The following is the text of a petition on behalf of Jonathan Pollard initiated by MK Gila Finkelstein and signed by the by the woman MKs. The petition was presented to American First Lady Laura Bush by Israeli First Lady Gila Katsav, May 22, 2005, at the Presidents residence in Jerusalem.
Click here to see English text on official Knesset letterhead as presented to Mrs. Bush. (PDF file)
9 Iyar 5765
May 18, 2005
First Lady Mrs. Laura Bush
RE: Release of Jonathan Pollard on Humanitarian Grounds
Dear Mrs. Bush:
At the outset, we welcome you upon your visit to Israel.
We are writing to you regarding an important humanitarian issue. Jonathan Pollard has been serving a sentence in a U.S. prison for almost twenty years now for passing classified information to Israel, information that Jonathan accessed while employed in the Intelligence Service of the U.S. Navy, and which assisted the State of Israel in preventing serious harm to its citizens. There is no doubt that Jonathan's actions contravened U.S. law but the fact that he caused no actual damage to U.S. security and the average penalty for the offense with which he was charged is 2-4 years must be taken into consideration.
Jonathan and his wife were also prohibited from having conjugal visits throughout all the years of his incarceration and they have thereby been prevented from establishing a family with children. Moreover, recently, grave descriptions of the torment that Jonathan has undergone throughout the years of his imprisonment have been published.
The extended imprisonment of Jonathan Pollard greatly troubles the Israeli public, in particular because the punishment imposed upon Jonathan and the conditions of his incarceration are similar to those of individuals who spied for the benefit of a country which is the enemy of the United States; and in all of U.S. legal history there is no precedent for a person who has been convicted of spying on behalf of a country friendly to the U.S. having suffered so long a sentence of imprisonment.
Now, in particular, since Jonathan Pollard has already served an unprecedented sentence, completely out of proportion, of almost twenty years in prison and even U.S. officials, who severely objected in the past to any hearing concerning his release, now admit that the sentence is exaggerated, we turn to you with a request to act on behalf of the immediate release of Jonathan from prison.
You must certainly be aware that recently the Prime Minister of Israel granted an American request to release Palestinian prisoners as a gesture to Abu Mazen and to strengthen his position. We are certain that you also believe that particularly at this time, when Israel is undergoing a period of great tension and fears a split in Israeli society due to the impending disengagement, the time has come to extend a gesture to the people of Israel and to release Jonathan Pollard from prison.
WOMEN MEMBERS OF KNESSET