Chief rabbis call on Obama to release Pollard

Esther Pollard meets with Amar and Metzger; says she finally informed ill husband of Netanyahu's decision to plea for his release.

JPost Staff - The Jerusalem Post - December 23, 2010

Esther Pollard met with Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar on Thursday and the two prayed for her husband, Jonathan, the Israeli agent imprisoned in the US for the last 25 years, Israel Radio reported.

Pollard said that she informed her husband of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's decision to formally request from US President Barack Obama to release Jonathan on Thursday, and that he responded, saying it was a positive move. Jonathan Pollard had previously undergone surgery and could not receive the news of Netanyahu's Tuesday decision, according to Esther.

Amar called on Obama to "open his heart" and grant Pollard a pardon from his life sentence.

The Chief rabbi added that Obama, his family and the entire United States would be blessed if the US president chose to release Pollard. Amar also called on Jews around the world to pray for Pollard's release.

Earlier on Thursday Pollard met with Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger, who informed her of his intentions to write a letter to US President Barack Obama calling for Jonathan's release.

Metzger called on the community to flood the White House with such letters, requesting the Israeli agent's release.

Netanyahu will issue a public, formal and official call in upcoming days for Obama to release the Israeli agent , the Prime Minister's Office announced in a press release Tuesday.

"I intend to continue to act with determination to free Pollard, both because of the ethical obligation Israel has toward him and because Jonathan should have the right to live with his family and rehabilitate his health after so many years in jail," Netanyahu said in the press release.

Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.

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