Sources close to Jonathan Pollard, who was arrested on charges of spying for Israel in 1985 and has been in US jails ever since, revealed on Thursday that Pollard’s wife Esther is extremely excited over his upcoming release on Friday.
After being released from 30 years in jail – which many have noted is far more than the time served even by those from hostile nations for similar charges – Pollard will live with Esther in New York. However, a travel ban may be lifted if US President Barack Obama so chooses, allowing him to go to Israel.
“Esther is indescribably moved,” said sources close to the Pollard family. “This is the first time in 30 years that Jonathan can sit at the Shabbat table, say kiddush on the wine. She prepared foods that he hasn’t seen since he was 30 years old.”
“Jonathan and Esther are both full of thanks to the many people who accompanied them throughout the path, but the feeling now is that we all just have to give them this time to themselves. All that they want is the simple and normal life they were waiting for all these years.”
Earlier on Thursday Effie Lahav, chair of the Task Force for the Release of Pollard NGO, spoke about Pollard’s imminent release.
“We are reaching this day with joy that is diluted by a lot of sadness,” said Lahav, noting how Pollard was in a US jail for a full 10,956 days. “He went into jail as a young man and is about to be released on limited terms as a 61-year-old, worn out and sick.”
The Jewish people owe a debt of gratitude to Esther Pollard according to Lahav, for her work of supporting her husband and giving him the strength to deal with his 30 years behind bars for giving information on regional threats to Israel.
“Jonathan and Esther feel a deep thanks to all those who worked, prayed and didn’t give up, and by doing so preserved their hope,” he said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked the United States to allow convicted spy Jonathan Pollard to return immediately to Israel upon his upcoming release from a federal prison, a pro-government Israeli newspaper reported Thursday.
Lahav called on the public to send the Pollard’s messages to strengthen them and help their transition to normal life.
“We’ve opened an e-mail account by which all those who took part in the efforts for Jonathan over the years can write to him and to Esther words of strengthening ahead of the not so simple challenges that still lay before them.”
The address is: firstname.lastname@example.org