Gilad Schalit at Bastille Day fete in Jaffa 370.
(photo credit: GIL SHEFLER)
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.
The petition has been
signed by nearly 150,000 Israelis, including Nobel prize winners, dovish
authors, and politicians from across the political spectrum.
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
Esther said Pollard desperately wanted to be home in Israel
for Passover and expressed confidence that President Shimon Peres could persuade
Obama to release him. When asked in the interview what she would tell Obama, she
switched to English and expressed “profound remorse and sorrow” for her
husband’s crime of passing classified information to an ally.
President, all that Jonathan and I are asking for is compassion and mercy,” she
Composer Naftali Kalfa distributed a video on Youtube this week
with a new song called “Free Jonathan Pollard,” whose chorus is “Do the right
thing, do it now.”
“We need to use every tool possible to see Jonathan
come home,” Kalfa said. “As someone who makes music, this is the tool I can give
to help advance this just cause.”