Police Demand that Demonstrators Dismantle Pollard Jail Cell

Justice4JP Update - July 16, 2004

Israeli news services report that young activists demonstrated this week (July 14, 2004) outside the Ramat Gan home of Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, demanding the government act towards obtaining the release of Jonathan Pollard.

The activists assembled a makeshift prison cell in front of Shalom's home, and one of the activists symbolically representing Pollard, sat in the cell dressed in striped prison garb and chained in handcuffs. Police soon appeared on the scene, threatening to arrest the leaders if the prison cell were not dismantled at once. Adi Ginzburg, spokesperson for Noar L'maan Pollard (the Pollard Youth Movement) noted, "Apparently it is illegal to incarcerate Pollard in Israel. Now if only the U.S. would take note!"

The activists expressed frustration and anger over Shalom's refusal to send Israel's Ambassador to Washington, Danny Ayalon, to visit Pollard in prison. In spite of numerous promises to send the ambassador to see him, both Sharon and Shalom keep ducking actualizing this step which would signal to the U.S. an increased level of concern for the Israel agent, who is now in his 19th year in prison for his activities on behalf of the Jewish State.

The demonstration was initiated by Noar L'maan Pollard and joined by a broad spectrum of youthful activists. Ginzburg who led Noar L'maan Pollard at the demonstration welcomed the participation of Aviv Sella, the head of Noar Yachad. (Yachad is Yossi Beilin's new party.) Sella relayed to Ginzburg that he felt compelled to participate because, "Jonathan's grossly disproportionate sentence is intolerable." Sella said that the way Pollard is being treated is an affront to anyone who cares about justice and human rights.

Ginzburg noted the irony that it was at Foreign Minister Shalom's home in Ramat Gan that Esther Pollard gave a presentation to ministers and their wives in the Netanyahu government nearly a decade ago. The attendees at that meeting were deeply shocked to hear how badly Jonathan had been treated and how very much he still suffers. They promised Esther at that time that they would put their heads together and come up with a plan to secure Jonathan's release without delay, and that they would get back in touch with her. She is still waiting.

Demonstrators addressed Judy Nir Mosesson (Yediot Achronot heiress and Shalom's wife, who was also hostess at the ministers' meeting with Esther Pollard) with shouts of "Judy, you promised Esther!" They chanted slogans and sang songs urging the government to wake up and bring Pollard home. They insisted that Shalom send the Ambassador to visit Jonathan chorusing: "Eem Hashagreer loh yavoh lih Yehonatan, Yehonatan yavoh lih Silvan!" ("If the messenger won't go to Jonathan, Jonathan will come to Silvan!").

Last week (July 6, 2004) using diplomatic channels, Jonathan Pollard sent a detailed message to Silvan Shalom. Among other things Pollard repeated his request to receive a reply to all of the questions he asked the Foreign Minister in his February 8, 2004 letter He also repeated his request that a date be set for a visit from the Ambassador. Pollard sent Shalom a copy of PM Sharon's statement in a March 2004 interview with Bnei Akiva's magazine "Zeraim" in which Sharon stated that he had "instructed the ambassador to visit Pollard." Pollard questioned why no meeting has set in all the time since. Pollard also requested that Shalom secure for him a written apology from the government for the inappropriate and damaging actions of Natan Sharansky. He asked that the Government issue a formal retraction of recent statements by Sharansky to the media. If unretracted, these statements about Pollard could negatively impact his legal case, now before the U.S. Appellate Court. Most important of all, Pollard relayed to FM Shalom yet another detailed plan of action that would quietly but effectively promote his release. There has been no response from Minister Shalom.