Esther Pollard at meeting with Pres. Peres: I implore you to save two lives, Jonathan's and my own!
Justice4JPnews - April 3, 2011
Moments ago, a teary-eyed Esther Pollard emerged from an emotionally charged meeting with President Shimon Peres, who had agreed to an 11th hour meeting with the wife of Israeli agent, Jonathan Pollard, hours before his departure to the US to meet with President Barak Obama.
Esther Pollard spoke with the President about the wealth of support that her husband's release has garnered recently from senior American officials calling upon Obama to release her husband who is serving his 26th year of a life sentence in a US prison. Peres indicated that he was aware of the calls by such senior officials as former CIA Director James Woolsey, former Attorney General Michael Muckasey, former Secretary of State George Schultz, former head of the Senate Intelligence Committee Dennis Deconcini and many others who have all indicated that Pollard's sentence is disproportionate and that his continued incarceration is unjust. She also brought to the President's attention the petitions signed by hundreds of American leaders of all religions; elected officials from both parties; and even a recent petition signed by 100 New York State legislators.
The President listened with great interest and responded at length. There were poignant moments, and even a sudden burst of tears, as Mrs. Pollard appealed to the President to save not only Jonathan's life, but her life as well by seeking his immediate release when he meets with President Obama this week. "We are taught," said Mrs. Pollard, "that he who saves the life of one soul in Israel, it is credited to him as if he had saved an entire world. By saving Jonathan's life and bringing him home now, you will actually be saving two souls -- Jonathan's and mine!"
Owing to the sensitivity of the issue, Mrs. Pollard has declined to detail the rest of her conversation with the President. She did indicate unequivocally that "the meeting was a good one."
In light of Pollard's ill health, she asks the public to please redouble their prayers on his behalf [Yehonatan ben Malka] so that all of the calls for Jonathan's release may be quickly answered to the good.
Among those who have recently issued appeals to President Obama for the release of Jonathan Pollard are: US Former Vice President Dan Quayle, Former CIA Director R. James Woolsey; Former White House Legal Counsel Bernard Nussbaum; Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee; Head of International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein; Former Secretary of State George Shultz; Former Head of Senate Intelligence Committee Dennis Deconcini; Former Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb; Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey; Former Deputy Attorney General Phillip Heymann; Republican Leader Gary Bauer; more than 500 American Religious and Communal Leaders of all denominations; Harvard Law Professor Charles Ogletree; Rabbi Capers C. Funnye Jr; Congressman Barney Frank along with 39 congressional colleagues; Homeland Security and International Security Adviser, former Congressman Lee Hamilton; Dr. Henry A. Kissinger; Senator John McCain; Congressman Michael Grimm; and 100 New York State legislators.
A common theme expressed in these appeals concerns the disproportionate nature of Pollard's sentence. The expert opinions state that while Pollard deserved to be convicted, his sentence is grossly disproportionate to the offense committed and that he has served far more time than others convicted of similar offenses. Those most familiar with the case and with American law have strongly indicted that keeping Pollard in prison any longer is an injustice.
"In light of the upcoming Passover Holiday - the Jewish national holiday of freedom - and bolstered by solid support from senior American officials, hope is growing daily," said Nissan Ganor, head of the Committee to Bring Jonathan Pollard Home "that President Obama will release Pollard to his first taste of freedom in 26 years, to be home in Israel for Seder night."
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