Pollard Wasting Away in Jail; Campaign urges supporters to 'call Obama'

Free Pollard campaign ups the ante: As Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard enters his 27th year behind bars in the United States, the Free Pollard campaign has decided it was time to take new action to bring about his release.

Itamar Eichner - YNET - November 21, 2011

In the past year hopes grew that Pollard might be released, after many Israeli officials from the government, defense and judicial systems turned to US President Barack Obama, pleading he cut down Pollard's sentence and set him free.

According to a Monday report in Yedioth Ahronoth, Obama has been flooded with hundreds of requests in recent months demanding the Israeli spy's pardon - but he has remained silent.

Many people across the globe will be marking the anniversary of Pollard's imprisonment Monday with a new campaign calling supporters to "bombard" the White House with phone calls demanding his release. The campaign has even set up a special phone line in Israel for the cause, which will enable Israeli supporters to call Washington for the cost of a local phone call.

Campaign organizers reported that the "presidential pardoning season" - during which the president usually pardons felons - has begun in the US. The organizers said they were hopeful Pollard might be released this year.

Meanwhile, Pollard's health continues to deteriorate and he was hospitalized four times this past year. He even needed emergency operations after his medical condition proved life-threatening.

Esther Pollard spoke of her husband's medical situation during a conference call with the campaign organizers. She mentioned that Pollard has grown weaker in recent months, sometimes too weak to even sit for an hourly visit.

She added that there have been days that he has not been strong enough to even make it to the telephone and use the precious few minutes he has to speak with his loved ones.

Esther said that both she and her husband know that the next hospitalization is only a matter of time, stressing that no one can promise them Pollard would "make it out alive" the next time.

Aviel Magnezi contributed to this report.

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