Esther Pollard's Remarks at Pollard Demo at US Embassy, Tel Aviv
Justice4JPnews - February 24, 2014
Prefacing Note: Esther Pollard presented the following remarks in Hebrew, and then repeated them in English at the demonstration for Jonathan Pollard's release opposite the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, Sunday February 23, 2014. Thousands of participants came from all over the country to support the call for Pollard's release. Self-organized busloads of people arrived from places as distant as the Golan Heights, Beit Shean and Afula, Ashdod and Be'ersheva. Public figures and MKs from across the political spectrum spoke at the rally.
Good Evening to Everyone!
Jonathan and I want to express our profound thanks, from the bottom of our hearts, to each and every one of you for taking the time and making the effort to be here tonight.
This is our first official Pollard demonstration in front of the American Embassy in Tel Aviv. B"H may it be the last one.
Today, after nearly 30 years in prison, there is no one who does not know that Jonathan's life sentence is grossly disproportionate and unjust.
Indeed, many senior American officials are now calling for Jonathan's release as a matter of simple justice, and as a humanitarian issue.
In Israel there is wall to wall consensus: the Nation wants Jonathan home, now.
The Government of Israel is, at this time, engaged in intensive negotiations with the Americans on a daily basis. The Americans are leaning heavily on Israel. They demand that Israel make painful gestures to our enemies. Israel keeps on bending over backwards to respond positively to the American demands.
How is it that in spite of all the gestures that Israel is making at the request of the US, the Americans are not willing to make the smallest, most minimal gesture towards Israel, the release of one prisoner? We are talking about a prisoner who never murdered anyone and never hurt anyone.
But even after nearly 3 decades in prison, the Americans refuse to make this minor gesture to Israel, not for the sake of peace, not for the sake of justice and not for the sake of humanitarian concerns.
If Israel cannot rely upon the US to deal fairly with one Israeli agent, how can we rely them for the fate and future of all of Israel?
Let me add a post script here, those who say that Jonathan Pollard is due to be released anyway on November 21, 2015, are either totally confused or they are lying. Period.
When I spoke with him today, I asked Jonathan what I should speak about tonight. It did not surprise me when he said I should take a different tack and to speak about the importance of Achdut Yisrael (unity amongst our People) and Achrayoot Hadadeet (mutual responsibility), particularly at this fateful time in our national history.
I thought about it and indeed decided to take a different tack.
I would like to take this opportunity to express appreciation to my husband, Jonathan.
Thank you Jonathan!
In your merit, we are here tonight.
In your merit we are unified as a people, to secure your release.
In your merit, tonight we are speaking with one voice: let Pollard go!
As you have always taught, if we can unify on one issue (the issue of securing your release) that unity will serve us well on a host of other difficult issues we are facing as a nation.
In your merit, tonight, we are demonstrating self-respect and national honor --something which is rare these days.
In your merit, we stand for truth.
In your merit, we demand justice.
In your merit, we ask for fairness and equal treatment as an ally.
In your merit, we are fulfilling the sublime mitzvah of "pidyan shvuyim".
Because of you, we are better people, better Jews and a better nation.
Thank you, Jonathan for surviving and overcoming the inhumane affliction and suffering of the last nearly 30 years.
Thank you for showing us all what it means not to give up, and not to give in.
Thank you for never stopping to care about us as a nation.
Thank you for forgiving us over and over and over again. We waited too long. We did too little. Now we know, Jonathan, what they did to you, was not done just to you, but to all of us. It took us a long time, but we have opened our eyes and can finally see the truth.
Thank you Jonathan, for making sure back then that today we all have gas masks. Thanks to you Jonathan, every home in Israel, by law, now has a "ma'amad bitchoni" a secure room. Thanks to you Jonathan, we have chemical antidotes and medications-for use in the event of an attack with biological or chemical weapons.
Instead of our thanks for your contributions to our survival and to our national security, you got life in prison, and unending suffering and affliction. You did not act to hurt anyone, and you did no damage to anyone. You acted only to save us.
Thank you, Jonathan for not becoming bitter or angry.
Thank you for loving us so much that you still want to come home to us.
We love you too, Jonathan. And we want you home.
This is the month of Adar. A month of turnabout - V'Na'aphochu.
May G-d open the ears of the American Administration and grant them the wisdom and insight to finally, finally do the right and just thing: Send Jonathan Pollard home now. Amain!