Esther and Jonathan Pollard 311.
(photo credit: Reuters)
The Knesset will discuss imprisoned Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard on Wednesday,
ahead of US President Barack Obama’s visit later this month.
Knesset Speaker Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor) agreed to a request from MK Yoni
Chetboun (Bayit Yehudi) to hold an official plenary
“Pollard’s release is not a political issue or a concern of a
specific segment of society,” Chetboun explained. “It is a national consensus
that crosses [political] camps.”
The Bayit Yehudi MK called for his
fellow lawmakers on the Right and Left to take part in the
“It is our moral responsibility as members of Knesset to act
in order to bring Pollard’s immediate release and an end to this cruel saga,” he
Former assistant US secretary of defense Lawrence Korb, who was
defense secretary Caspar Weinberger’s deputy at the time of Pollard’s arrest in
1985 and has been active in calling for Pollard’s release, will also attend the
Labor MK Nachman Shai wrote a letter to Ben-Eliezer last
week, saying the Knesset must put Pollard on its agenda and express a wide
consensus in favor of his release.
“We need a broad, intensive public
effort to free Pollard,” Shai wrote. “It is our duty as MKs to give a platform
to the major efforts in Israel and abroad to free him soon.”
Shai also asked Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar to instruct schools to dedicate
an hour to discussing Pollard in the context of Obama’s upcoming visit and
“[Pollard’s] continued incarceration raises
questions about the American justice system,” Shai said.
“The State of
Israel should stand by Pollard’s side and demand his release from President