As US-Israel relations are at an all-time high, many are hoping that the Trump administration will allow Jonathan Pollard, a former American intelligence analyst who spied for Israel, to come to Jerusalem.
By: World Israel News Staff
The Trump administration is seriously considering allowing Jonathan Pollard, a former intelligence analyst for the US government who pleaded guilty in 1987 of spying for Israel and providing it with classified information, to move to Israel, US and Israeli officials at The Jerusalem Post Conference in New York said Sunday.
Originally sentenced to life in prison, Pollard was freed in 2015, albeit with restrictions, among which he is prohibited from leaving the US.
In his defense, Pollard said that he committed espionage because “the American intelligence establishment collectively endangered Israel’s security by withholding crucial information.”
Pollard is the only US citizen who has received a life sentence for passing classified information to an American ally, and several American-Israeli groups as well as US and Israeli politicians have lobbied in his defense, saying the punishment exceeds the crime.
Asked by a visitor to New York if he thought there was a chance that the Trump administration would commute his sentence and allow him to go to Israel, he responded, “I am praying for a miracle. I just want to come home,” The Jerusalem Post reported.
The US is officially launching its Embassy in Jerusalem next month on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the State of Israel, and President Donald Trump has indicated that he may personally attend.
“In order to make the celebration even happier, I would like to ask our great friend, President Trump, to give the Israeli public one more present and to allow Jonathan Pollard to come to Israel, and celebrate with us in Jerusalem,” Intelligence Services Minister Israel Katz said at the conference, according to the Post.
Zionist Union lawmaker Nachman Shai, who heads the Knesset’s Free Pollard Caucus, said he hoped the reports that Pollard will be given clemency were not “too good to be true,” the Post said.