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September 20, 2014 / 25 Elul, 5774
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President Peres Meets with Esther Pollard Prior to His US Trip

Jonathan Pollard's wife Esther Pollard (2L)  meets with Israel's President Shimon Peres (C), Ayelet Shaked (2R), and Nahman Shai (R) and at the president residence in Jerusalem on June 22, 2014.

Jonathan Pollard's wife Esther Pollard (2L) meets with Israel's President Shimon Peres (C), Ayelet Shaked (2R), and Nahman Shai (R) and at the president residence in Jerusalem on June 22, 2014.
Photo Credit: Mark Neyman/GPO/Flash90

JERUSALEM – President Shimon Peres met this morning (Jun. 22) with Esther Pollard, wife of incarcerated Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, and the heads of the Knesset Caucus to Free Jonathan Pollard, MK’s Nachman Shai Ayelet Shaked, at the President’s residence in Jerusalem.
The meeting took place a day before Peres is scheduled to depart for his final foreign visit, to the United States, where he will meet with President Obama and deliver a speech at Congress. Esther Pollard, began by thanking President Peres and said, “I am grateful to you, Mr. President, for receiving us so close to your departure to the United States. Jonathan’s health has deteriorated and his situation is serious. I hope that now, after 30 years, your request for his release will be heard.”

Coordinator of the campaign to free Jonathan Pollard, Efi Lahav, said: “We know that you, Mr. President, have made significant efforts during your term in office and now we believe in your ability to persuade the President of the United States. We believe your upcoming visit to the US is the most serious opportunity yet to release Jonathan Pollard.”

President Peres said he would raise the request based upon humanitarian grounds with President Obama and with the senior leadership of the United States, “It is a national responsibility to work to free Pollard, I will speak to the President of the United States on behalf of the people of Israel. I intend to do this during my meetings in Congress and at the White House.”

MK Ayelet Shaked said, “You have done a lot on behalf of the State of Israel and the people of Israel both in Israel and abroad; I believe that only you can use your influence on the American leadership to bring Jonathan home.” MK Nachman Shai added: “There is a national consensus, which crosses party divides in the Knesset, of Jews and Arabs who agree that Jonathan Pollard must be released. I believe that if the President of the United States hears from you that the issue is important to you and to the people of Israel there will be progress.”

NRG reports that U.S. officials said in recent days to staff members of the campaign to free Pollard that after Pollard’s release was previously placed on the table by the US Government within the framework of a political deal tied in with the peace negotiations, it has been proven that there is no real reason to prevent Pollard’s release. They said that currently a political deal is not at hand, so it is now a question of a humanitarian gesture on the part of President Obama.

Israeli citizens recently launched a petition requesting that Peres return for the US with Jonathan pollard. “At this time, when the diplomatic process is not on the agenda, we ask that you become our advocate and that you bring to bear the full weight of your influence in the U.S. so that justice and compassion may prevail and Jonathan will be released without any further delay,” the petition reads. “We believe that there would be nothing more noble and just, than to use this unique opportunity to save a life.”

About the Author: Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.


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5 Responses to “President Peres Meets with Esther Pollard Prior to His US Trip”

  1. Kenneth Schreier says:

    Pollard is a living martyr for the Jewish people. Israel must continue to demand that he be freed with no strings attached but as an act of kindness by one friendly country to another.

  2. Just keep annoying and irritating the U.S. president (as you have done to past presidents) and that will insure that the traitor stays right where he should be. He is not an Israeli who was caught; he's a U.S. citizen who sold out his country to a foreign state. We all know that, and so do you. But your strategy is to annoy and irritate until we get so tired that we let him out. Well, he'll get out–in the prone position. What don't you understand about a life sentence? It's an Israel issue only to the extent that a U.S. citizen was "turned" by Israel which has the unmitigated gall to, then, call for his release. So butt out, Israel!

  3. Kenneth Schreier says:

    His imprisonment is excessive. Israel is a friendly nation and he gave away only satellite surveillances of arab military positions that the US withheld from the Israelis for no reason at all. No great US military secrets were revealed and none that jeopardized US security. Pollard was wrong to receive money for this act. He has served the longest jail time for spying for a friendly nation. Spying goes on all the time between countries but the US wanted to make an example of Pollard the Jew. Casper Weinberger, the anti-semite, was instrumental in having him sentenced to life imprisonment.
    Your post shows lots of hate against a person who is being crucified because he is a Jew!

  4. You have NO KNOWLEDGE as to what he "gave away", to use your own term. And no citizen of ANY COUNTRY has the right, moral-legal-or otherwise-to "give away" his country's classified information to a foreign state. Let's turn it around … I am an Israeli citizen, living in Israel. I have legal access to Top Secret Israeli information. I decide that I want to sell it./give it to the U.S. and I do so. Am I a patriot for the U.S.? Of course not! I should get the full blast of Israeli law.

  5. Kenneth Schreier says:

    Michael Mannion : You also have no knowledge of what was given away. As I stated before all nations spy on each other. Plenty of double agents coming right out of the UN and US based foreign embassies. It's a game and both sides play it.
    Again, his imprisonment is excessive. However, because of the year he was sentenced he is eligible for parole in 2015.
    If Israel was holding vital military information from the United States and an Israeli spy gave it to the US I would have no problem with it. These are supposed to be friendly countries and are obligated to help one another. No big deal.

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