Israel and Nobel Peace laureate, Peres, are appealing to President
Obama to release Jonathan Pollard an Israeli spy as a humanitarian
Pollard was arrested in 1985 after unsuccessfully seeking
refuge at the Israeli Embassy in Washington. He pleaded guilty to
leaking classified documents to Israel and received a life sentence.
Israeli leaders say that after 27 years the former civilian
intelligence analyst for the U.S. Navy should be freed.
Israel appeals based in part on claims that Pollard suffers from
life-threatening ailments. Pollard’s lawyer, Nitzana Darshan-Leitner,
said he suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney stones.
Netanyahu said earlier this week that “the time has come” to release
Pollard. “We must let him finish his life in dignity,” he said.
Peres’ is willing to petition President Obama on the belief that
Pollard does not pose a security threat at this point and there are
strong ties between Israel and the United States that should remain.
Is the United States afraid that they would be rewarding Israel for
progress made in peace efforts with the Palestinians with Pollard’s
release? President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu have clashed repeatedly over Israeli policy, especially
settlement construction in the West Bank.
More than 24,000 Israelis have joined a Facebook page urging Peres to
skip the event if Pollard is not freed.
Noting Jews are celebrating Passover — a holiday marking the ancient
Israelites’ freeing from Egyptian bondage — Netanyahu said earlier
this week that “the time has come” to release Pollard. “We must let
him finish his life in dignity,” he said.