Jonathan Pollard vigil 521.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
United States Secretary of State John Kerry passed a crowd of some 300 Free-
Jonathan-Pollard activists at a vigil outside the envoy’s Jerusalem hotel Monday
night, when he left for a meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu,
International Relations, Strategic Affairs and Intelligence Minister Yuval
Steinitz and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni.
The activists held up signs
bearing the slogan “10,000 Days is Enough,” marking the 10,000th day of his life
sentence that the former Israeli agent had served by Monday. Pollard’s wife
Esther was the only speaker at the vigil.
Ahead of the event she noted
that in her last meeting with President Shimon Peres he spoke optimistically
about the secretary of state’s appointment, saying that he had known Kerry for
many years as a man with strong moral values and a keen sense of
Peres told Esther that Kerry would surely appreciate the great
concern and desire that Israel has for Pollard’s release.
Peres promised me that he would meet with Kerry and do his utmost to enlist his
support for Jonathan’s immediate release, whether as matter of justice or as a
humanitarian issue,” she said.
“I hope and pray that Mr. Peres’
words will find their mark in Mr. Kerry’s heart and that he will be an honest
advocate for mercy and justice. I also hope and pray that Jonathan’s release and
swift return home as a matter of unequivocal Israeli national consensus will be
meaningful to Mr. Kerry.”
Esther Pollard said she had a heartfelt request
for Kerry to show compassion and mercy to Jonathan and to Israel and use his
influence with US President Barack Obama to plead that Jonathan should be
returned home now, and “not be left to rot in prison.” She noted that because
her husband had no more legal options, only presidential clemency could set him
“Jonathan has paid a terrible price for his offense, 28 years of
his life – 10,000 days in prison as of today,” she said. “It is impossible to
wrap one’s mind around the soul-crushing oppression which Jonathan has endured,
day in day out, for 10,000 days. Jonathan is fighting to stay alive in the face
of his deteriorating health, while also battling the terrible sense that he is
crying out from the depths for help and no one is listening.”
Pollard recalled that 20 years ago, in September 1993, former prime minister
Yitzhak Rabin referred to her husband when he spoke to then-US president Bill
Clinton in the Rose Garden at the White House after signing the Oslo accords.
She said she hoped Obama would realize it was time to answer Rabin’s
“Mr. President,” Rabin said. “We are not asking for hundreds, or
thousands, we are asking for one. Just one."