Peres: I´ll do ´everything possible´ to free Pollard (JERUSALEM POST) By GIL HOFFMAN 06/06/12)
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President Shimon Peres told a group of bereaved families on Tuesday
that he would do "everything possible" to try to obtain the release
of Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard and enable him to come to Israel.
Pollard has served nearly 27 years of his life sentence for passing
classified information to an ally. The bereaved families joined
efforts to pressure Peres to use the Presidential Medal of Freedom he
will receive from US President Barack Obama at a special ceremony in
Washington next week to bring about Pollard´s freedom.
"Pollard´s release is an important goal of mine after the 27 years he
has served in prison," Peres told the families in an emotional
meeting at Jerusalem´s King David Hotel. "I will do my part as a
messenger for the ultimate humane cause. I will talk [to Obama] man
to man and do everything possible to bring him home."
Peres noted that Pollard was "fighting for his life" and suffering
from multiple ailments. He said he also saw Pollard´s release as a
matter of justice.
The bereaved families told Peres that because they had all lost loved
ones, they saw it as especially important for them to try to save
"We will always live with our tragedy no matter how many years have
passed," said Esther Wachsman, whose son Nachshon was kidnapped and
murdered in 1994. "When Peres gets the medal of freedom it provides
him a platform to speak on behalf of Jonathan´s freedom. My hope and
prayer is that he comes home on a plane with Jonathan. That would be
a dream come true."
The bereaved families included Israelis on the Right and Left who
supported and opposed the October prisoner exchange that brought home
kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit. Wachsman supported the deal, even
though her son´s murderer was released.
Ruhama Raz, whose sister was killed in a 1989 attack on a bus from
Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, expressed confidence that Peres could bring
"We are putting all our hopes in the power our president has and his
image internationally," Raz said. "The medal he will receive should
come together with another achievement."
Peres said he was touched by the effort of the bereaved families. He
promised to relay both their message and their emotions to Obama. (©
1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 06/06/12)
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