Vineyard Planted in Honor of Pollard:
Karem Yehonatan Pollard

Justice4JP Release - January 8, 2006


to see photos of the planting of Jonathan Pollard's Vineyard.

Esther Pollard joined "Neemanei Erets Israel" and "Youth for Erets Israel" on Friday (January 6th) in the planting of Jonathan Pollard's Vineyard (Karem Yehonatan Pollard) in Beerot Yehonatan, a new settlement outpost, named in honor of Jonathan Pollard.

Some background:

The new outpost is located just west of Efrat, at Biyaar Beerot. It was founded by "Neemanei Erets Israel" and "Youth for Erets Israel" organizations, with the blessing of the mayor of Efrat, Mr. Eli Mizrachi. The site was chosen so as to thwart on-going Arab attempts to seize state lands in the center of Gush Etzion.

An article in Makor Rishon news paper of Shabbat Chanukah explains:
"The settlement blocs including Gush Etzion, are in mortal danger. The last months, the Palestinians have been working night and day to create facts on the ground and interrupt the continuity of Jewish settlement, before work on the "security" fence is concluded. The State of Israel is ignoring these land grabs.

As the council head of Gush Etzion Shaul Goldstein said, quoted in that same article: "What is happening in the Gush in the last months points to a serious governmental failure of Israel in all that relates to enforcing ownership of state land. If not for the various outposts throughout Gush Etzion, we would be losing much more land. Only our presence in those outposts succeeds partially in blocking the Arabs' efforts."

Throughout Chanukah there was a constant presence at the Beerot Yehonatan outpost, day and night. On site lectures were given by Rabbi Dov Lior, Rabbi Moshe Levinger, Rabbi Uzi Sharfbaf, Rabbi Shimon Golan, and Rabbi Shlomo Kimchi (who also set up the eiruv for shabbat together with rabbi Bar-Nitzan.} On Shabbat of Chanukah, over 200 Efrat residents came to Beerot Yehonatan for seuda shlishit at the outpost.

Immediately after Chanukah, acting in stealth during the night, the IDF destroyed the structures at Beerot Yehonatan. In response, "Neemanei Erets Israel" and "Youth for Erets Israel hired a tractor to prepare the land, and immediately undertook to plant a vineyard there. Esther Pollard, Jonathan Pollard's wife, joined them in their endeavor.

Upon arrival at the site on Friday, Esther and participants (which included Nadia Matar and Eleonora Shiffrin) were greeted by a large contingent of policemen and soldiers who had been dispatched to prevent the planting. Their presence delayed the planting ceremony, but did not prevent it. Esther Pollard planted the first sapling with her own hands. (See photos.)

Rings of stone were set up around the precious new saplings, and a large stone was inscribed in Hebrew and in English dedicating the site to Karem Yehonatan Pollard (Jonathan Pollard's Vineyard.) The women joined hands and danced around Esther's sapling, singing "Am Yisrael Chai!"

Jonathan Pollard called Esther on site at the conclusion of the planting ceremony. He congratulated the participants and expressed his pride and satisfaction over the planting of Karem Yehonatan Pollard. Pollard now has both a forest and a vineyard in Israel named after him. In 2004 The Jonathan Pollard Freedom forest was planted in his honor in southern Israel at Tu BiShvat.

Pollard told the crowd (via his wife) that redemption begins with an idea. The idea is relayed through people, and people express it by acting upon the Land. The Land responds and acts upon the Nation, and this is how the redemption of a Nation begins.

B"H Esther and Jonathan Pollard plan to return to Beerot Yehonatan together to see the progress of their vineyard as soon as Jonathan is released.


to see photos of the planting of Jonathan Pollard's Vineyard
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