MKs hold model Seder with seat set aside for jailed spy Jonathan Pollard

The Knesset’s pro-Pollard caucus held Seder to encourage the US to free Pollard in time for Passover.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
April 9, 2014 04:34
1 minute read.
Pollard

Pollard model Seder, Knesset 2014. . (photo credit: FLASH 90)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Why was this meal at the Knesset different from other meals? There were 10 MKs, matza, grape juice and bitter herbs. And an empty seat for Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard.

The Knesset’s pro-Pollard caucus held the model Seder to encourage the US to free Pollard in time for Passover and Israelis to set an empty seat at their Seders for Pollard if he is not released.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


“When US President Barack Obama came to Israel, I told him three words: ‘Free Jonathan Pollard,’” Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi) said at the event. “It is inhumane, unfit, and unacceptable that [the Americans] are holding him as a bargaining chip.”

Coming hours before US Secretary of State John Kerry appeared to blame Ariel for the failure of the American-brokered diplomatic negotiations, the MKs made a point of singing “Vehi she’amda,” the song from the Seder about how God saves the Jewish people from annihilation in every generation. They also sang “This year in Jerusalem.”

Ethiopian-born MK Pnina Tamanu-Shata (Yesh Atid) expressed disappointment with Obama. She attempted to compare Pollard to Jewish slaves in Egypt and blacks who were slaves in the US and discriminated against in Apartheid South Africa.

“As an admirer of [late South African leader] Nelson Mandela, Obama should understand the importance of freedom,” she said.

Likud MK Tzachi Hanegbi recalled how his mother, former MK Geula Cohen, formed the first pro-Pollard caucus in the Knesset before she left the parliament in 1992. He said that all the MKs were praying that “a tragedy” would end.



The caucus’s co-chairman, Labor MK Nachman Shai, noted that 106 MKs had signed a letter to Obama asking for Pollard’s freedom. He expressed hope that the United States would still release him before Passover.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, who was jailed in Soviet Russia, recalled visiting Pollard in prison twice. He expressed optimism that Pollard would be allowed to come to Jerusalem soon.

American-born Yesh Atid MK Dov Lipman said that only when Pollard was free could Americans truly say, as they do in their Pledge of Allegiance, that there is liberty and justice for all.

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN