President Obama Won't Allow Jonathan Pollard To Go to Israel After Release

President Barack Obama reportedly will not intervene to allow Jonathan Pollard to travel to Israel after he is paroled from federal prison.

Obama could waive the requirement that prevents Pollard from leaving the United States but is unlikely to do so, the Washington Post reported Tuesday, citing Obama administration officials.

Pollard is scheduled to be released Nov. 20 after serving 28 years of a life term for spying for Israel. Under the terms of his release, he must remain under supervision in the United States for the next five years. Pollard, a former analyst for the U.S. Navy, was arrested in 1985 for providing classified documents to Israel.

BREAKING NEWS 2 US Jews in final 3 at World Series of Poker Israel’s opposition chief to US Jewish leaders: ‘Open and frank partnership’ is vital Federation leader calls for civil debate, open tent It is not known if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised the issue of allowing Pollard to come to Israel during his meeting Monday in Washington with Obama.

“President Obama has not intervened in the judicial process here in the United States, and that’s been his consistent approach,” Ben Rhodes, the U.S. deputy national security adviser, told reporters during a briefing ahead of Netanyahu’s visit. “With respect to the case of Jonathan Pollard, he’s made clear that he wants there to be fair treatment under the law, as there should be with any individual. But he as president has not intervened in that process. He respects how important this issue is to many Israelis.”

In 1995, Pollard was granted Israeli citizenship, in part because he hoped to travel to Israel as soon as he was released.

Pollard’s second wife, Esther, lives in Israel. His supporters have found him a place to live and a job in advance of his parole.


Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

President Obama Won't Allow Jonathan Pollard To Go to Israel After Release

Thank you!

This article has been sent!