9,000 Days of Pain and Counting

Dovid Cahan - Hamodia - July 13, 2010

YERUSHALAYIM - A three-day rally in Yerushalayim, marking

9,000 days

from the day convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard began his prison term in the United States, got underway yesterday with speeches and youth tours under the picturesque Gesher Hameitarim, the "Bridge of Strings."

According to a Justice for Jonathan Pollard press release, thousands of people from around the country visited the tent, set up in the Gesher Hameitarim Plaza, to demonstrate to authorities in the United States and Israel they had not forgotten about Pollard's plight.

Supporters are particularly disappointed that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu did not bring up the subject of Pollard during his meetings last week with U.S. officials including President Obama.

According to a communique delivered to his cabinet about his trip to the U.S., Netanyahu neglected to mention Pollard in his meetings, although he reiterated two weeks ago that Pollard was an agent recruited by Israeli intelligence.

Making the demonstration even more remarkable, according to organizers, was yesterday's record-breaking heat in Yerushalayim.

Esther Pollard, Jonathan's wife and principal advocate, spoke several times yesterday, in Hebrew and in English.

Harav Shmuel Eliyahu, son of the late Harav Mordechai Eliyahu, zt"l, who was Pollard's rabbi and whom he looked up to as a father, was also at the rally.

To mark 9,000 days of captivity, organizers want to send to Pollard 9,000 pictures of supporters and 9,000 signatures calling for his release by Wednesday, the end of the three-day rally.

Busloads are expected today from the Golan, from the south and from Sderot, as youth groups come to Yerushalayim to show their support.