Update: Jonathan Pollard Collapses in Prison, Hospitalized
Hamodia Staff - Hamodia [Print Edition, NY] - December 3, 2012
YERUSHALAYIM - Jonathan Pollard was reported hospitalized over the weekend after collapsing in his prison cell, though details of his condition were not immediately available.
Mrs. Esther Pollard, who was notified that her husband had been rushed to a North Carolina hospital on Friday, asked the public to daven for her husband's recovery.
"He is still hospitalized. We are awaiting further reports and praying very hard," said a spokesman for the Yerushalayim-based Committee to Bring Pollard Home.
Pollard, 58, has reportedly been experiencing pain for several weeks, but it was unclear whether that connected with his hospitalization on Friday.
Pollard's plight was mentioned by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday:
"Over the weekend, we heard reports that Jonathan Pollard has taken ill. On behalf of the entire Cabinet, I would like to send from here our wishes for his rapid recovery. We will continue to act however we can in order to bring Jonathan Pollard back home," Netanyahu said.
Pollard, who marked the 27th anniversary of his arrest for spying on behalf of Israel two weeks ago, was last hospitalized in April in what was described at the time as a life-threatening situation.
He suffers from list of ailments including: diabetes, gall bladder and kidney problems, and Meniere's disease, which causes him to lose consciousness and fall without warning.
President Shimon Peres and Pollard have issued formal clemency requests to U.S. President Barack Obama, but he has never responded.
Many former senior U.S. officials, including former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State George Shultz, and former CIA Chief James Woolsey, have given their support for Pollard's release, citing both humanitarian grounds and the disproportionate punishment for the crime which he committed and for which he has expressed remorse.
U.S. presidents usually grant pardons and commute sentences during the American holiday season that began with Thanksgiving on November 22.
The Committee to Bring Pollard Home has asked everyone to "redouble your prayers for the speedy release and return to full health of Yehonatan HaLevy ben Malka. Plead for the Almighty to send Pollard home for the Holiday of Light, Chanukah."