Knesset to Hold Special Session on Pollard

YERUSHALAYIM -

The Knesset has scheduled a special session on Wednesday in support of freeing Jonathan Pollard, ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit later this month, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Temporary Knesset Speaker Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor) approved a request from MK Yoni Chetboun (Jewish Home) to put the Pollard issue on the official agenda.

“Pollard’s release is not a political issue or a concern of a specific segment of society,” Chetboun explained. “It is a national consensus that crosses [political] camps.”

Chetboun called upon Israeli lawmakers on the Right and Left to participate in the discussion.

“It is our moral responsibility as members of Knesset to act in order to bring Pollard’s immediate release and an end to this cruel saga,” he said.

In attendance will be former assistant U.S. secretary of defense Lawrence Korb, who was defense secretary Caspar Weinberger’s deputy at the time of Pollard’s arrest in 1985 and has been active in calling for Pollard’s release.

MK Nachman Shai wrote a letter to Ben-Eliezer last week, saying the Knesset must put Pollard on its agenda and express a wide consensus in favor of his release.

“We need a broad, intensive public effort to free Pollard,” MK Nachman Shai (Labor) wrote in a letter to Ben-Eliezer. “It is our duty as MKs to give a platform to the major efforts in Israel and abroad to free him soon.”

On Monday, Shai also asked Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar to instruct schools to dedicate an hour to discussing Pollard in the context of Obama’s upcoming visit.

“The State of Israel should stand by Pollard’s side and demand his release from President Obama.”