Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Obama, Shalom from Israel - Compassion for Prisoners

I have been asked to make this letter widely available. We simply need more compassion, less vengeance, all around. This is a daughter's heartfelt plea, on behalf of her father, a prisoner in an Israeli prison. If she can show compassion, I believe we can too.  I am posting this out of deep concern and caring for all people, without exception. I earnestly and with my whole heart, call for compassionate and empathic responses to everything posted on my blog. To heal collective violence we, our global society, need compassionate responses and compassionate actions from individuals within and without every group and collection of individuals. Groups often have fuzzy boundaries, and they exist by mere labeling. No human rights group or non-profit that I know of deals with some of the painful and difficult issues that I am raising. If compassionate action on behalf of prisoners interests you, please visit Prison Dharma Network, a social network of Dharma practitioners supporting meditation in prisons. Dialogue is the communal and collective path to peace. This post is an invitation to further dialogue, for peaceful, constructive and successful conflict resolution, and should be read in that spirit, and with that understanding.
May all beings be happy and free of suffering.  - Janna

Revital Edri
Migdal Haemek, Israel
[Address and telephone number deleted for posting - JW]

10 April 2012
President Barack Obama
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama,

Shalom from Israel

I am a daughter of an Israeli prison inmate named Jacob Hassan, who is jailed for the last 26 years in Israel, for the murder of his wife, my mother, and of a social worker.

My father, Jacob Hassan, was jailed in Israel near the time when Jonathan Pollard was jailed in the U.S for spying for Israel.

Since my father was imprisoned he has not stop agonizing and repenting for the disaster he had inflicted on two families and especially on us, his own four children. In One day we lost both a mother and a father.

Not even For One moment will I justify my father's actions.

My father's behavior in prison for years has been exemplary and for years he won many certificates of excellence and recognition. For 24 years my father ran the prison laundry wonderfully and the prison authorities made ​​a lot of money while my father managed the laundry by himself.

Since my father was imprisoned he was not allowed to go on vacations, neither for a day nor for a few hours. Even us, his children, who have suffered because of my father's actions wish the prison authorities let him leave the prison for a few hours to meet his grandchildren. In the End of the day my father is still their grandfather. My father's grandchildren can't choose another grandfather.

Many years ago, the prison authorities permitted my father to go on vacation for a few hours. However, although the prison authorities have agreed to let my father to leave on vacation for a few hours, another "family violence committee", whose members are not known, stubbornly refuses to allow my father to go on vacation using several different excuses each time. Therefore without the consent of the "family violence committee" my father could not go on vacation for the past 26 years. Once the committee even claimed that my father would be dangerous to his partner while on vacation; however his partner, my mother, has been buried for the past 26 years…

I had not mentioned that the "family violence committee" is composed solely of social workers, the second victim's colleagues. The chairman of the social workers organization informed, and even organized petitions, that his organization would never agree on letting my father out on vacation. Important to mention that my father doesn't ask to be released out the prison completely, all he wants is to go on vacation for a few hours.

I decided to write to you Mr. President of the United States after the Israeli President Shimon Peres addressed you, at the pressure of Israeli Knesset members, to release Jonathan Pollard. After it was published in the Israeli media that you refused the appeal of Mr. Peres, claimed MK Ronit Tirosh on Israel's Channel 2 broadcast on 10.4.12 that the refusal to free Jonathan Pollard is the vengeance of the Americans, so clearly she said.

I laughed to myself because in regard of my father, who has been regretting his crime every day, hour by hour and minute by minute, the claim of revenge from the "family violence Committee" is denied but in regard Jonathan Pollard there is such a claim towards the Americans. This sho[w]s ho[w] Israelis know to criticize the other [with] hypocrisy but they are not able to look at themselves in the mirror.

I myself call for the release of Jonathan Pollard, he had been in jail a long time, but if the President of Israel is facing you to completely release Pollard from prison perhaps you will ask the State of Israel to release my father from prison just for a few hours as it is acceptable with many prisoners in Israel.

I thank you in advance.

With respect,

Revital Edri
Daughter of Jacob Hassan

Copy: Mr. Shimon Peres, the president of Israel
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Photos from Prison Dharma Network home page
Next post: This year we are free, next year in Jerusalem, next year in Lhasa! 

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