Three Day March for Pollard
Hillel Fendel - Arutz7 News - February 26, 2007
(IsraelNN.com) Israel's youth is increasingly leading the struggle to free Jonathan Pollard - and now, a yeshiva high school class in Tiberias is planning a three-day march to Jerusalem calling for his release.
Rabbi Avichai Golan, the projects director of the ORT Yeshiva High School in Tiberias, explained to Arutz-7 how the idea came about: "Every year, the 11th grade sets out on a long trek - but this year, with Pollard in jail for his 22nd year, the students decided that they want it to be on behalf of Pollard. We'll be starting out on the first day of the month of redemption - Nissan - for there is no reason that Pollard should not be home in time for the holiday of redemption, Passover, which falls in the middle of Nissan. The students feel that in this way, they can wake up the country to demand that our government submit an official request to the US for his release."
Awards and Recognitions
At the same time, it has been announced that the prestigious Jerusalem Conference - to be held at the same time in the Hyatt Hotel in Jerusalem - will award its "Lover of Zion" award to Jonathan Pollard. His wife Esther will receive it on his behalf. The award and the march are just the latest manifestations of the increasing public recognition in Israel of Pollard's contribution to Israeli security and of his plight. They follow the bestowing of an award to Pollard by the Torah and Land Institute at its annual conference last month in Bar Ilan University, honorary citizenships in Bat Yam, Beit El, Gush Katif, Kiryat Arba and other localities, and more.
'From Bondage to Freedom'
The high school march, entitled 'From Bondage to Freedom,' is scheduled to begin around the Petach Tikvah area, and will end 85 kilometers (52 miles) later, at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. The students will stop at various historic sites along the way, such as Latrun, the battlesites of the Maccabim, the route of the caravans during the War for Independence, and more. The preliminary plan is to spend the first night in Kibbutz Shaalvim, and the second in Kibbutz Tzova.
"We hope to attract many other high school students from all around the country to join us on the last day as we make the ascent to Jerusalem," Golan said. "You can imagine what an impact it can have if hundreds of youths waving Pollard banners and wearing Pollard shirts walk along the main Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway to the nation's capital."
However, the plans are still being made on a small-scale - partly because of budgetary constraints. At Arutz-7's request, Golan provided this email address for those who might be interested in contributing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Once in Jerusalem, the students plan to submit a petition signed by thousands of youths calling for freedom for Pollard to the American Consulate on Agron Street.
With the recent statement by former CIA head James Woolsey on Arutz-7 in favor of clemency for Pollard, following years of CIA antipathy towards him, Pollard supporters in Israel feel that many Americans who feared that supporting Pollard implied an anti-American position can now be more open about their true feelings.
In addition, leading Jewish organizations such as Agudath Yisrael and the National Council of Young Israel have called upon their constituents to call the White House (1-202-456-1414) and ask for Pollard's release from prison