Several major American Orthodox Jewish organizations wrote pleas to US President Donald Trump to terminate Jonathan Pollard's parole so that he can care for his ill wife.
Agudath Israel of America, the Orthodox Union, and the Coalition for Jewish Values each sent their own petition to the president.
Agudath Israel Executive Vice President Rabbi David Zwiebel wrote that his organization has argued for Pollard's release for years, "and we now plead on humanitarian grounds for the commutation of his sentence and the termination of his parole.”
"In order to simply accompany his wife to her doctor ‘s appointments and her chemotherapy sessions, which assistance she very much needs, Mr. Pollard is required by his parole conditions to give three days advance notice and submit a formal written request to leave Manhattan and go to wherever she needs to be taken. Unless he receives written permission, which is not automatic but can be denied and must be negotiated each and every time, he cannot accompany her,” Rabbi Zweibel added.
Orthodox Union President Mark Bane wrote that the parole conditions preventing Pollard from leaving his home between 7 PM and 7 AM would prevent him from being able to assist his wife in the event of an emergency.
“On a daily basis, should his wife need medication, food or any other items between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m., Mr. Pollard’s strict curfew prevents him from procuring them for her,” Bane wrote. “And if, G-d forbid, she needs emergency medical care during that time, Mr. Pollard cannot go to the hospital with her.”
"We respectfully request your intervention and ask that you bestow upon Mr. Pollard and his wife the compassion and mercy they so badly need at this time by granting Mr. Pollard his full freedom,” Bane added,
Rabbi Pesach Lerner, President of the Coalition for Jewish Values, wrote: "Jonathan Pollard was a model prisoner and has been a model parolee. Given his wife's health and need for assistance reaching treatment locations, pharmacies and even basic needs, the current extreme limitations on Mr. Pollard's movements are not merely an unjustified part of a disproportionate sentence, but are also causing him and his family unnecessary hardship during a very trying time. We call upon all relevant officials, including the President himself, to find an appropriate legal mechanism to immediately grant Mr. Pollard his freedom after 30 years behind bars and nearly four years of parole with harsh conditions."
Esther Pollard is currently undergoing treatment for cancer at advanced stages.