MKs Petition for Compassionate Leave for Pollard to be sent to Biden

Knesset members send letter to US Vice President Biden requesting "compassionate leave" for Pollard to go home to visit his ailing father.

Gil Hoffman - The Jerusalem Post - June 16, 2011

A petition signed by 75 MKs from 12 Knesset factions will be sent next week to Vice President Joe Biden asking him to take action to enable Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard to leave prison for a day to visit his father Morris on his deathbed in Indiana.

Morris Pollard was hospitalized at Memorial Hospital and Health System in South Bend, Indiana, last weekend suffering from the impact of a severe bladder infection. Since then, his condition has deteriorated, and he is said to be comatose and no longer being treated.

"I request your assistance in a humanitarian effort to secure Pollard's temporary release in order to allow him to be with his elderly father," the MKs said in the letter. "This could well be the last opportunity for father and son to see each other."

Kadima MK Nachman Shai said all the MKs signed without hesitation and more would have signed were it not for the tradition that ministers don't sign petitions. He said Biden was chosen as the destination for the letter, because he serves as president of the Senate.

American Jewish leaders have been lobbying for Pollard to be granted what is called "compassionate leave" for 24 hours to allow Pollard to see his father before he dies. Pollard spoke to him on the phone before he became comatose.

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