By Aryeh Savir
Tazpit News Agency
President Peres received a petition this morning (Jan. 1) signed by 106 Members of Knesset from the coalition and opposition, Jews and Arabs, calling for the release of Jonathan Pollard from prison in the United States of America. MKs Nachman Shai (Labor) and Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) presented the petition to President Peres, and he is to pass it on to US President Barack Obama and request that he free Jonathan Pollard.
President Peres stated: “”It is both a right and a duty for me to bring before the President of the United States of America the request to free Jonathan Pollard which comes with agreement from across the political spectrum. As president it is my clear responsibility to voice such clear consensus, I do it with pride and see it as a duty and responsibility. I raised the request to release Jonathan Pollard on a number of occasions with the President Obama and previous American presidents but I don’t remember such consensus on any issue either humanitarian or political between political parties. I will pass this petition on to President Obama.”
At the beginning of the meeting, MK Shai said: “Our request is simple and important – release Jonathan Pollard.” Shaked added, “The release of Jonathan Pollard, is a national matter, all the Knesset members including the Arabs agree, it is the only issue on which we have consensus.”
Efi Lahav, coordinator of the campaign to free Jonathan Pollard, stated: “As someone who has visited Jonathan Pollard in prison in the United States, I can say that his health is in a dreadful condition, time is ticking and it might even be too late. I thank you (Peres) for everything you have done and are still doing, and the MKs and the people of Israel for their support.”