MK Shaked to Obama: Bring Pollard with You
In her first speech at the Knesset, MK Ayelet Shaked had a message for
Obama: Bring Jonathan Pollard with you when you come to Israel.
By Elad Benari First Publish: 2/19/2013, 3:13 AM
In her first speech at the Knesset plenum on Monday, MK Ayelet Shaked (Bayit
Yehudi) had a message for President Barack Obama: Bring Jonathan Pollard
with you when you come to Israel.
Pollard is currently serving a life sentence in a U.S. prison on allegations
of spying for Israel.
“At this moment, I want to take advantage of the special occasion and call
on U.S. President Barack Obama: Come to visit the land of Israel. You are
welcome in Israel, but please do not come empty-handed. Bring back Jonathan
Pollard, for he is our brother,” said Shaked.
Earlier on Monday, Jonathan's wife, Esther Pollard, met with Yesh Atid
chairman Yair Lapid.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva after the meeting, Pollard expressed renewed hope in
the battle for the release of her husband, which has received support not
only from Lapid but from tens of thousands of Israelis as well.
As the two met, Jonathan called his wife and got a chance to speak with
Lapid, who later told the members of his party that the conversation “truly
brought tears to my eyes, and I do not mean that figuratively.”
A petition circulating online advocating for Jonathan's release has been
gaining momentum and has already been signed by tens of thousands of
Israelis, including a number of MKs such as Yair Lapid, Eitan Cabel (Labor),
Elazar Stern (Hatnua) and Avishai Braverman (Labor). Former President
Yitzhak Navon has signed the petition as well.
Leftist writers A.B. Yehoshua and David Grossman, Nobel Prize winning
chemists Dan Shechtman and Aaron Ciechanover and the heads of major Israeli
hospitals are also among those who signed the petition to Obama which
states, "After 28 years, the lesson has been learned," and urges Obama to
"come to Israel with the news that this tragedy is behind us."
MK Danny Danon (Likud) hinted on Sunday that President Shimon Peres and
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will ask Obama to pardon Pollard when
Obama visits Israel next month.
Danon told Arutz Sheva that to the best of his knowledge, Obama will hear
"clear statements" on the matter of Pollard from Netanyahu and Peres, when
he visits – and from MK Danon himself.