Pollard Conscious After Surgery

Zalman Ahnsaf - Hamodia - August 4, 2011

YERUSHALAYIM - Jonathan Pollard was "conscious and aware" on Wednesday after undergoing emergency surgery..

"He is in a lot of pain as a result of the operation but the pain is expected to subside as he heals," his wife Esther said. "I am hopeful that I will be able to speak with Jonathan in the coming hours."

"Since the news of Jonathan's operation broke yesterday, we have been overwhelmed with an outpouring of support and concern from the Israeli people and from the Israeli media for which we are deeply grateful," she added.

Pollard was taken from a Butner, North Carolina prison on Tuesday morning for an urgent operation to correct problems with his kidneys and gall bladder.

Mrs. Pollard made an impassioned plea for her husband's release, saying "While I am deeply relieved that Jonathan came through the operation and is now recovering, this is not a solution, just a temporary fix. He needs to come home now where he can receive the care and treatment he desperately needs."

"After 26 years in prison without proper nutrition or medical care, he is in a very weak and compromised state physically. Time is running out..."

Readers are urged to daven for his refuah shleimah, Pollard's Hebrew name is Yehonatan ben Malka.

In an unprecedented move, US Congressman Barney Frank addressed the US Congress about Pollard's case.

Speaking from the floor of the House of Representatives, Frank urged that President Obama to release Jonathan Pollard.

"We are saying that in addition to the personal argument, it would be a sign of U.S. - Israeli relations that I think would help strengthen the climate for peace," he added.

Rep. Frank drafted a letter last October, which was signed by 39 other Democrats in the House, appealing to President Obama to grant Pollard clemency. However, there continues to be only silence from the White House concerning the fate of Jonathan Pollard.

In Israel, MK Uri Ariel wrote to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Tuesday, accusing U.S. authorities of "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, he said.