Jonathan Pollard is back in prison; wife fears for his life

Justice4JP Release - April 15, 2012

Jonathan Pollard has been transferred from a Federal Hospital back to his prison cell at FCI Butner, North Carolina, He was able to make a two minute phone call to update his wife, Esther. He sounded weak and it seemed hard for him to speak, she reported.

His wife hurriedly gave him the good news that President Shimon Peres had made a personal, official, written appeal to President Obama for his release. "I told Jonathan," she recalled, "that President Peres had said, 'this time we must not fail". Sounding frail, he asked Esther to please thank President Peres and to urge him not to back down.

"I am convinced," she said, "that if President Peres will bring the full weight of his reputation to bear, he will not fail and Jonathan's life will be spared." Pollard asked whether President Obama had responded to President Peres' appeal and no sooner had he received the response from his wife, "Not yet", then the phone went dead, as time had run out.

Esther Pollard expressed great concern about her husband's return to prison in his current condition. "He has been returned to his unit in the prison where he is compelled to work no matter how weak or sick he may feel. He is not receiving much-needed follow-up medical care. It is only a matter of time until the next medical crisis occurs...I fear for his life if he remains in prison.

A number of Jewish Organizations have issued letters to President Obama supporting President Peres' appeal for Pollard's immediate release on humanitarian grounds because of his failing health, and as a matter of simple justice. They include the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, the Reform Jewish Action Council, and the The Simon Wiesenthal Center. The Abe Foxman and the ADL are expected to issue a statement shortly. Senior American officials including Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, Denis DeConcini, and James Woolsey who are familiar with the classified file of the Pollard case are among the dozens of top American officials who have recently called on the American President to release Pollard immediately because his sentence is grossly disproportionate. Keeping him in jail, they say, is a travesty of justice.

President Peres' office rejected news reports that his appeal had been turned down and issued a statement that he is waiting for a personal, official response from President Obama.