Israel – Schalit Signs Petition Urging Obama To Release Pollard

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An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man passes a placard showing US President Barak Obama (L) and Jonathan Pollard behind bars with 'Yes You Can' displayed in Jerusalem, 13 March 2013, ahead of the visit to Israeli by the US president next week. EPA/JIM HOLLANDERIsrael – Former kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit became the latest well-known Israeli to sign a petition Monday calling upon US President Barack Obama to commute the life sentence of Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard.

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The petition has been signed by nearly 150,000 Israelis, including Nobel prize winners, dovish authors, and politicians from across the political spectrum.

Schalit urged his Facebook friends to sign the petition.

“Freedom is a great gift and a right,” Schalit wrote. “Thank you to those who worked on my behalf. Now join to save Pollard.”

Officials in the Free Pollard campaign said the message was Schalit’s private initiative. Pollard’s wife Esther told Channel 2 that her husband was encouraged by the petition, and asks her about it frequently.

Content is provided courtesy of the Jerusalem Post


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26 Comments
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10 years ago

At this point, Obama needs all of the domestic political support that he can get. With the 2014 Senate and House elections rapidly approaching, there is no way that Obama is going to get involved in the Pollard matter, which is still highly controversial, nearly thirty years after its occurrence. In any event, Pollard is scheduled for release in two and a half years (November, 2015). Incidentally, if the Government of EY was really serious about getting Pollard released earlier, it should surrender the thousands of highly classified stolen documents, which it has refused to surrender for twenty seven years. Also, it should extradite Pollard’s handler, retired Colonel Aviem Sella, who is under federal indictment for espionage. If those two acts had been performed years ago, Pollard might have been released a long time ago.

bored
bored
10 years ago

I don’t belong to the ‘free pollard cult’ & up till now I have been very disappointed by everything this schalit & his dad have said but somehow this is finally coming together & I like the sound of this.

10 years ago

Obama would be a fool to release Pollard given that most Americans still strongly oppose pardons to convicted traitors who sold our most secret information he swore never to disclose. To this day, Jews are still suspect among the intelligence and defense communities thanks to Pollard and a few others who were convicted of spying for a foreign entity.

Brian
Brian
10 years ago

free pollard now. Shame on the jerks from above. No spy from friendly countries ever gets such stiff sentences.

LiberalismIsADisease
LiberalismIsADisease
10 years ago

Obama is supposed to give a (sterilized NYC) rat’s you know what if he signed it??? Surely you jest!

Norden
Norden
10 years ago

There is a difference between the imprisonments of Gilad Schalit & Jonathan Pollard – differences that any one considering signing the “Free Pollard” petition should and must take into account.

Schalit was recognized as a soldier in the Israel Defense Force operating in uniform. While on a duty in the IDF he was captured by enemy forces and imprisoned for five years against his will.

Meanwhile, Pollard was a civilian, employed and well paid by the US Navy, and swore on the Tanach to protect the secrets of the United States of America. He nevertheless broke that solemn oath and chose to sell the secrets with which his country had entrusted him (& to which he had sworn his allegiance) first to the Russians and then to the South Africans – both of whom were suspicious and saw a possible trap – and then and only then to Israel.

Pollard was and remains a mercenary criminal who endangered the lives of American military personnel with his treacherous acts. He shows no remorse for his actions; in fact, he broke his plea bargain by willingly being interviewed by Wolf Blitzer. He has not applied ONCE for parole.

Let him rot and die in jail. He deserves nothing less.

Aryeh
Aryeh
10 years ago

As if the terrorists that were already freed on his behalf weren’t enough.

qazxc
qazxc
10 years ago

I would gladly sign the petition if he would just make the proper application and express remorse for his actions. Until he does so, these petitions are likely a waste of time.

The length of time he has already served is enough of a deterrent for others who might otherwise be tempted to spy thinking they will get a slap on the wrist if they do so for an ally.

Any classified information he may have is not likely to be of any value today and he could be released to strict house arrest here in the States. No reason to let him travel to Israel to be treated like a hero by people of certain political affiliations.

If nothing else, it would be nice to see an end to the ‘let him rot to death in jail’ comments. Even if he does belong in prison, we need not become heartless and find pleasure in his plight.

10 years ago

To #8 -Peter-I don&#8 217;t appreciate your equating the Rosenberg case with the Pollard matter, as both were totally different. The Rosenberg case involved supplying the Soviet Union with classified secrets, relating to the atomic bomb. To this day, the death sentences (1953, and not 1951), which were given to the Rosenbergs (especially Ethel Rosenberg), are very controversial. Some sixty years later, there is still an ongoing debate as to how much culpability Ethel Rosenberg actually had in that matter. Incidentally, regarding your mention of the electric chair, that barbaric form of execution is no longer in use in the USA (with the exception of a few states which still allow condemned prisoners to choose that method over lethal injection, if they wish). When Ethel Rosenberg was executed, she didn&#8 217;t die immediately, and several additional jolts of electricity had to be used, causing smoke to come out of her head! Also, the despicable NY Daily News had front page headlines, actually showing a large photo of the hooded Rosenbergs strapped into the electric chairs, shortly before their execution. Such barbaric photos would never be permitted today, in any execution chamber in the USA.

Haimov
Haimov
10 years ago

Does anybody know if Sharansky sign the petition????

Raphael_Kaufman
Raphael_Kaufman
10 years ago

The release of the Venona intercepts and further documents from the KGB files proved that the Rosenbergs got what they deserved. As for Pollard, he not only spied for money and recognition, he attempted to recruit other Jews working in sensitive positions of trust. Thank G-d, they’re the ones who turned him in.

Yeah, I think 27 years is enough for his crime. I just wish that the posters above and American Jews in general would finally stop lionizing him and recognize him for the traitorous dirtbag he is.

10 years ago

Don’t people ever get sick of rehashing the same arguments over and over and over again. We all know all the issues and arguments in favor and against a pardon and have heard them time and time again. No one is going to convince anyone to change their mind.

jewish-person
jewish-person
10 years ago

jonathan pollard has expressed his remorse for his actions. his sentencing, for spying for a friendly country, is overly harsh. i read an article once that said something like, every time israelis were able to go into their sealed rooms and put their gas masks on for safety, it was pollard who went with them, because it was he who passed along information to help keep them safe. despite the fact that pollard was paid by israel to pass along information, i truly believe he spied because of his deeply felt ahavas yisroel. jonathan pollard is a jewish hero and he deserves to go home to israel.