Shalom Life | October 23, 2014

White House Won’t Budge on Pollard Release

President Peres to discuss pardon with Obama while currently in Washington

By: Sammy Hudes

Published: June 13th, 2012 in News » World

White House Won’t Budge on Pollard Release

White House Spokesman Jay Carney denied that jailed Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard will be released any time soon despite Israeli President Shimon Peres expected to make a plea later today in a meeting with US President Barack Obama.

Pollard was convicted of espionage in 1986 and sentenced to 30 years in prison. He has been imprisoned for approximately 27 years on a single charge of passing classified information to an ally, Israel, and has reportedly been in increasingly poor health.

Pollard was hospitalized several times over the past year, including for emergency surgery, according to Israel National News. His term is set to end on November 2015 but his deteriorating health had prompted a massive campaign for his early release.

Peres, who is in Washington to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Obama at a special White House ceremony later this evening, said he will discuss the issue of a pardon for Pollard with Obama during a private meeting. Peres has emphasized that he would not ask Obama to pardon Pollard, but rather that his sentence be reduced to the time already served.

But speaking to an Israeli television station from Washington, Peres cautioned Israelis not to get their hopes up yet.

“I feel like not only a humanitarian emissary on the Pollard issue, but also as an emissary of the will of the nation,” said Peres. “I will do my best. I am afraid of raising expectations and disappointment,” he added.

“I am not acting according to expectations, I am acting out of a feeling that the time has come. The president has humanitarian authority. The president can mull considerations that the courts did not.”

Carney, however, indicated that the time to release the Israeli spy may still be far away.

“Our position has not changed and will not change today,” he said, according to the Jerusalem Post. “I would simply remind you that Mr. Pollard was convicted of very serious crimes.”

Meanwhile, an online petition that began three months ago calling on Peres to do what he can for Pollard’s release passed 75,000 signatures today.

The Committee to Bring Jonathan Pollard Home told Ynetnews that they still hope Obama will change his mind.

“We hope that President Obama will think favorably on the personal, humanitarian request of the president of Israel – which is the United States' biggestfriend.”

Canadian Sergeant Kevin Vickers Hailed as National Hero Canadian Sergeant Kevin Vickers Hailed as National Hero TrendingJewish Author Naomi Wolf Compares Israel to the Nazis....Again Jewish Author Naomi Wolf Compares Israel to the Nazis....Again TrendingStudent: Disgraced Rabbi Took University Students On Unauthorized Field Trips to Ritual Baths Student: Disgraced Rabbi Took University Students On Unauthorized Field Trips to Ritual Baths Trending
 

Air Canada Centre Painted Blue & White As Jewish Toronto Cheers On Maccabi Haifa [PICS]

October 23, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Air Canada Centre Painted Blue & White As Jewish Toronto Cheers On Maccabi Haifa [PICS]

The Israeli basketball team had an impressive 21-0 run before losing to the Raptors, 92-85

Read More

Op-Ed: A New Low for the Associated Press

October 23, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Op-Ed: A New Low for the Associated Press

After a Palestinian terrorist rammed his car into a crowded train station, killing a baby, the Associated Press ran this story: "Israeli Police Shoot Man in East Jerusalem"

Read More

Vandals Hurl Stones at East Jerusalem Kindergarten

October 23, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Vandals Hurl Stones at East Jerusalem Kindergarten

Incident follows an attack at Jerusalem Light Rail where 3-month-old baby was killed; no one reported injured

Read More

PÜR Gum Makes Long Lasting Impression on Dragon's Den

October 23, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
PÜR Gum Makes Long Lasting Impression on Dragon's Den

We speak to CEO and Founder Jay Klein about what it was like to receive so much validation on the popular Canadian reality show

Read More

First Aid Volunteer for Baby Killed in Jerusalem: 'Her Parents Put Her in My Arms'

October 23, 2014 | By Ahiya Raved
First Aid Volunteer for Baby Killed in Jerusalem: 'Her Parents Put Her in My Arms'

United Hatzalah volunteer Avi Steinhartz was the first to give emergency treatment to 3-month-old Haya Zissel Braun; 'I detached emotionally in order to give better treatment'

Read More

“Cloud & Light” Takes First Place in Sukkahville 2014

October 23, 2014 | By Dan Horowitz
“Cloud & Light” Takes First Place in Sukkahville 2014

The event was a resounding success in raising funds and awareness around the issue of affordable housing

Read More

Jewish Hall of Fame: Andy Borowitz

October 23, 2014 | By Caitlin Marceau
Jewish Hall of Fame: Andy Borowitz

Creator of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" and "The Borowitz Report," stand-up comic, contributor to Vanity Fair, director of "Pleasantville"

Read More

LeBron James Would Like to Visit Israel

October 22, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
LeBron James Would Like to Visit Israel

The Cleveland Cavaliers star told Israeli reporters that he looks forward to visiting the country.

Read More

More Headlines