Israeli President Shimon Peres met with the wife of Jonathan Pollard, who asked Peres to request her husband’s release “before it is too late.” Along with her came MK Uri Ariel (National Union) who delivered a petition for Pollard’s release, signed by more than 80 Knesset members.
Esther Pollard met with Peres in Jerusalem on Sunday, two days after her husband reportedly was rushed to the hospital suffering from an unspecified emergency condition.
An official there told JTA on April 6 that Pollard, 57, was returned to Butner Federal Correctional Complex, the prison complex in North Carolina where he is serving a life sentence for spying for Israel.
However, Pollard’s representatives later told JTA that prison officials are authorized, for security reasons, to inform media only that Pollard is a convict at the prison and to offer no further information. Pollard’s representatives say he is at the Federal Hospital, about four miles from his prison, is on IV and not able to eat. He is conscious and alert.
Peres reportedly told Esther Pollard that he may file an official request later Sunday with President Obama to pardon her husband. Obama announced last month that he would award Peres with the presidential Medal of Freedom in June; a petition signed by more than 10,000 Israelis has called on Peres to link the awarding of the medal to clemency for Pollard. Former captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit signed the petition last week.
“I appeal to you as the wife of Jonathan Pollard who doesn’t want to become his widow,” Esther Pollard reportedly told Peres on Sunday.
Pollard, who has been imprisoned since 1986, reportedly has suffered from a variety of illnesses.
Peres reportedly discussed Pollard earlier Sunday during a meeting with Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar. The Israeli president reportedly promised Amar that he would work to secure Pollard’s release.