US Congressman asks to speak to House about Pollard
Barney Frank calls on Obama to heed calls for Israeli agent's release; MK Ariel calls for high-level Israeli involvement.
Gil Hoffman - The Jerusalem Post - August 3, 2011
US Congressman Barney Frank asked permission to speak to the US Congress about the case of imprisoned Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard and called on US President Barack Obama to answer the many calls for Pollard's immediate release, Pollard activists said.
Frank said that Pollard has payed a price much higher than anyone else that spied on a friend of the United States and more than many who spied for its enemies, according to a statement by Pollard activists.
MK Uri Ariel wrote to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Tuesday, saying that "The authorities in the United States are hiding information on Pollard's condition and where he is being hospitalized. There's an urgent need for intervention at the highest levels" of the Israeli government.
Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard temporarily left his Butner, North Carolina prison Tuesday morning to undergo a "very urgent" surgical procedure. The operation is intended to correct a myriad of problems he is suffering from, particularly with his kidneys, gall bladder and high blood pressure.
Sources close to Pollard said he has been suffering from pain for quite some time and that his health had been deteriorating.
Pollard's wife Esther, who accompanied Ambassador to the US Michael Oren on a visit to her husband last week, remained in North Carolina to assist her husband ahead of the surgery.
At press time, she had not been given details about the surgery because of prison rules intended for security reasons, and to prevent the presence of reporters at the hospital.
Pollard's wife said she was very worried - especially because the last time her husband was hospitalized a doctor told her that if his treatment had been delayed much longer, it would have been too late.
"He has received 26 years of inadequate medical care, improper diet and too much stress," she said. "If he were home now, he wouldn't be in the life and death situation he's in now."
She called upon the public to pray for her husband, whose Hebrew name is Yehonatan ben Malka. Chief Rabbis Shlomo Amar and Yona Metzger joined her request to the public Tuesday night.
JPost.com staff and Daniel Clinton contributed to this report.
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