Chief Rabbi Metzger: Condition Release of Terrorists on Release of Pollard
Tooly Fikrash - HaTzofeh - (Hebrew) February 6, 2005 - February 18, 2005 (English)
[Translation by J4JP]
The Chief Rabbi of Israel, HaRav Yona Metzger, called upon Prime Minster Ariel Sharon to demand the release of Jonathan Pollard from the American Government as a quid pro quo or gesture in return for the release of hundreds of Palestinian terrorists.
"After making such enormous gestures towards the Palestinians to stop their barrage of Kassam rockets and terror attacks upon us, why are we not also entitled to a 'modest' gesture for the benefit of the Jewish nation? After all, Pollard is not described in any indictment anywhere as a prisoner with 'blood on his hands'; then why, after he has spent a 1000 Sabbaths in prison and more than 7000 days there, and after experiencing such trauma, and so many health problems, why isn't he deserving of a gesture in the spirit of the law; or as it has been said, of simple justice to free him from prison?" So, wrote Rabbi Metzger in a letter to Prime Minister Sharon.
The Chief Rabbi added that the request (to free Pollard) is a legitimate one, the mitzvah of pidyan shvuyim (the redemption of a captive). "'Et achi, anochee mivakesh, I am seeking my brother.' The time has come and the timing is right to seek his release for his benefit and for ours. As one who protected the security of the State of Israel, it is right that the State should now protect him."
The Chief Rabbi described his visit to Pollard in prison in the U.S. several months ago, which found him in poor health and harsh conditions. "There is no doubt that the time has come to get him out of prison and to bring him up to the land joyfully so that he may build a faithful home in Israel," the Rabbi wrote.