Esther Pollard asks to meet PM before he goes to DC
Multiple Likud MKs call on Netanyahu to make a plea for jailed Israeli agent at his upcoming meeting with US President Obama.
Gil Hoffman - The Jerusalem Post - May 16, 2011
Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard's wife Esther has requested an urgent meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu before he leaves to Washington on Thursday.
Pollard, who submitted her request more than a week ago, said she had an important personal message for Netanyahu from her husband and an urgent update that he must receive ahead of his meeting with US President Barack Obama on Friday.
Netanyahu has been under pressure to raise Pollard's fate in his meeting with Obama and in his May 24 speech to Congress. Multiple Likud MKs called on Netanyahu to make a plea for Pollard at a meeting on Monday at the Knesset.
Officials in the Prime Minister's Office said they were not aware if a meeting with Esther Pollard could be set before he leaves. Pollard responded that the meeting could be brief and that she was confident it would take place.
Esther Pollard last met with Netanyahu in December and persuaded him to formally request that Obama commute her husband's sentence to the more than 25 years he has already served. She also met with President Shimon Peres before he went to Washington to meet with Obama at the White House on April 5.
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni (Kadima) met with Esther Pollard on Monday and told her that Israel is doing everything within its power to free Jonathan Pollard. Livni said there is absolute unity within Israel around the issue of his release.
Livni said she would bring up the issue during meetings with American officials in the US next week and that she would speak and write on Pollard's behalf in both Hebrew and English so it would be unequivocally clear that Pollard's release enjoys the support of all Israelis without exception.
"We remember too well how the gates of the Washington Embassy were slammed in Jonathan Pollard's face, and from that time, our hearts have been torn apart," Livni told Pollard. "All of Israel is united in the hopeful expectation of the release of a man who acted on behalf of the security of the State of Israel and who has paid an unbearably heavy price for it."
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