Sharansky Calls for Pollard's Immediate Release

For Immediate Release
The Jewish Agency For Israel December 15, 2011

Sharansky calls for Pollard's immediate release:

"The time has come to vigorously and loudly demand his freedom. Twenty-six years is more than enough."

Remarks made at Union for Reform Judaism Biennial in Washington, D.C., at which President Obama is set to appear tomorrow

The Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Natan Sharansky, has called for Jonathan Pollard's immediate release. He issued the call in a speech last night, EST, before North American Jews gathered in Washington, D.C., for the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) Biennial.

"Having raised the issue with both White House and cabinet officials in Washington, I am aware that this is a complicated matter for the American Jewish community. But today, when there is a growing consensus in favor of Pollard's release amongst former Pentagon and CIA officials, American figures, legal authorities, the Israeli government, and American Jewish leaders, the time has come to vigorously and loudly demand his freedom. Twenty-six years is more than enough," said Sharansky.

"Your great leader, Rabbi Alexander Schindler, visited Pollard regularly and called on the President to pardon him. Schindler said that Pollard had indeed committed a crime, but his punishment was excessive and the time had come for his release. If this was true twelve years ago, how much more so is it true today?" Sharansky proclaimed. He cited the URJ's current leader, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, as having also publicly maintained this position.

The URJ gathering takes place once every two years and is considered the largest gathering of the North American Jewish community. Sharansky was the keynote speaker at the conference's opening plenary. U.S. President Barack Obama is set to address the Biennial tomorrow.

For more information:

Haviv Rettig Gur
Director of Communications, Jewish Agency for Israel
050-205-2627 (+011-972-50-205-2627)