Monday, December 20, 2010

PM Netanyahu considering public plea to the US for Johnathan Pollard's release

(INN).Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met Monday with Esther Pollard, wife of Jonathan Pollard, and representatives of the lobby for his release, and told them he would continue to act for Pollard's freedom.

The group asked Netanyahu to make a public appeal to U.S. President Barack Obama to pardon and release Pollard, and delivered a letter from the famous prisoner containing a similar request. The prime minister asked for 24 hours to consider the idea. If he comes to the conclusion that a public plea would help free Pollard, he promised, he will make it.

Netanyahu canceled his participation in a conference that was held by the Pollard lobby, opting for a post-conference meeting with the top activists instead. The group included - besides Esther Pollard - former Assistant U.S. Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb, MK Ronit Tirosh (Kadima) and retired Judge Tzvi Tal.

"I took action, in the time of my first term as prime minister, for his release and we indeed were close to this, but unfortunately it did not materialize. As a private citizen, I visited him. Pollard was sent [on his mission] by Israel. I am acting and will continue to work for his release in my present term of office as well."

"I brought this subject up six times over the past few months with the president and the secretary of state and I promise to make an effort for his release in the future as well".

In her address at the conference, Esther Pollard said that the next ten days are the time at which US presidents traditionally sign pardons. She said that time was running out for her husband, whose health is failing.