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Pres. Obama’s Visit to Israel Stirs Up Old Sensitive Issue About Spy Jonathan Pollard

Jonathan Pollard/wikipedia


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

President Obama’s visit to Israel is stirring up a longstanding, sensitive issue involving Jonathan Pollard, who spied for Israel while working for U.S. Naval intelligence.

Seymour D. Reich, a lawyer and former chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, writes this week in a letter to the editor of the New York Times that “the treatment of Jonathan Jay Pollard has smacked of vindictiveness.”

He writes that President Obama should set Pollard free on humanitarian grounds when he returns from Israel.

He notes that the “usual prison sentence for spying for friendly countries is four to five years.”

He writes:

“Mr. Pollard was initially incarcerated in a hospital for the criminally insane, though he was not insane. It was only when former Representative Lee Hamilton intervened that Mr. Pollard was moved out — to a maximum-security prison in Illinois, where he was held in solitary confinement for almost seven years. When Elie Wiesel and I visited him there, he expressed remorse for his deeds and has done so publicly since.

As you report, he has served for 28 years, and “a growing number” of former American officials “have called for clemency.”

 


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