Peres to present Obama with Knesset petition to free Pollard

MKs Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) and Nachman Shai (Labor) meet with President Shimon Peres to present petition signed by 106 Knesset members calling for Jonathan Pollard's release from U.S. prison.

Israel Hayom - January 2, 2014

MKs Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) and Nachman Shai (Labor) on Wednesday presented President Shimon Peres with a petition signed by 106 MKs across party lines, calling for the release of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard from U.S. prison. Peres plans to give the petition to U.S. President Barack Obama.

Shaked and Shai are leading the Knesset lobby to free Pollard, who is in his 29th year of imprisonment. Out of 120 MKs in total, 106 signed the petition.

"I have the honor of presenting you with a petition to U.S. President Barack Obama, based on the approval of 106 Knesset members, including cabinet members," Shai told Peres. "This letter is intended for President Obama, and I hope that you will present it to him and stand at the forefront of the various efforts in Israel and around the world to free Pollard."

Shaked said, "The release of Pollard is a national matter. All MKs, including Arab MKs, agree on the matter. This is the only issue on which there is an absolute consensus."

Peres accepted the petition. "It is my privilege to bring before the American president such a broad agreement in the Knesset. As president of the state, it is my clear responsibility to voice such a wide consensus. I will do it with pride, and see it as a duty and responsibility."

Effie Lahav, head of the Committee to Free Pollard, thanked Peres, and stressed that time was running out for Pollard, whose health has deteriorated significantly.

"The hourglass is running out. Perhaps it may have already run out," Lahav said.

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