Israel – Schalit Signs Petition Urging Obama To Release Pollard

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An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man passes a placard showing US President Barak Obama (L) and Jonathan Pollard behind bars with 'Yes You Can' displayed in Jerusalem, 13 March 2013, ahead of the visit to Israeli by the US president next week. EPA/JIM HOLLANDERIsrael – 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.

Schalit 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 frequently.

Content is provided courtesy of the Jerusalem Post

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26 COMMENTS

  1. At this point, Obama needs all of the domestic political support that he can get. With the 2014 Senate and House elections rapidly approaching, there is no way that Obama is going to get involved in the Pollard matter, which is still highly controversial, nearly thirty years after its occurrence. In any event, Pollard is scheduled for release in two and a half years (November, 2015). Incidentally, if the Government of EY was really serious about getting Pollard released earlier, it should surrender the thousands of highly classified stolen documents, which it has refused to surrender for twenty seven years. Also, it should extradite Pollard’s handler, retired Colonel Aviem Sella, who is under federal indictment for espionage. If those two acts had been performed years ago, Pollard might have been released a long time ago.

  2. I don’t belong to the ‘free pollard cult’ & up till now I have been very disappointed by everything this schalit & his dad have said but somehow this is finally coming together & I like the sound of this.

  3. Obama would be a fool to release Pollard given that most Americans still strongly oppose pardons to convicted traitors who sold our most secret information he swore never to disclose. To this day, Jews are still suspect among the intelligence and defense communities thanks to Pollard and a few others who were convicted of spying for a foreign entity.

      • “Pollard was not convicted of treason as you well know”

        Really? What was he convicted of, if not for treason? Handing out parsha sheets outside shuls and batei medrash contrary to some obscure local bye-laws?

    • “To this day, Jews are still suspect among the intelligence and defense communities “

      Please show statistics of what percentage of Jews who apply are not granted clearances, versus non-Jews.

      My personal experience over 35 years in the Defense and Intelligence community belie your assertion.

    • Last I heard……Polllard was not from a friendly country. He was born and raised in the good old USA. He is receiving what he deserves…… prison.

    • No, and as a citizen of the United States caught spying against the country of his birth – the United States – such a spy could be no friendlier.

      Let us never forget that Pollard is not only a spy but a mercenary spy. He did not act out of any sort of ideological affinity for the State of Israel, no matter what all his public relations nochshleppers and askanim might say. He receives even unto this very day $5,000 a month from Israel as a retainer for his espionage. His former wife was showered with jewels bought with this blood money. He shows absolutely no remorse whatever and has resolutely never asked for parole, let alone a pardon. How many American service people’s lives were compromised by his treachery?

      No, let the traitor Pollard rot and die in a US jail. He is very lucky not to have been fried in the electric chair as were that other pair of disgraceful American Jewish spies, the Rosenbergs, in 1951. THAT should have been Pollard’s fate, too.

      • “Why do they spy if its a friendly country?”

        What motivates other people to spy if it’s a friendly country depends entirely on that person’s individual psychological make-up, pupa1.

        In this particular case, Pollard asked for – and got – a monthly retainer of $2,500 (doubled since his capture to $5,000) a month, at least two very luxurious junkets to Europe with all expenses paid by his Israeli spymasters, his first wife Anne was showered with jewels, and Pollard himself was flattered into yet further treachery against the United States – the country where he was born and brought up – by being made a paper colonel in the Israel armed forces, of all things.

        There is at least one “good” outcome for this shameful spy against his own people: he will die rich. On the other hand, he will not be able to take a single red cent with him when he goes to the next world.

  4. There is a difference between the imprisonments of Gilad Schalit & Jonathan Pollard – differences that any one considering signing the “Free Pollard” petition should and must take into account.

    Schalit was recognized as a soldier in the Israel Defense Force operating in uniform. While on a duty in the IDF he was captured by enemy forces and imprisoned for five years against his will.

    Meanwhile, Pollard was a civilian, employed and well paid by the US Navy, and swore on the Tanach to protect the secrets of the United States of America. He nevertheless broke that solemn oath and chose to sell the secrets with which his country had entrusted him (& to which he had sworn his allegiance) first to the Russians and then to the South Africans – both of whom were suspicious and saw a possible trap – and then and only then to Israel.

