PM Meets Esther Pollard, Vows Jonathan’s Release

November 24, 2014  

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with Esther Pollard, the wife of longtime US prisoner Jonathan Pollard, on Monday – promising her to secure his release after receiving updates on his condition. 

“We are constantly working for the release of Jonathan and will not slacken our efforts to return him home,” Netanyahu said.

Jonathan Pollard has recently been the subject of a high-profile campaign for his release, after thirty years of incarceration in a US jail for passing classified security-related information from America to Israel. 

Pollard has been suffering from poor health over the past year, and the conditions in which he is being held are allegedly dire, with his basic needs barely being met. 

The argument has been made that Pollard was arrested on charges far less serious than those that landed other spies in jail, yet those spies served a few years’s jail time at most, critics noted, slamming the US for “hypocrisy.” 

Several top US officials, including Former Deputy National Security adviser Elliott Abrams, US Assistant Secretary of Defense during the Jonathan Pollard affair Lawrence Korb, and former CIA chief James Woolsey, have called for Pollard to be released.

Several senior senators have opposed freeing the longtime captive, despite the sharp criticism of Israeli politicians, and even top American officials over the US’s harsh treatment of the case.

Pollard has been described multiple times as a “hostage” of the US, a notion which has ramped up criticism against the White House earlier this year. Outrage has simmered further after a reported deal to release Pollard before the Passover holiday in April never materialized. 

Netanyahu, similarly, promised in September to campaign for Pollard’s release during his meetings with Obama, but just like other attempts to secure his release, it was rejected by the US Justice Department yet again last week. 

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