Next year in Jerusalem, with you Pollard!
Yogev Attias - YNET - April 1, 2010
See original article.
In honor of the Holiday of Freedom YNET is publishing a series of four letters to those who are still waiting to go out of bondage. The series is kicked off by Yogev Attias, a high school student who writes to Jonathan Pollard: "Even though we are only teenagers, we care about a man who is suffering because all he wanted to do was to help the State of Israel, and in return the State abandoned him."
Shalom to you, Jonathan, our brother!
You don't know me, but I feel as if I know you. My name is Yogev, and I am a senior at Amit High School in Hazor HaGlilit.
In the name of all of Am Yisrael, my friends and I are ashamed for having abandoned you. At the Seder table, we all say, "In every generation, each man must see himself as if he personally went out from Egypt. We left Egypt. But you have not yet left your Egypt.
For now, a quarter of a century, you have been locked up in a horrible prison in a country that is supposedly Israel's best friend.
What's it to me and my friends, you might ask, when you're hundreds of miles away in an American prison. The answer is: It is OUR business. True, we have many activities - exams, youth groups and teenage life. But my friends and I invest a lot of time thinking of you and hoping for your release.
When I was born, you had already been in prison for over 6 years, for harming no one, for trying to save the People of Israel. When I was growing up, you were sitting in an isolation cell, cut off from family and friends, and from the entire world. And for who? For me. Your only crime was wanting to protect me, my homeland and yours, the State of Israel, on whose behalf you acted, and which has cravenly turned its back on you.
You might think sometimes that you have been forgotten, left behind - but that is not true, Jonathan. I want you to know that my school holds functions for you, and that many good people volunteer all over the country, trying to do anything they can for you. Even though we are only teenagers, we care! We care deeply about a man who is suffering because all he wanted to do was to help the State of Israel, and in return the State abandoned him.
We put up information stands and gather the signatures of citizens calling upon the prime minister to act without intensively to end this painful ordeal. It is important that you know how many people in this country want to see you free.
When president Shimon Peres visited Hazor last month, we handed him a petition signed by the entire student body, calling for your release and redemption. The President took the petition and promised that the efforts being made for your release will not stop until success is attained. We do want to believe him but we will not let up on our demands, until we see you free with our very own eyes.
Before Pesach, the holiday of freedom, we went on a "Liberty" march, which has become a tradition in our school. We marched from Hazor to Gamla, the city of resistance, in the heights of the Golan, through sites where battle and bravery throughout Israel's history are commemorated, in demand of your release. As in past years, we walked many miles embedded in history, with the hope in our hearts each step of the way, that you will be granted the freedom which you so richly deserve.
Wounded in the battlefield
Not long from now, my friends and I will be graduating from high school and joining the army. We all want to contribute to the country we grew up in, the country that is out home and the home of the entire Jewish people. But every now and then, a question rises in our hearts: How can it be that the country that we love so much, for which we are willing to sacrifice so much, has turned its back on one of its soldiers? We keep hearing that it is forbidden it is to leave the wounded out on the battlefield - and that is exactly what we feel was done to you.
On this holiday, I wonder how the people who sent you out on your mission sit at their Seder table - these people were the Prime Minister and Minster of Defense at the time - these people knew about you but did not care about you a moment later - these people who made you into a public sacrifice. What goes through their minds as they drink four glasses of wine while you are sitting in a dark cell, alone, abandoned?
We pray that the holiday of liberty shall bring your freedom as well. Until then - we will keep explaining, gathering signatures, marching and demanding - until we can greet you, "Welcome home, Jonathan!" and celebrate with you, G-d willing, "Next year in Jerusalem."
Be strong and brave,
Chairman of the student council - Amit school, Hazor.
See also: Hebrew version.