Esther Pollard heartened and hopeful after meeting with President Peres
Greer Fay Cashman - The Jerusalem Post - June 22, 2014
President tells Israeli agent's wife that he will work to gain Pollard's release in upcoming meeting with Obama.
Esther Pollard, the wife of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard who has been incarcerated in an American prison for 29 years, was heartened and hopeful on Sunday following her meeting with President Shimon Peres on the eve of his trip to the United States to have a last working meeting with President Barack Obama.
At Sunday's meeting that was also attended by Knesset Members Nachman Shai (Labor) and Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) who head the Knesset Caucus to Free Jonathan Pollard, Peres was more committed and determined than ever to make a last ditch effort "to bring Jonathan home before it is too late" said Esther Pollard after the meeting. Shai and Shaked were equally convinced that Peres would do his utmost on this his last opportunity as head of state to make a plea on humanitarian grounds for Pollard's release.
Although the three have met with Peres on previous occasions and he is very familiar with the issue, he nonetheless asked probing questions. "He was very focused and to the point" said Pollard afterwards, adding that Peres had stated that this would be a focal issue in his talks with Obama as president to president, because as a president, he too receives requests for pardons and clemency, so he understands Obama's dilemma.
Pollard described the meeting as "good" and "emotional". She had no doubt that Peres would 'pull out all the stops" in this last attempt. "I'm very hopeful", she said.
Shai noted that Peres was placing great significance on the Pollard affair and had said that it was both a privilege and an obligation to once again raise the issue with Obama.
Shai was convinced that Peres would put the whole weight of his office, his influence and his status as the world's senior statesman behind this last request to Obama, and was hopeful that Obama "in a moment of grace" would accede.
If anyone can facilitate Pollard's release, said Shaked, it is Shimon Peres. "Pollard should be released on both moral and humanitarian grounds" she said.
In the course of the meeting Peres said that it was a national obligation to work towards Pollards release from prison.
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