Pollard Supporters Make World Headlines
Hillel Fendel - 2 Adar 5767, February 20, 2007
(IsraelNN.com) A rally was held outside Prime Minister Olmert's residence in Jerusalem last night (Monday), demanding that the government cease considering the release of Palestinian terrorists, and work for the release of Jonathan Pollard instead.
Three Pollard supporters were arrested when they managed to reach the David's Citadel Hotel floor on which visiting U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice was staying. A group of about ten people - not officially connected with the rally - entered the hotel, and several of them made it past metal detectors towards Rice's room. They managed to call out, "Free Pollard Now!" before being stopped by guards; police later detained three for questioning.
Associated Press, which reported on the incident, stated it was not clear whether Rice was in the room at the time.
Talks Over Terrorist Release
Rice had met earlier in the day in the hotel with Prime Minister Olmert and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, in talks that presumably dealt with the PA demand for the release of hundreds of terrorist prisoners in exchange for kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.
Pollard continues to languish in American prison in North Carolina, well into the 22nd year of a life sentence. He was never indicted for treason or harming the United States, nor of compromising its codes, agents, or war plans, but rather of one count of passing classified information to an ally - Israel. The normal sentence for this offense is 2-4 years, and his life sentence - in direct contrast to his plea bargain arrangement - was called by Appellate Court Justice Steven Williams a "fundamental miscarriage of justice."
Pollard has said he would never want to be a part of prisoner release deal involving terrorists. He wrote in a letter last week, "The State of Israel is absolutely obliged to bring all of her prisoners and captives home - but not by making deals with the devil to spill even more Jewish blood... Israel's dismal record since the signing of the Oslo Accords shows a clear pattern of favoring our enemies by releasing terrorists and murderers, always at the expense of their victims and the victims' families. It is a blot on the honor of the Nation of Israel that the Government is far more concerned about appeasing the Americans (who demand these humiliating prisoner releases) and placating our enemies than it is about discharging its most basic responsibilities to those who serve the State."
Among those in attendance at the protest were Pollard's wife Esther, Moshe Feiglin (chair, Jewish Leadership), Shifra Hoffman (chair, Victims of Arab Terror), Nadia Matar and other Women in Green, Elinora Shifrin, Asher Mivtzari, and leaders of the youth activities on behalf of Pollard.
Hoffman held a sign reading, "Arab Terrorists must not be freed! Free Jonathan Pollard!"
A major call-in campaign is underway, in which supporters of Pollard are asked to call the White House (202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414) every day and ask President Bush to pardon Pollard. The National Council of Young Israel, Agudath Israel of America and other American-Jewish organizations are encouraging the endeavor. The Justice For Jonathan Pollard organization exhorts the public to call in, noting that every call to the White House is registered and tallied by subject matter.
photographs of the Pollard Protest Rally by Jacob Richman and
photos by Jonathan Stein.
All photos of the rally are also in our