Issachar's mother sends PM letter asking Naama return in time for Hanukkah

"Na'ama was set up from day one. She was marked as a political asset, solely because of her being an Israeli citizen with a combat military background in the IDF," Yaffa Issachar wrote Netanyahu.

Yaffa and Naama Issachar (photo credit: Courtesy)
Yaffa and Naama Issachar
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to secure Israeli-American national Naama Issachar’s freedom from a Russian prison, where she is being held on drug charges.
“About [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, I am not a wizard, but I promise you one thing – I am bringing Naama Issachar home,” Netanyahu said at a Likud primary campaign event in Haifa on Tuesday, in response to the popular Likud cheer calling him a wizard.
Yaffa Issachar, mother of Naama, sent a letter to Netanyahu on Tuesday requesting that he and the Foreign Ministry advocate for her daughter’s release before the first night of Hanukkah, Sunday night.
Naama’s appeal of her seven-and-a-half-year prison sentence for the possession of less than 10 grams of cannabis, was postponed last weekend and is expected to happen at a new date in the coming week. Naama made a request to be physically present in the courtroom, which was filed via video call from the prison and accepted by the judges, who were reluctant to postpone the hearing.
Issachar wrote that Naama’s detention is an aggression aimed toward Israel and its citizens.
“Some will say that Naama also holds a US passport, which has toughened the Russian attitude toward her and raised her price as a political asset,” Issachar wrote. “I do not agree with that, for the simple reason that a few weeks after Naama’s arrest, a young American woman was arrested with a massive amount of drugs in Russia, and she was sent home a few weeks later. Naama was set up from day one.
“She was marked as a political asset, solely because of her being an Israeli citizen with a combat background in the IDF. I know that the Israeli government agrees with this position.”
Issachar added that she hopes political efforts will come to fruition soon.
“I hope and pray that Naama will come to Israel and light a first Hanukkah candle with you,” she wrote.
On Monday, in a post on the official Facebook page that advocates for Naama’s release, her sister Liad described a recent meeting with Naama in a visitation cell.
“It was the first time I hadn’t seen a drop of optimism in her eyes. It was unbearable,” Liad wrote. “She cried a lot and shared with us that she feels like she’s in complete darkness, afraid of the lack of knowing what’s going on, and has no idea what her near future will look like.”
Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.
Translated by Idan Zonshine