Lapid talking to Pollard on the phone 370.
(photo credit: Courtesy Justice for Jonathan Pollard)
Imprisoned Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard made Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid cry in
an impromptu telephone conversation on Monday afternoon.
Esther, came to the Knesset to visit Lapid to ask him for his help in persuading
US President Barack Obama to commute the life sentence of her husband, who has
been in US federal prison for more than 27 years. While she was there, Jonathan
coincidentally called his wife, and she handed the phone to Lapid.
touched that you care so much about Israel even after so many years suffering in
prison,” Lapid told Pollard on the phone. “I want you to know that you have a
strong advocate in me. I intend to work like crazy for your release starting
now. I will enlist my entire faction and use whatever power I have. I will not
Lapid recounted his conversations with the Pollards to MKs
and reporters at the start of his faction meeting at the Knesset.
in tears,” Lapid said. “He is in poor shape. He is desperate and
We will do everything we can to help him.”
Lapid spoke passionately about her husband during their meeting.
stressed that the timing of the call was coincidental and could not have been
prearranged due to the restrictions on her husband’s telephone usage in
“I was impressed by how touched he was by the call,” she said.
“He was quite shaken by speaking to him.”
Likud MK Danny Danon met with
Jewish leaders at the Knesset on Monday and urged them to do everything possible
to bring about Pollard’s release.
More than 37,000 people have signed a
petition asking Obama to release Pollard ahead of his visit next month, since
the petition was published February 6.
“We appeal to you as one who
symbolizes the shared values of humanity, compassion and hope for a second
chance, that both of our nations embrace,” the petition states. “We implore you
to commute Jonathan Pollard’s sentence to time served without delay and allow
him to live out his remaining days as a free man.
“It is our fervent hope
and prayer that your upcoming trip to Israel will bring us the good news we have
waited for, for so very long, and that this tragic and painful episode can
finally be put to rest once and for all.”