Netanyahu Discussed Jonathan Pollard's Probation With White House

At separate meeting on Thursday with Vice President Pence, Netanyahu discussed U.S. support for Israel at the UN and efforts to secure U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Hts., Israeli sources said.

Prime Minister Netanyahu leaving the White House, Feb. 15, 2017.
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

WASHINGTON – A source in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's entourage in Washington said that Netanyahu discussed the issue of the limitations imposed on Jonathan Pollard as terms for his release with White House officials. Pollard, who was released from prison in 2015, served 30 years in prison for spying for Israel and, among other limitations, is barred from leaving the United States.

Jonathan Pollard following his 2015 release from prison.
Lucas Jackson/Reuters

"It was agreed that Israeli ambassador [to the United States] Ron Dermer would deal personally with the matter vis-à-vis the White House," the source said.

On Thursday, Netanyahu met with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and among other things, the two discussed American support for Israel at the United Nations. A source in the Israeli delegation in Washington noted that the two sides agreed to work together on a systematic basis to change the United Nations' attitude toward Israel. The prime minister and senior Trump administration officials discussed the possibility of asking for the United Nations to change its approach to Israel coupled with a threat to cut off American funding for UN institutions, a source in the entourage said.

An Israeli source said the prime minister also spoke to Pence about ways to advance American recognition of Israel's 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights. The source added that in the near future, a mechanism would be developed for talks between Israel and the White House on the subject of construction in West Bank Jewish settlements. "We intend to reach an understanding," the source said.