Jonathan Pollard offered to lead right-wing party

Eretz Yisrael Shelanu wants to secure his release by turning him into an MK; family declines offer.

Pollard 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
Pollard 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
Convicted spy Jonathan Pollard was offered the top slot on the right-wing Eretz Yisrael Shelanu list Wednesday, in attempt to secure his release by turning him into a Knesset member. However, Pollard's family declined to accept the offer, saying the fight for his release should not identified with any specific political agenda. "We looked into the legal aspects of the matter and we discovered that it was possible for Pollard to be elected to the Knesset since he is an Israeli citizen," said Shay Gefen, a party spokesman. Pollard was found guilty of spying against the US for Israel and was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1987. "If he were to become an MK he would enjoy certain immunities which would increase pressure on the US for his release. We respect the family's wishes, but during our campaign we will work to increase awareness of the injustice being perpetrated against Pollard." Eretz Yisrael Shelanu is headed by Baruch Marzel, a protege of the late Meir Kahane, and Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpe, a Chabad hassid who has devoted his life to promulgating the teachings of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson against territorial compromise. In the 2006 elections Marzel's Jewish Front Party received some 25,000 votes, about half the minimum needed to pass the Knesset threshold.