Shalom Life | April 01, 2015

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.”

New Evidence Reveals Anne Frank Didn't Die When We Thought She Did New Evidence Reveals Anne Frank Didn't Die When We Thought She Did TrendingJDC Offers Relief to Ukraine's Jews this Passover JDC Offers Relief to Ukraine's Jews this Passover Trending5,000-Year-Old Beer-Making Pottery Discovered in Central Tel Aviv 5,000-Year-Old Beer-Making Pottery Discovered in Central Tel Aviv Trending
 

This New Israeli Drone Camera Follows You Around During Your High-Speed Activities

April 01, 2015 | By Daniel Asper, NoCamels
This New Israeli Drone Camera Follows You Around During Your High-Speed Activities

Percepto essentially removes the cumbersome barrier of trying to manually videotape your surfing or hiking sessions

Read More

Drake Got Picked On Hardcore for April Fool's Day

April 01, 2015 | By Daniel Koren
Drake Got Picked On Hardcore for April Fool's Day

But if anyone can take a joke, it's the 6 God himself

Read More

Fiddler on the Roof Himself to Receive Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement

April 01, 2015 | By JNS.org
Fiddler on the Roof Himself to Receive Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement

Chaim Topol will forever be known for playing the role of Tevye in the iconic musical

Read More

Palestinian Unknowingly Sells 'Priceless' Bansky Mural for $175

April 01, 2015 | By Daniel Koren
Palestinian Unknowingly Sells 'Priceless' Bansky Mural for $175

Gaza resident Rabie Dardouna sold a door on which the British artist painted the Greek goddess Niobe for some 700 shekels

Read More

Israel's Teva Buys San Diego Pharmaceutical Firm For $3.2 Billion

April 01, 2015 | By Nir Zalik
Israel's Teva Buys San Diego Pharmaceutical Firm For $3.2 Billion

The Israeli pharmaceutical giant is buying the San Diego-based Auspex, which has developed a drug it claims will help involuntary movement associated with Huntington's disease

Read More

Indian Community Holds Massive 'Model Seder' for Passover

April 01, 2015 | By Shalom Life Staff
Indian Community Holds Massive 'Model Seder' for Passover

More than 550 members of the Bnei Menashe community in Manipur gather for pre-Passover dinner

Read More

Yom Hashoah 2015 Commemoration Features a New, Compelling Twist

April 01, 2015 | By Dan Horowitz
Yom Hashoah 2015 Commemoration Features a New, Compelling Twist

"70 years since the end of World War II: The Anguish of Liberation and Rebuilding of Lives," takes place on April 19th at BAYT Synagogue in Thornhill

Read More

Shia LaBeouf Converting to Islam

April 01, 2015 | By Sy Berg
Shia LaBeouf Converting to Islam

The former Jew (and now former Christian) and his fiance Mia Goth are both joining the Muslim faith in anticipation of their wedding

Read More

More Headlines