Pollard Up for Yerushalayim Freedom Award

YERUSHALAYIM -

Jonathan Pollard has been nominated for a prestigious award from the city of Yerushalayim, Mayor Nir Barkat told the Miami Jewish Federation’s mission to Israel this week, Arutz Sheva reported.

Barkat said he will submit for approval the proposal to award Pollard with the Yerushalayim Freedom Award, and that the City Council places utmost importance on Pollard’s safe return to “his family and his people.”

Addressing hundreds of Federation participants, Barkat said that “Many people throughout the world find it difficult to understand the supreme value that [we] place on a single human life. Even in the most difficult times, Jonathan Pollard never stopped dreaming about Yerushalayim and we pray that his dreams come true.”

“We must act, utilizing all available means,” Barkat said, and expressed the hope that Pesach, whose theme is the deliverance from bondage, will be a deliverance for Pollard this year.

City Council member Yair Gabbai, whose initiative it was to give Pollard the medal, commended the mayor for adopting it.

“As public representatives we should do everything to bring him home… I hope that this initiative will be heard in the corridors of the White House and will end the suffering of our brother Jonathan Pollard,” Gabbai said.

Meanwhile, the online petition calling for Pollard’s release has garnered close to 70,000 signatures.

Addressed to U.S. President Barack Obama, it says, “We appeal to you as one who symbolizes the shared values of humanity, compassion and hope for a second chance, that both of our nations embrace. We implore you to commute Jonathan Pollard’s sentence to time served without delay and allow him to live out his remaining days as a free man.”

“It is our fervent hope and prayer that your upcoming trip to Israel will bring us the good news we have waited for, for so very long, and that this tragic and painful episode can finally be put to rest once and for all,” it adds.