Leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations met with convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard.
The Tuesday meeting was held at the Butner Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina, where Pollard has served 27 years of a life sentence for espionage.
“We returned with a renewed commitment to work for Mr. Pollard’s release from incarceration in accordance with longstanding Conference policy,” said Chairman Richard Stone and Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein in a statement Friday. “We see this as a serious humanitarian issue as well as a legal matter.”
Pollard’s release has long been sought by American Jewish groups who argue that he has recieved a sentence far harsher than others convicted of similar espionage crimes. Pollard has also expressed remorse and is said to be suffering from multiple medical ailments.
In recent years, a renewed push on his behalf has gained support from a number of members of Congress as well as former U.S. government officials.
The Conference of Presidents, the main Jewish umbrella group on matters of foreign policy, called on its member organizations to work for Pollard’s release.