Portrayal of Bush as captive-holder posted on Jerusalem billboards, buses

Israel Insider staff - January 5, 2008

The Committee to Bring Jonathan Pollard Home has launched an ad campaign which will be seen on bus ads and billboards in the city of Jerusalem during the upcoming visit of US President George Bush. The ads show the images of Bush and beside him Ismail Haniya of Hamas and Hassan Nasrallah of Hezbullah. Under each of their photos, the names of captives that each is holding: Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser under Nasrallah; Gilad Shalit under Haniya; and Pollard under George Bush. The slogan: "BUSH, Free YOUR Captive!"

Officials involved in launching the campaign confirmed that Pollard himself took part in setting the content of the campaign from his North Carolina prison cell. "There were meetings to plan the campaign which took place with representatives of the Committee and with Pollard's wife, Esther, and Jonathan himself was involved via telephone from the United States."

Committee member believe this is a chance to raise the issue that can't be allowed to pass in silence. "Unfortunately, even now, after Jonathan Pollard has entered his 23rd year in prison, the leaders of our country are not seriously demanding that Bush put an end to this injustice and disgrace by freeing Pollard at once. His health is poor and he is in mortal danger," is what is written on the home page of the

Hebrew web site

of the Committee, along with an appeal for public support for the campaign.

"The current struggle to free Pollard has to be strong and meaningful not only because of the abandonment of our brother is such a national disgrace, but also because this time it may be the last opportunity to secure Jonathan's release and to bring him home before it is too late," the web site says.

The Committee does not ignore the fact that the campaign is potentially offensive, and abrasive, to the one man who has the power to free Pollard with his signature. But the bold tactic may reflect the fact that after every other approach has failed. successive Israeli and American governments have indicated that the imprisoned agent is being kept in jail primarily for use as a bargaining chip to extract future concessions. Perhaps concerned that the campaign might rub some the wrong way, Pollard's supporters have also created a

backgrounder and press release

that explains the intent of the personal appeal to Bush and his association with the terror leaders.

Dennis Ross, in his book "The Missing Peace", writes that even as far back as 1998 at Wye, Jonathan Pollard should have been freed unconditionally, but was not released for political reasons. Senior American officials who have seen the secret files and the full record of the Pollard Case are all on record that there is nothing in the file to justify the Draconian sentence that Jonathan Pollard is serving, among them US Senator Charles Schumer and Congressman Anthony Weiner. Senator Dennis DeConcini, who was head of the Senate Intelligence Committee during the time that Jonathan was arrested, has been calling for Jonathan's release since 1996. James Woolsey, former head of the CIA, began stating years ago that 20 years is enough and Pollard should be set free.

Be there, or be Square

On Monday, January 7, 2008 at 2:30 PM, Jerusalem City Council members, led by Representative Mina Fenton (NRP), will take part in a renaming ceremony to take place at Kikar Paris (Paris Square) in Jerusalem -- a public square situated midway between the American Consulate and the Prime Minister's Residence -- to rename it "Freedom for Jonathan Pollard Square."

The name change to "Freedom for Jonathan Pollard Square" is in intended to coincide with the arrival of President George Bush in Israel (January 9, 2008) and the start of Pollard's 23rd year in prison. The name change will take effect immediately and remain in effect until Pollard is released and returned to Israel. Members of the Jerusalem City Council, Jonathan Pollard's wife Esther and other public figures will be in attendance.

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