Jonathan Pollard, who is serving a life sentence for spying for Israel against the United States, broke his 28-year-long silence Friday by penning a highly critical and at times vitriolic article in the Jerusalem Post.
Accusing Israel of being a "strange kind of democracy that pays no heed whatsoever to the will of the people," Pollard sharply criticized the Israeli government for releasing Palestinian prisoners within the framework of the recently-renewed peace talks.
Pollard, who was sentenced to life in prison in 1987 for giving Israel classified U.S. intelligence information, wrote in the opinion article that by releasing prisoners despite protests by families of terrorism victims, Israel was effectively "dishonoring its dead by freeing their murders."
Pollard was first jailed in 1986. He was granted Israeli citizenship in 1995, but Israel refused to acknowledge that it received classified information from Pollard until 1998.
Throughout the years, various requests for Pollard's pardon have been made by Israeli leaders. Most recently, reports indicated that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested Pollard's release in exchange for the release of 103 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails since before the Oslo Accords.
Netanyahu reportedly made the request of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry as a quid pro quo for the Palestinians' demand that the prisoners be released before renewing peace talks.
The Americans rejected the request but said it will be taken into consideration.
Following the refusal, the Prime Minister's Office said Netanyahu "has consistently brought up the issue of Jonathan Pollard's release in his meetings with senior American officials."
U.S. President Barack Obama has rejected every request to pardon Pollard made by Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres, insisting that the spy receive a fair hearing in front of a parole committee review set to take place in 2015.
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