With the recent passing of his father convicted spy Jonathan Pollard has been a current news item. Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu and 71 members of the Israeli Parliament lobbied on Pollard’s behalf to allow him to be released to see his dying father and attend the funeral. Much of the lobbying effort was held with Vice President Joe Biden. The US Government refused to give Jonathan Pollard a compassionate furlough.
Jonathan Pollard was a Navy analyst who in the mid 1980’s turned over numerous top secret documents to Israeli operatives; Pollard was convicted in 1986 and sentenced to life in prison.
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Israel has been lobbying for Pollard’s release for years and part of their argument is that Pollard was spying for a “friendly” government. There has been a movement both in Israel and the United States advocating his release and there are a few prominent Americans who support freeing Mr. Pollard.
I have read some articles and viewed some photographs of demonstrators depicting that we loyal Americans are heartless and that President Obama lacks compassion. Pollard is referred to as a spy and no doubt he is but more than being a spy he is a traitor. Pollard sold out his country, every American man, woman and child for his political beliefs. Jonathan Pollard chose to join the ranks of Benedict Arnold.
The United States and Israel have enjoyed good relations over the years albeit tempered with some tense moments. I would agree with Prime Minister Netanyahu that the two countries are friends, have been supportive of each other and regularly share intelligence information.
In the investigation back in the 1980’s, Israel was less than forthcoming with information and by a number of accounts impeded NCIS investigators. Every time Prime Minister Netanyahu and his colleagues lobby for Pollard’s release it raises the question of why was Israel spying on the United States in the first place.
It was sad that Mr. Morris Pollard did not have his son by his side in his final hours.
The bond between the United States and State of Israel is strong and 25 years ago weathered the Pollard spying incident. In a way, I admire Benjamin Netanyahu’s loyalty to Jonathan Pollard. Prime Minister Netanyahu is a seasoned statesman and he must realize that when he publicly lobbies for Pollard’s release he brings up the entire spying issue.
Pollard is eligible to apply for parole and it is possible he will be released in 2015 after serving 30 years of his life sentence. For now he is where he belongs.