "I am free now because I am in a Jewish state. But Pollard is still sitting in prison, for more than 18 years, on foreign soil, and we must not rest until we achieve his release."