Tibi: Calls for Pollard release 'typical Israeli hypocrisy'

MKs split over Pollard issue; Ronit Tirosh says she will boycott US independence party in protest of refusal to allow Pollard to see father before his death; Nachman Shai calls on US Jews to put more pressure on gov't.

Israeli protesters for Pollard_311 reuters (photo credit: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)
Israeli protesters for Pollard_311 reuters
(photo credit: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)
Israeliopposition to the US government's decision not to allow Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard to see his father before he passed away are "typical Israeli hypocrisy," MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List - Ta'al) said Sunday.
Morris Pollard, 95, died Sunday morning at Memorial Hospital and Health System in South Bend, Indiana.
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"Israel consistently denies Palestinian prisoners from attending the funerals of their parents," Tibi told Israel Radio.
"What would you say to the Americans if they told you that they have decided to behave in the same manner that you are behaving with Palestinian prisoners?" Tibi questioned Israeli politicians in his interview.
MK Ronit Tirosh (Kadima) also commented on Pollard, telling Army Radio she will boycott the American Independence Day party at the ambassador's house in protest of the US refusal to release imprisoned Pollard before his father's death.
Pollard's family, American Jewish leaders and Knesset members had been lobbying for Jonathan to be granted "compassionate leave" for 24 hours to see his father before he died.
MK Nachman Shai (Kadima), who was among 75 MKs to sign a petition last week calling on US Vice President Joe Biden to take action on the issue, also spoke to Army Radio, saying: "Why is [the US] so insistent on keeping [Pollard]? Why can't they release him for 24 hours? He won't do anything, he won't run away."
Shai also noted that, in addition to the Israeli government communicating clear messages to the US about Pollard's release, the Jewish community in the US should also put pressure on Washington.
"Five million Jews live in the US and they are silent. A clear statement needs to come from them. With all due respect, after 25 years, they can say something. They are able to put a lot of pressure on the White House. It is time for them to do it."
"Millions of Israelis want to see Pollard return home," Shai added.