Jewish Agency Urges Obama to Free Pollard

In passing resolution, Sharansky notes the growing consensus in favor of Pollard’s release among former Pentagon and CIA officials, American dignitaries, legal authorities, the Israeli government, and American Jewish leaders.

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Haaretz
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Haaretz

The Board of Governors of The Jewish Agency for Israel, meeting in Jerusalem on Tuesday, passed a unanimous resolution urging President Barack Obama to grant convicted spy Jonathan Pollard immediate clemency “on humanitarian grounds.” Their resolution was passed just one month of Obama's scheduled visit to Israel.

Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky noted the growing consensus in favor of Pollard’s release among former Pentagon and CIA officials, American dignitaries, legal authorities, the Israeli government, and American Jewish leaders. “The time has come to vigorously and loudly demand his freedom,” he said. “Twenty eight years is more than enough.”

Pollard has been imprisoned in a U.S. jail since receiving a life sentence in 1987 for spying for Israel. Before that, he worked as a civilian analyst for U.S. Navy intelligence.

He was granted Israeli citizenship in 1995, but Israel only admitted to paying him in exchange for classified information in 1998.

Pollard has been hospitalized a number of times in recent years, most recently this past December. In a number of those cases, his situation was defined as life-threatening.

The Board of Governors passed another resolution prompted by the findings of the the Bulgarian government investigation, published last week, which found that Hezbollah was responsible for the deadly terror attack last summer in Burgas.

The Board of Governors hailed the Bulgarian government’s decision to urge the European Union to take "collective measures" against Hezbollah. In addition, out of concern for the safety of Jewish communities and of Jews in the state of Israel, the resolution calls upon the European Union and all the countries of the free world to recognize the true nature of Hezbollah as a terror organization.

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Jonathan Pollard during an interview at the Federal Correction Institution in Butner, North Carolina, May 15, 1998.Credit: AP

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