YNET: Pollard's wife sees golden opportunity to secure his release

Esther Pollard sends emotional letter to PM Olmert, urges him to bring up her husband's release in upcoming meeting with President Bush; after

more than 20 years in prison

, time is right to free Jonathan, she says

Sharon Roffe-Ofir - YNET - November 22, 2008

The end of George W. Bush's term in office marks a golden opportunity for the release of Jonathan Pollard, imprisoned in the US for more than 20 years now, his wife Esther wrote in an emotional plea to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Saturday evening.

"You have a golden opportunity to act resolutely in order to return my husband home - alive!" wrote Pollard's wife in her letter to Olmert, just before the PM heads to Washington.

Today, more than ever, the release of her husband could mark the "crowning glory" of both Olmert's and Bush's term in office, she wrote.

Pollard is serving his 24th year in an American prison but his wife, who has been tirelessly fighting to secure his release, believes that Olmert's upcoming farewell visit to the US is a unique opportunity that could see her husband freed from his long incarceration.

"Senior American officials who in the past objected to his release now say that the more than 20 years he spent in prison are more than enough, while others believe Jonathan is a victim of injustice," Esther Pollard wrote. "I know that Mr. Bush is willing to release Jonathan, but no official request to that effect has been made by the State of Israel."

"Washington is waiting to hear that the State of Israel is finally willing to take responsibility for her agent," Esther Pollard said.

"Jonathan has been languishing in an American prison for 24 years now for his service on behalf of the State of Israel. I'm certain that if you ask Mr. Bush to release him now, he will respond positively to the request."

This week, Americans will be celebrating Thanksgiving, which is traditionally the time for granting pardons. Esther Pollard is hoping that this year her husband's name will be on the list of those who are released.

"I would like to express my support to Mr. Olmert," she said. "This is a golden opportunity, and the timing is just right - I wish him success in taking advantage of it."

Pollard's wife added that the entire Israeli public supports the struggle for the release of her husband.

"Jonathan is suffering terribly, both physically and emotionally, after so many years of incarceration under very difficult conditions," she wrote. "You have no idea, Mr. Prime Minister, of the kind of appreciation and admiration you will receive from all sectors of the Israeli public when you return from your meeting with President Bush and step off the plane with Jonathan."