Peres Makes Emergency Plea for Pollard (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gabe Kahn 04/09/12)
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President Shimon Peres on Monday sent an urgent personal request to
US President Barack Obama asking for Jonathan Pollard to be pardoned
on humanitarian grounds.
Peres also met with Esther Pollard on Sunday. According to his
office, Peres listened carefully as she outlined her husband´s
deteriorating condition and implored the President to use all his
influence as quickly as possible to ensure that Pollard – who was
rushed to a hospital last Friday – is not sent back to prison.
She said returning Pollard to prison would "be a death sentence."
Peres reportedly noted in his conversation with Obama that, in view
of Pollard´s poor health coupled with the amount of jail time that he
had served, it would be viewed as "a supreme humanitarian gesture" if
the US President would grant him a pardon.
Monday´s urgent request came as came as MKs Uri Ariel and Ronit
Tirosh delivered Peres a letter from 80 Kneseet members imploring
Obama to release Pollard.
Peres is expected to deliver the letter in person and again request
Pollard´s release in June. He also previously asked Obama to release
Pollard during a March meeting.
During the day, Peres also met with Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar
at his home. Rabbi Amar – despite expressing concern he was not an
expert in American affairs – pledged to do his best to free Pollard.
Peres also visited Rabbi Ovadia Yosef to wish him a happy Passover.
Rabbi Yosef, who urged Peres to exert himself on Pollard´s behalf,
told him, "Pollard´s situation is difficult, mercy be upon on him."
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin on Monday said he believed Israel
should put more pressure on the United States to free Pollard, who he
said had "paid his dues" for his crime.
Pollard, a civilian intelligence analyst for the US Navy, has been
serving a life sentence since 1987 for one count of conspiracy to
deliver national security information to a foreign government.
Pollard told Wolf Blitzer that year that he provided Israel with
satellite photography of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)
headquarters in Tunisia, specific capabilities of Libya´s air
defenses, and "the pick of U.S. intelligence about Arab and Islamic
conventional and unconventional military activity."
Others convicted of the same crime, including those who pass
intelligence data to hostile nations, have been given average
sentences of 7 years or less in prison.
Israel granted Pollard citizenship in 1995, but denies he was an
Israeli agent. In 1998, Israeli officials said Pollard had worked for
an "unauthorized rogue operation."
The disparity of Pollard´s sentence with those of others convicted of
the same crime has turned his lengthy incarceration into an issue for
Jewish and Israeli leaders have been joined by numerous US officials
and lawmakers in calling for Pollard´s release. (IsraelNationalNews ©
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