    Pollard was and remains a mercenary criminal who endangered the lives of American military personnel with his treacherous acts. He shows no remorse for his actions; in fact, he broke his plea bargain by willingly being interviewed by Wolf Blitzer. He has not applied ONCE for parole.

    Let him rot and die in jail. He deserves nothing less.

  5. I would gladly sign the petition if he would just make the proper application and express remorse for his actions. Until he does so, these petitions are likely a waste of time.

    The length of time he has already served is enough of a deterrent for others who might otherwise be tempted to spy thinking they will get a slap on the wrist if they do so for an ally.

    Any classified information he may have is not likely to be of any value today and he could be released to strict house arrest here in the States. No reason to let him travel to Israel to be treated like a hero by people of certain political affiliations.

    If nothing else, it would be nice to see an end to the ‘let him rot to death in jail’ comments. Even if he does belong in prison, we need not become heartless and find pleasure in his plight.

  6. To #8-Peter-I don’t appreciate your equating the Rosenberg case with the Pollard matter, as both were totally different. The Rosenberg case involved supplying the Soviet Union with classified secrets, relating to the atomic bomb. To this day, the death sentences (1953, and not 1951), which were given to the Rosenbergs (especially Ethel Rosenberg), are very controversial. Some sixty years later, there is still an ongoing debate as to how much culpability Ethel Rosenberg actually had in that matter. Incidentally, regarding your mention of the electric chair, that barbaric form of execution is no longer in use in the USA (with the exception of a few states which still allow condemned prisoners to choose that method over lethal injection, if they wish). When Ethel Rosenberg was executed, she didn’t die immediately, and several additional jolts of electricity had to be used, causing smoke to come out of her head! Also, the despicable NY Daily News had front page headlines, actually showing a large photo of the hooded Rosenbergs strapped into the electric chairs, shortly before their execution. Such barbaric photos would never be permitted today, in any execution chamber in the USA.

    • Whether or not you “appreciate” my sentiments or not means very little to me, Hershkowitz. Believe me, I shall not lose a moment’s sleep over that.

      What *is* important to me is that people retain sufficient loyalty to the country of their birth (in the case of both Pollard and the Rosenbergs the United States of America) not to endanger their fellow countrymen’s lives or to compromise their country’s overall national security.

      All three of them, Pollard and both of the Rosenbergs, knew exactly what the consequences of their actions would be but still resolutely went ahead with their utterly despicable treachery.

      Pollard is extremely lucky that he lives in a more enlightened United States which chose not to consider imposition of the death penalty. How such a penalty was carried out on the Rosenbergs in the early 1950s is completely irrelevant. Your gory and graphic details mean nothing. They committed the unspeakably execrable crime of handing over American secrets at the height of the Cold War to the Soviet Russian enemy and they got what they deserved.

      I repeat once again, let Pollard rot in jail. He deserves nothing more and nothing less.

  7. The release of the Venona intercepts and further documents from the KGB files proved that the Rosenbergs got what they deserved. As for Pollard, he not only spied for money and recognition, he attempted to recruit other Jews working in sensitive positions of trust. Thank G-d, they’re the ones who turned him in.

    Yeah, I think 27 years is enough for his crime. I just wish that the posters above and American Jews in general would finally stop lionizing him and recognize him for the traitorous dirtbag he is.

  8. Don’t people ever get sick of rehashing the same arguments over and over and over again. We all know all the issues and arguments in favor and against a pardon and have heard them time and time again. No one is going to convince anyone to change their mind.

  9. jonathan pollard has expressed his remorse for his actions. his sentencing, for spying for a friendly country, is overly harsh. i read an article once that said something like, every time israelis were able to go into their sealed rooms and put their gas masks on for safety, it was pollard who went with them, because it was he who passed along information to help keep them safe. despite the fact that pollard was paid by israel to pass along information, i truly believe he spied because of his deeply felt ahavas yisroel. jonathan pollard is a jewish hero and he deserves to go home to israel.

    • He is still in prison because he has never expressed remorse, which is a key element in any appeal for clemency or pardon and/or application for parole.

      He’d also garner more sympathy if he asked his supporters to stop trying to make a hero out of him.

      He and his supporters have made a presidential pardon a political deathtrap no Democratic or Republican wants to risk touching.

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