Freshly-Widowed Shulamit Peretz: 'Free Jonathan Pollard'
Gil Ronen & Yoni Kempinski - IsraelNationalNews - April 8, 2010
Prefacing Comment by Esther Pollard
Tonight I told Jonathan about Shulamit Peretz's selflessness and her heroic appeal on his behalf. We were both amazed at this woman's moral strength and her Jewish greatness, particularly at such at time. She had the integrity and the moral rectitude to use this window of opportunity to appeal for Jonathan's release now, even as she is threatened with the loss of her home, and still reeling from the loss of her beloved husband, Eliraz z'l. She asked nothing for herself or her children. She asked only that her husband's memory and his ideals be honored by the return of Jonathan Pollard!
Jonathan is deathly ill and he is in terrible pain but he listened carefully to the story. He became very quiet-- which is what he does when he is overwhelmed with emotion. He was so deeply moved that, to his amazement, the pain (which he has been totally immersed in for days) temporarily ceased! Jonathan said he stands in awe of Mrs. Peretz and feels deeply humbled by her heroic action. He sends his heartfelt condolences to her, to their children, and to the extended Peretz family. May HaShem comfort you amongst the mourners of Tzion and Yerushalim! May you be spared further sorrow.
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Shulamit Peretz, the widow of Eliraz, who was killed in action in Gaza 12 days ago, received Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin at her home Thursday and made a heartfelt request - not for herself or her family, but for Jewish hero Jonathan Pollard, who is serving a in the US after being convicted of spying for Israel, its ally.
"One of the values that was very strong with Eliraz is that the wounded are not to be abandoned in the field," she told Rivlin. "I want to point out to you something about this value of not abandoning the wounded," she went on. "The State of Israel has someone who has been left wounded in the field for 25 years [Jonathan Pollard] and our hearts are torn. If he could be brought home, that would be a sort of consolation for us. I would see in that a continuation of Eliraz's path, that despite the fact that Eliraz is no longer with us physically - the things that he wanted to happen and in which he believed will be fulfilled."
Rivlin used the visit to clarify his stand regarding the High Court's insistence that the Peretz home and 11 others, including that of Second Lebanon War hero Major Roi Klein, be demolished.
"When we say 'All the people of Israel are responsible for one another' it's not just between individuals," he explained, in a reference to a Talmudic proverb. "The individual - in your case, your husband - decided that he is a guarantor for the wholeness and existence of the State of Israel, and the existence of the Jewish nation in the land of Israel; and now we have to take care of him."
This story can also be read here.