Lithuania to Obamano give £29m in to Pollard compensation mercy plea
THE LITHUANIAN government has passed a law that will compensate Jews for property confiscated during the Second World War and the communist era.
Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius said that 36.5 million euros (£29m) will be placed in a fund over the next 10 years. The money will be spent on Jewish education, religious and cultural projects, and help support Jewish life and heritage in Lithuania. An additional 850,000 euros are to be set aside for Lithuanian Holocaust victims.
“By doing this we have made a huge step forward to assuming our moral responsibility for a sometimes difficult and tragic history… I value positively the fact that the government and the Jewish communities managed to find right solutions” said Mr Kubilius.
Simonas Alperavicius, chairman of Lithuania’s Jewish community, said the decision is a “miracle… a very important decision for the whole of Lithuania, not only for the Jews… I am very grateful to the whole government and the Prime Minister”.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry also welcomed Lithuania’s “important act of historic justice towards the Jewish community of Lithuania, which was massacred, almost in its entirety, by the Nazis and local collaborators”.
A PLEA for clemency for convicted spy Jonathan Pollard has been rejected by the Obama administration despite attracting widespread support.
A number of high-profile figures, including former United States secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, and former presidential candidate, John Mccain, have taken up Pollard’s case.
On Monday, Israeli President Shimon Peres called upon the White House to free the former US Navy intelligence analyst, who was given a life sentence 15 years ago.
In his letter, Mr Peres urged the US president to release the 57-year-old on humanitarian grounds. Pollard, who was found guilty of giving military secrets to Israel, was admitted to hospital last week.
Pollard’scontinuedcaptivityremains a key issue for Israelis, and for many Jewish Americans. He has always maintained that he spied only because theus authorities were withholding information crucial for Israel’s security.
However, the White House — maintaining the stance of past Democratic and Republican administrations — said the spy would not be released.
“Our position hasn’t changed,” said National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor.