pollard - AP - June 20 2011
Demonstrating for Pollard's release outside the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, in 2011. Photo by AP
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The White House on Monday spurned requests to allow convicted spy Jonathan Pollard to attend his father's funeral in Indiana.

Pollard's father Morris passed away on Saturday at the age of 95, after complications from an illness. He was buried in South Bend, Indiana, without his son present.

Both Israel and the imprisoned Pollard's family issued official requests to the U.S. administration urging that he be granted permission to be released from prison to attend the funeral.

The only mention of Pollard during the graveside service was when his sister said one of their father's few regrets was not being able to help his son achieve freedom.

Heads of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations expressed dismay and regret at the decision, saying in a statement that the "humanitarian gesture was warranted," adding that "it underscores the need for prompt action to release Jonathan Pollard after 25 years of imprisonment.

"His sentence is disproportionate to others who have committed similar crimes. Mr. Pollard has expressed remorse for his actions and has paid a heavy personal price as was witnessed today. The pursuit of justice should be tempered with compassion and we renew our humanitarian plea for his release,” said Richard Stone, Chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman

Pollard has been in prison in the U.S. since 1985 and was sentenced to life in prison two years later.

Morris Pollard was a retired biology professor at the University of Notre Dame.