PM to request US let Pollard out of jail to see ailing dad [with audio file]

Gil Hoffman - The Jerusalem Post - June 12, 2011

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu instructed his advisers on Sunday to issue a formal request to the United States on his behalf for Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard to be granted 24 hours of "compassionate leave" from prison to visit his father, Morris, on his deathbed.

Morris Pollard, 95, is hospitalized at Memorial Hospital and Health System in South Bend, Indiana.

Jewish organizations in the US said on Sunday that they were waiting for a formal request from Netanyahu before beginning a massive lobbying effort to pressure American officials.

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J4JP Adds:

Two days have passed. Today is June 14th and still no request has been made to the American government by the PM or the PMO to grant Jonathan Pollard compassionate leave to be with his father in his last hours. Today on Galei Tzhal (IDF Radio) on the Razi Barkai show, journalist Ilil Shachar reports on the unacceptable delay in making this request, especially after it was publicly promised. Shachar indicates that Ron Dermer, a top aide to Netanyahu, that the PMO is trying to figure out who to make the request to. She says that close associates of the PM say that after the last fashla in Washington between the PM and Obama, perhaps Obama is the best person for Netanyahu to address at this time. So they are considering approaching the Department of justice, or the State Department or maybe just asking the Warden of FCI Butner, or maybe who knows. In the meantime, the PMO suggests that it would be better that if President Peres makes the request; and President Peres' says that it is better if Netanyahu does it, and the hot potato is being passed back and forth between the two offices --and the clock is ticking. Following the report by Ilil Shachar, Razi then interviews Minister Yuli Edelstein, who immediate proposes a solution: let both the PM and the President both make official requests to President Obama! That way, says Edelstein it would be very difficult to refuse such a compelling humanitarian request.

For those who understand Hebrew, we recommend listening to the item on Galei Tzahal by Ilil Shachar and Razi Barkai.

Click here to listen.